Educators' perceptions of Indian education for all : a tribal critical race theory ethnography

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


This tribal critical race theory (TribCrit) ethnographic study explored educators' perceptions of Indian Education for All (IEFA), the latest in a series of educational reforms designed to preserve the heritages of the Montana Tribal Nations and transform Montana school curricula and teaching. This study found a lack of consensus and understanding among the educators about the purposes and the design of IEFA. The educators believed the most beneficial sources of support for the future implementations of IEFA would be recursive, ongoing and consistent partnerships and collaborations with Indigenous specialists who could equip the educators with the Indigenous knowledge, pedagogies, and skills they needed to build and sustain relationships with Indian students and families. The educators indicated that the greatest obstacles to the implementation of IEFA curricula were: the lasting legacies of colonialism, Native American subjectivity, misrepresentations of Indigenous identities, lack of understanding about Indigenous epistemologies pedagogies and life ways, systemic racism, poor communication, broken relationships, mistrust and lack of rapport, whiteness and white privilege, and a lack of support or professional development opportunities with Indigenous specialists from particular tribal communities in Montana.




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