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Published: Rethinking School Choice

Journal of School Choice
Volume 10, Issue 2
Rethinking School Choice: Educational Options, Control, and Sovereignty in Indian Country

You can find the link to the entire article here.

Abstract: Despite the plethora of schooling options in Indigenous communities, the public policy debate, research, and discourse on school choice is almost entirely absent a specific engagement with how school choice intersects issues relevant to American Indian youth and tribal nations. This article suggests that Indian Country is an important and unique context for understanding the meaning and processes of school choice because of the government-to-government relationship between tribal nations and the federal government, the sovereign status of tribal nations, the nation-building goals of tribes, and the muddled history of schooling options within Native communities. We offer an alternative way of conceptualizing “school choice” that is more applicable to Indigenous communities and that has yet to be articulated in the literature. First, while schooling options have existed in Indian Country for much longer than has been the case in other communities, the presence of schooling options has not historically been centered upon offering youth and families choices. Instead, it has been about control—control of the schooling offered to Indigenous youth, and therefore, control of youth and communities themselves. Second, while school choice policies focus on autonomy as an important governance principle to prompt change in traditional public school systems, sovereignty has and remains the most salient governance issue within Indigenous communities.

Mention in Dr. Teresa L. McCarty’s 2015 Brown Lecture to AERA

It was quite an honor to be among scholars and Indigenous community activists acknowledged in Dr. McCarty’s Brown Lecture in Education Research given on October 22, 2015 to the American Educational Research Association.

For those of you who have not yet heard her talk “So That Any Child May Succeed – Indigenous Pathways Toward Justice and the Promise of Brown“, you may now watch the live-stream video by clicking here.

Published: Acts of Visual Sovereignty

American Indian Culture and Research Journal
Volume 39, Issue 3
Acts of visual sovereignty: Photographic representations of cultural objects.

You can find the link to the entire article here.

Abstract: There are ways of giving new life to cultural objects through the creation of photographic representations. Still life photographs are a medium easily distributable for tribes wishing to archive and advance their material culture. This article focuses on photographic representations of Native cultural objects as its own contemporary artistic practice. We posit that this practice can complement the archiving and preserving needs of museums by facilitating continued knowledge preservation within Native communities.

 

Although the images are printed in black & white in the article, I wanted to share with you a peek at the beautiful color versions.

Tamastslikt Cultural Inst.

Beadwork photographs by Pat Hall Walters at the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute in Pendleton, Oregon.

(I highly recommend going someday and seeing all the wonderful exhibits in person as it is quite a treat!)

 

Arrowhead McDonalds copy
Basket photographs by Pat Hall Walters at the Arrowhead McDonalds on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation near Pendleton, Oregon.

Photos in this post by Pat Hall Walters. Used with permission.

 

Published: Contributing Author in Research Justice: Strategies for Social Change

Policy Press
July 22, 2015
More than Me

You can find the link to purchase the book directly from the publisher here.

I am so excited to announce that I am a contributing author to this community-driven research strategies volume. It was wonderful working with editor Andrew J. Jolivette and I feel so blessed to be published alongside so many wonderful voices.

Upcoming Event – 2015 AERA

I know things have been kind of silent from me for awhile. I attended the American Anthropological Association meeting in Washington D.C. in December (and had a really great time presenting collaborative work and making connections with researchers doing great work across the world) and unfortunately picked up the very nasty flu that was working its way across the East. My illness and recovery were both prolonged due to complications and I just kind of fell behind. (Like not getting around to writing about the conference and the awesome time I had visiting the National Museum of the American Indian and meeting the awesome Chickasaw jeweler Kristen Dorsey!)

In an attempt to get back into keeping up with my posting about my scholarship, I wanted to share some key sessions where you can find me hanging out at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association in Chicago and give you a glimpse into the kinds of activities I get up to within the association.

This year, I am completing my term as the Program Co-Chair for the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas SIG. What’s that mean? It means for the last two conferences, I and a colleague have been in charge organizing the peer review of all the paper and panel submissions for our group and then crafting the program space at the conference. It is incredibly rewarding work to be able to see the work of our scholars across the world and craft the program from scratch. This year’s conference, in addition to the SIG program features more than 100 papers and presentations engaging Indigenous education topics.

If you are a tweeter attending the conference, please also look to join our online conversations happening at #IndigenousAERA through out the meeting. Share learning from your Indigenous panels and workshops and draw out themes and ideas from the discussions in which you participate. (Please let your groups know that you are serving as a witness to the event and respectfully not share anything that is requested to not be shared to the public.) There is so much happening at #IndigenousAERA this a great way to keep up with sessions you can’t attend as well. You can also follow the #IndigenousAERA tag from wherever you are if you are unable to attend. Feel free to reach out to me @nicolereneephd as well.

See you around Chicago/Twitter/The Interwebs.

  • Thursday, April 16 (6:15-8:15 pm) Indigenous Peoples of the Americas SIG Business Meeting, Marriott, Fifth Level, Los Angeles/Miami

SIG Business meetings are a great place to get to see how scholars in the SIG interact, learn about what what it means to be a part of the SIG, and the yearly activities. In our meeting, officers will report on our work from through out the year, give awards to honor scholars, and also hear a special paper presentation on Indigenous students’ sense of belonging during their first year in college.

