Mitaku Ye Oyasin (All Are Related): A Tribal Critical Race Theory Ethnography Exploring Educators’ Perceptions of Indian Education for All

By Micki Abercrombie-Donahue.

Published by The International Journal of Diverse Identities

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 29, 2017 $US5.00

This tribal critical race theory (TribCrit) ethnographic study explored educators’ perceptions of Indian Education for All (IEFA), the latest in a series of educational reforms designed preserve the heritages of the Montana Tribal Nations and transform curricula in Montana schools. This TribCrit ethnographic study explored the embedded cultural rules, beliefs, behaviors, and values within an area middle school to explore educators’ perceptions of the role of school culture and cultural identity in shaping the implementation of IEFA. The study investigated the educators’ perceptions of the purposes of the IEFA, exploring their perceptions of how the IEFA curricula had been embedded, adapted, and translated to “fit” into this particular middle school. This TribCrit ethnographic study explored the educators’ perceptions of the greatest obstacles to and the best sources of support for the implementation of IEFA. This TribCrit ethnographic study explored educators’ perceptions of the purposes of IEFA and found a lack of consensus and understanding among the educators about the purposes of IEFA. The educators believed the most beneficial sources of support for the future implementations of IEFA would be recursive, ongoing, and consistent mentorship from Indigenous specialists that could equip the educators with the Indigenous knowledge, pedagogies, and skills they need to build and sustain relationships with their Indian students and families. The educators indicated that the greatest obstacles to the implementation of IEFA curricula were the lasting legacies of colonialism, Native American subjectivity, misrepresentations of Indigenous identities, lack of understanding about Indigenous epistemologies pedagogies and life ways, systemic racism, poor communication, broken relationships, mistrust and lack of rapport, whiteness and white privilege, and a lack of support or professional development with Indigenous specialists with a clear connection to particular tribal communities in Montana.

Keywords: Tribal Critical Race Theory, Indian Education for All, Indigenous Epistemology, Indigenous Pedagogy, Colonialism, Racial Reconciliation

The International Journal of Diverse Identities, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp.1-16. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 29, 2017 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 705.554KB)).

Dr. Micki Abercrombie-Donahue

Assistant Professor, School of Education, Point Loma Nazarene University, Bakersfield, California, USA