Institutionalizing Traditional Knowledge
The quote above are the words of Luther Standing Bear. Spoken many years earlier in 1933, Standing Bear’s words are most appropriate for American Indian education and scholarship in the twenty-first century. He called for institutions and thoughts from Indian people in education, and his words supply direction for the future. For too long, the idea of “institution” has been a frightening word among American Indians given the long practice of harsh treatment at Indian boarding schools and Indian patients dying in hospitals. The school attempted to brainwash the native mind of Eastman, Iacoomis, and many others, then change the Indian youth into non-Indians and force them to replace their native language with the white man’s English. The institutional hospitals seized the lives of Indian people, preying upon them while they were ill, and native people dreaded these places where their sick ones went to die.