Archive for the 'Hopi education' Category

Job shadowing my father, and my path to tenure

Earlier this summer the University of Illinois granted me promotion to associate professor with indefinite tenure in American Indian Studies & history. Since then, I’ve been thinking a lot about my path to tenure, and the road I took to get where I am now.

Thirty years ago I wanted to grow up to be an astronaut, a veterinarian, or a professional musician. I did not imagine that I would become a university professor or a “scholar.” But when I was a senior in high school, my perspective and desire changed.

At this time, I had a rare opportunity to “job shadow” my father* who was (and still is) a professor of education at Northern Arizona University (NAU).Picture 8

I clearly remember sitting in the back of the classroom as he taught his students from the front.

I had never seen my father in this type of setting, and I was amazed at his ability to communicate to his students, present his topic with much enthusiasm, and provide his students with a safe place to learn, disagree with each other, and to think analytically.

But there was more. My father also exemplified for me how powerful a skilled Native American instructor could be, both as someone who could offer unique insights into course material, and as someone who could be a model for others.

When he lectured on the integration of western science and Navajo and Hopi cultures, he did so with authority and confidence. His teaching was grounded in who he was as an indigenous person. His students understood this, and they benefited from the unique and personal perspective he brought to his lecture.

Although the class period lasted for only an hour, my experience observing my father had a major influence on my life.

In this brief moment, my father demonstrated to me the characteristics of a successful teacher. And he showed me how to excel as an American Indian faculty in a classroom of Native and non-Native students.

My observation job shadowing my father in the College of Education at NAU set in motion my eventual career as an academic.

It launched me on a path toward college and graduate school, and a tenure track faculty position at the University of Illinois.

As an assistant professor, I worked hard to fulfill my obligations  and responsibilities to the academy and my Hopi community. But I did not do it alone.

I had the support of my wife and children, my parents and other extended family members, colleagues and friends at Illinois and beyond, and many people back home.

Now on sabbatical, and on the other side of tenure, I find myself thinking a lot about the past seven years at Illinois.

But I also keep recalling the time when I job shadowed my father, and the significance this experience had, and continues to have, on my career and life.

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*My father, Willard Sakiestewa Gilbert, is professor of Bilingual and Multicultural Education at Northern Arizona University (NAU). He grew up on the Hopi and Navajo Indian reservations in Arizona, and he received his Ed.D. (Doctor of Education) at the University of New Mexico. He has published a number of articles and book chapters, and once served as President of the National Indian Education Association (NIEA).

Countdown to end of HEEF Alumni Challenge

Are you a Hopi alum? If so, please consider donating to this year’s Hopi Education Endowment Fund Alumni Challenge. This is a great opportunity to give back to HEEF and further opportunities for other Hopi students. As a non-gaming nation, we have to depend on other ways to raise funds for our students. The Alumni Challenge is one of those ways. As of today, HEEF has received $2, 218 of its $6,000 goal. There is still time to donate. Click here for more information. The Alumni Challenge ends this Friday November 18. Let’s do what we can to ensure educational opportunities for our people!

Kwakwha,

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert

Hopi Education Endowment Fund Board Member

Beyond the Mesas to air tonight on KVCR Channel 24.2 – San Bernardino/Riverside

For those who live in the San Bernardino/Riverside area, Beyond the Mesas will air tonight at 9PM PST on KVCR, Digital Channel 24.2, First Nations Experience, a new Native American channel. See below for additional information.

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Indian Boarding Schools: Keeping the Culture Alive: Beyond the Mesas #101

Wednesday, September 28, 09:00 pm PST on FNX (First Nations Experience) Digital 24.2

Broadcast In: English

Description: Produced with the full participation of The Hopi Cultural Preservation Office, Beyond The Mesas tells the stories of the federal government’s efforts to assimilate and acculturate Hopis, the visit by four Hopi chiefs to Washington, the subsequent Oraibi split, and the forced removal and experiences of Hopi children in off-reservation boarding schools such as the Sherman Institute and the Phoenix and Stewart Indian Schools. Faced with the enforced loss of their language in their children, vastly outnumbered by a technologically advanced military that had the power to annihilate them, enlightened Hopi leadership sought a peaceful middle ground that would preserve the best of Hopi culture and combine it with the best of the white man’s culture. Both federal policies and pressure to resist from within the Hopi community challenged this strategy.

