September 12, 2007

Omissions send a message

Tribal leaders:  Culture absent in education

Lack of Indian legacy in curricula makes pupils feel 'their history doesn't matter'It's no secret that American Indians are struggling to graduate from high school and get into college. But Utah tribal leaders said the poor academic showing might be the result of students not feeling valued.

Rupert Steele, chairman of the Confederated Tribes of Goshute Reservations, said U.S. and Utah histories taught in schools that start with Christopher Columbus in 1492 eliminate the past of American Indians. That leaves students believing their tribal histories are being ignored and there's not much they can be proud of, he said.

"It sends a strong message that their history doesn't matter, and many of them lose motivation in school," Steele said here Tuesday during the second annual Native American Summit.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Stereotyping Indians by Omission.

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