Blackfoot ceremony : a qualitative study of learning

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Education, Health & Human Development


This study utilizes qualitative research methodology to ascertain the process of learning the ceremonial practices of the Blackfoot Native people in Montana and Southern Alberta, Canada. The literature on adult learning reveals that little is known of how Native Americans learn. Fifteen Blackfoot ceremonialists were interviewed following the general interview guide approach of qualitative research methodology. The study participants were selected as a representative group of ceremonialists known to the researcher. The interview findings are presented in a case study format that provides insight into the naturalistic context of how this group of Blackfoot ceremonialists perceives ceremonial learning processes. The findings were analyzed using the illuminative model of naturalistic research, which identifies recurring trends, incidences and issues as they emerge from the data. The findings were grouped into seventeen categories according to commonalities, patterns, and relationships. The conclusions are presented with interpretive comments based on the common perceptions and views of the study participants. Several recommendations are made relevant to each of the seventeen categories identified in the findings. The results of the research concluded that the ceremonial learning process of the Blackfoot included the following elements: a) divination process of learning, b) motivational process of learning, c) memory association learning process, d) visual and auditory learning process, e) mentoring and facilitation learning process, f) rite of passage learning process, g) participant-observation learning process, h) process of learning how to leant, i) inductive reasoning process of learning, j) cognitive process of learning, k) environmental process of learning, 1) self-directed/interactive learning process, m) socialization process of learning, n) learning process through symbolism, o) perceived barriers to learning process, p) effects of spirituality on learning process, q) structural synthesizing of learning process, r) effect of language usage on learning process, and s) effect of Blackfoot way of knowing on learning process.




Copyright (c) 2002-2022, LYRASIS. All rights reserved.