Run Time: 0:26:45
Captions: 608 Captions

Education beyond the Mesas temporarily available for FREE download

I am pleased to announce that Education beyond the Mesas: Hopi Students at Sherman Institute, 1902-1929 (University of Nebraska Press, 2010) is temporarily available for free download through Project MUSE.

It has always been my desire that people on and off the Hopi Reservation will have access to my research, and the University of Nebraska Press’s decision to allow my book to be featured on Project MUSE, is a major step in that direction.

However, free access to Education beyond the Mesas via Project MUSE will only last until January 2012. See the Project MUSE website for more details.

To download Education beyond the Mesas, please click on the above image or visit the following link: http://beta.muse.jhu.edu/books/9780803234444

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert

Opportunity for Hopi and other Native students to learn about Indiana University’s Ph.D. programs

On October 9-12, the Indiana University Graduate Program will host a fall recruitment event titled “Getting You Into IU.” The purpose of the event is to attract minority students who are underrepresented in IU’s Ph.D. programs.

This is a great opportunity for Hopi and other Native students who are thinking about pursuing a Ph.D. in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics. “Getting You Into IU” is especially geared for students who want to pursue the professoriate or a career in academic research.

Students must be nominated by an adviser, faculty member, or mentor to participate. Those who have been nominated and accepted to attend the event will receive full funding for travel, lodging, and food.

For additional information, click on the above image or visit the following website: http://graduate.indiana.edu/agep/campusvisit.php

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert

FINAL NOTICE: Nominations Due for HEEF Members

FINAL NOTICE:
Nominations Due for HEEF Members


The Hopi Education Endowment Fund (HEEF) is still accepting nominations for members to the Board through this Thursday, June 30, 2011. With a capacity of up to 30 members, the HEEF is seeking to fill 14 seats. Once elected, Members serve three-year terms and are provided opportunities to actively engage with the HEEF in a variety of capacities that include committee work, volunteerism, networking and support of special events.

Sahmie Wytewa, HEEF’s Nomination Committee Chairperson stated, “I see the Hopi Education Endowment Fund constantly developing and diversifying its membership to meet the needs of our community. 20 years from now, I expect that we are going to be looked at and called upon as a valid and sustainable model for financing education infinitely. If you can imagine being a part of that vision, we want you on Our team!”

Any Hopi tribal member or current HEEF Member may nominate a person for election to the HEEF Board. Nominations are accepted until 5:00 p.m. (MST) June 30, 2011. To submit a nomination, fill out the attached Nomination Form or for more information contact Sam Tenakhongva at samt@hopieducationfund.org or call 928-734-2275. The HEEF is a non-profit entity of the Hopi Tribe, for more information on the HEEF visit our website at www.hopieducationfund.org


To read more on the 2011 Member Nomination and Recruitment Process click here

Hopi Education Endowment Fund
PO Box 605
Kykotsmovi, AZ 86039Phone: (928) 734-2275
Fax: (928) 734-2273Copyright (C) 2011 Hopi Education Endowment Fund All rights reserved.

Hotevilla-Bacavi Community School Now Accepting Applications

Hopi Credit Association Educational Incentive Award

Returning to the Cottonwood Trees of Our Communities

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert at 2009 Native American House Congratulatory Ceremony. Photo courtesy of Muskogee Creek writer and photographer Durango Mendoza.

In the Spring of 2009, our Native students at the University of Illinois asked me to say the closing remarks for the Native American House Congratulatory Ceremony. The event took place on May 16, 2009. Since we are appoaching the end of the academic year, I thought that it would be fitting if I posted these remarks on my blog.

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Returning to the Cottonwood Trees of Our Communities

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert

I have the privilege and honor of saying a few closing remarks to end our time together.

We are fortunate at the University of Illinois to have students who have not forgotten that the greatest “scholars” and teachers come from their own communities.  These men and women have not published books for Oxford or Harvard University Press.  They have not published articles in the esteemed journals of the academy. But they are known by people in their communities as the gatekeepers and protectors of intellectual property, and teachers of knowledge.

Among my people in northeastern Arizona, parents, grandparents, uncles, aunties, and other community members often told their children stories about the owl, the squirrel, and giant beasts that threatened to destroy the Hopi way of life. Hopi elders shared these stories with their children to teach them life lessons.  Lessons that would help them to succeed in life, contribute to their communities, and to be passed on to their children and grandchildren.

At an early age, Hopi children were taught to value hard work, and to shun laziness.   “Get up before Taawa, itana (the sun, our father) greets our village,” Hopi parents often told their children, “Taawa, itana has many things to accomplish throughout the day, and he need not waste his time and energy on getting you out of bed.”