  • Friday, April 17 (12:25-1:55 pm) Humanizing Research Praxis Toward Indigenous Justice: A Fireside Chat, Hyatt, West Tower, Gold Level, Hong Kong

This is a special session convened by the Social Justice Action Committee, as envisioned and organized by myself and my fantastic program co-chair Dr. Cueponcaxochitl D Moreno Sandoval. Building on Dr. Linda Tuhiwai Smith’s 2012 AERA Opening Plenary speech, “The knowing circle of Indigenous education: It is not enough just to know” and engaging the ideals of Humanizing Research, edited by Drs. Django Paris and Maisha T. Winn in their recent book “Humanizing research: Decolonizing qualitative inquiry with youth and their communities” (2014), this fireside chat continues the conversations about the complex and dynamic intersections of culture, language, and heritage in developing a research praxis. Dr. Graham Smith, along with Drs. Paris and Winn, along with emerging Indigenous scholars will speak to the ways that scholarship, educators, and institutions can undertake a critical-theory view and implement policies and strategies to include the principles of Indigenous-human justice and move us from knowing to action.

  • Saturday, April 18 (2:45-4:15 pm) AERA SIG Executive Committee and 2016 Annual Meeting SIG Program Chairs Centennial Planning, Hyatt, West Tower, Gold Level, Atlanta

In this governance session, key members of AERA will be present to discuss the planning of the 100th annual meeting of the AERA, to be held in Washington, D.C. in 2016 (hopefully by April of next year there will be no more flu there waiting for me!). I and my co-chair, along with other program chairs have been invited to engage in conversation about innovative, collaborative practices that our SIGs use to develop programs.

  • Monday, April 20 (10:35-12:05 pm) Indigenous Students Navigating Identity, Motivation, and Epistemology in Education: A Fireside Chat, Hyatt, West Tower, Gold Level, Acapulco

As this session is so dear to me, I am happy that it is the last one of this series of key sessions for my 2015 conference schedule. Dr. Eve Tuck began the fireside mentoring series at the 2013 AERA when Dr. Crystal Jensen and I were still graduate student assistants helping her with some of the program duties. Now in its third year, the session brings invited advancing scholars and mentor scholars into conversation with each other in round-table style presentations and dialogues about scholarship and navigating academic careers. The session is fluid in its form, incorporating whole group and small group teachings and learning. The session is always re-shaping based on the needs of our scholars and is a really great place to spend some time thinking together about the ways we move among our many different communities.

 

Published: Practices Identifying Indigenous Students in Schools

Teachers College Record
November 21, 2014
My Label Does Not Define Me: Practices Identifying Indigenous Students in Schools

You can find the link to the entire article here.

Abstract: Included in this commentary is a discussion of five key problems that permeate racial identification of Indigenous students in America’s public schools.

Invited Talk at Indigenous Policy and Law Conference

On Friday morning, I returned from a very cold place. I mean that literally – when my flight left East Lansing, Michigan at 7 am, it was just 4 degrees F outside. Although I was as cold as I have ever been (living in the desert means I don’t have the kind of footwear appropriate for such visits), I was honored and excited to have participated in the 11th Annual Indigenous Policy and Law Conference and Michigan State University. I thank the organizers for reaching out and welcoming me to a new professional circle. I hope to continue to follow their work in the future as they continue pushing the boundaries of self-determination among Indigenous peoples. For a glimpse of our day together, check out my storify feed below which features my live tweets and pictures from the MSU Indigenous Policy and Law Center blog!

A Media Mash-up for Education

I am currently participating in a large 32 hour professional development MOOC via Adobe for a Youth Educator Credential. As part of this work, participants are actually practicing the projects that can be used as part of the Adobe Youth Voices curriculum. Although I have been able to finish any of my own pieces of art for awhile (I promise, there are ideas in the works!), I thought I would post some of them on here for you all to see what kind of creative endeavors I am up to over the next few weeks. I hope you enjoy!

The piece I am sharing with you this week is part of a media mash-up assignment. We were tasked with finding an advertisement and then creating a new story.

The original advertisement from Sharpie and my mash-up:

sharpieBEFORE sharpieAFTER

The manipulations that I used are pretty simple in this piece, but I thought the topic was powerful. I’ll share a little of what I posted in reflection with my peers below.

My intention in this mash-up was to provoke reflection on our current punitive systems. I previously taught in a juvenile incarceration facility and have spent a lot of time around youth that have been pushed out of school. I wanted to address the issue of school push-out in my image.

My before image is actually what came before the idea for the mash-up. It evoked thoughts about the above sentiments when I saw it – the idea of your fingerprints being taken and permanently recorded to follow you was very powerful to me.

Unfortunately, “troublemakers” tend to get permanently labeled early and left out of education. I wanted to leverage the great imagery of the original in order to shift viewers to thinking about this school push-out. Best described by Mariame Kaba and Erica Meiners in Arresting the Carceral State, “While the US public education system has historically diverted non-white communities toward under-education, non-living wage work, participation in a permanent war economy, and/or incarceration, the development of the world’s largest prison nation over the last three decades has strengthened policy, practice, and ideological linkages between schools and prisons. Non-white, non-heterosexual, and/or non-gender conforming students are targeted for surveillance, suspended and expelled at higher rates, and are much more likely to be charged, convicted, and removed from their homes, or otherwise to receive longer sentences” (paragraph 4).

 

Published: Humanizing Research

Educational Studies
Volume 50, Number 4, 2014
A Review of “Humanizing Research: Decolonizing Qualitative Inquiry With Youth and Communities”

You can find the entire article here.

A co-constructed book review in a very special issue of Educational Studies!

Published: “The Seeds We Planted” Book Review

AlterNative
Volume 10, Number 2, 2014
Review of the book The seeds we planted: Portraits of a Native Hawaiian charter school

You can find the entire piece linked from here.