LANGUAGE & CULTURE
Our identity is shaped by our language and culture. The language and culture teaches us what to value, how to act, how to think, and how to believe. How we process information, what we value, and what we believe impacts what we do, our culture.
Who we are, where we come from, how we belong, and why we exist are deep fundamental understandings that our Native children and their families must develop. Historically, these understandings were the core curriculum of indigenous people from time immemorial. Today, we must return to these understandings in all that we do, i.e., education, health care, social services, economy, and governance. Our language and culture are who we are.
I attribute the crisis in Indian Education and more broadly, the social issues in Indian Country to the disconnect from our heritage values, beliefs, and knowledge system. I believe we must return to our traditional knowledge, values and beliefs.
We will remain indigenous in the twenty-first century and beyond.
Education is more than a set of knowledge, skills, and abilities. Education is encompassed by a community's beliefs and values. It is transferred through language and culture.