The stories and teachings that have emerged in Hopi and other indigenous cultures have great meaning for people of the past, present, and future.  They ground Native people in their communities, they connect us to our places of origin, and they forever remind us of who we are as Choctaw, Ho-Chunk, Kiowa, and other indigenous people.

I am reminded of a story that originates from my village of Moencopi that Hopi educator Dr. Noreen (Kewanwytewa) Sakiestewa once retold about a young girl who was lazy, and did absolutely nothing.  She did not help her parents take care of her siblings, she refused to grind corn, and she had no desire to learn Hopi stories and songs.  Seeing her laziness and apathy, people in the village called her kyena, which is Hopi slang for “ignorant one.”

Sakiestewa recounts that one day, as the girl wandered about near the wash by her village, she sat under a large cottonwood tree.  The wise old cottonwood tree realized that her people, and even the animals, had become angry with her, and so he asked the young girl: “Why are you not a part of your people?”  The girl did not respond, and so the wise old cottonwood tree told her to gather yucca plants and to bring them to him.

When she returned, the wise old cottonwood tree taught her how to weave a plaque with a coil design.  But the girl became restless, and she wanted to learn other design patterns to incorporate in her plaques.  So the wise old cottonwood tree told her to observe the things of nature.  “Look at the sky, the mountains, and the animals, and they will show you new patterns for your plaques.”

After several days or traveling and searching, the young girl from Moencopi came across a rattlesnake who asked her why she had wandered so far from her village. “I am on a journey to find new designs,” she told him.  And so the wise old snake said to her, “Look at the design on my back. I give you permission to use my design in your plaques.”

Soon the young girl came across other designs, and months later, she returned to her people with beautiful plaques and immediately started teaching her sisters, and other girls in the village how to make baskets.  All that she had learned amazed the people at Moencopi.  And from that day forward, they no longer called her kyena.

In her retelling of this story, Sakiestewa asks the question:

“At what point did the girl come out of not being kyena?  Overwhelmingly, the response was when she learned to make baskets.  The Hopi response to when she stopped being kyena was when she returned and taught the skill of basket making thereby completing her circle.” [Norene E. Kewanwytewa, "Being Hopi: A Collaborative Inquiry Into Culturally Responsive Education," Ed.D. Dissertation, Northern Arizona University, 2002, pp. 2-4].

Today, as we gather together to honor our students, I close by urging our Native graduates to return to the cottonwood trees of their communities.  Complete the circle, and take what you have learned at the University of Illinois and contribute something useful to your people.  And never forget that long ago, our people held to and practiced indigenous ways of understanding that provided meaning, and continue to provide meaning, for every aspect of life.

Proposed Revisions to Hopi Education Ordinance #36

Click image to download the schedule

Proposed Ordinance 36 Revisions - Click image to download the 15 page document

Original 1981 Hopi Tribe Education Ordinance, Click image to download the 31 page document

 


Copyright Notice

© Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert and BEYOND THE MESAS, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert and BEYOND THE MESAS with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About the author

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert is enrolled with the Hopi Tribe from the village of Upper Moencopi in northeastern Arizona. He is an associate professor of American Indian Studies & History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Sun Chief: An Autobiography of A Hopi Indian by Don C. Talayesva, New foreword by Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert (Sept. 2013)

Marathoner Louis Tewanima and the Continuity of Hopi Running, 1908-1912 (Western Historical Quarterly, Autumn 2012). Winner of Spur Award for Best Western Short Nonfiction, Western Writers of America (2013)

“Hopi Footraces and American Marathons, 1912-1930″, American Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 1, March Issue 2010 (Click image to download article)

Hopi runner Philip Zeyouma’s trophy cups featured on cover of American Quarterly

Education beyond the Mesas: Hopi Students at Sherman Institute, 1902-1929 (University of Nebraska Press, 2010)

Education beyond the Mesas – Introduction (click image to download)

“‘The Hopi Followers’: Chief Tawaquaptewa and Hopi Student Advancement at Sherman Institute, 1906-1909″, Journal of American Indian Education, (Click image to download article)

The Indian School on Magnolia Avenue: Voices and Images From Sherman Institute (Oregon State University Press, 2012)

Arizona English Teachers Association highlights Hopi authors (click image to download)

Constitution and Bylaws of the Hopi Tribe (With all amendments, click to download)

Click to listen to KUYI On-Line

Matt’s Goodreads

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