Piikani School leadership

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


This dissertation focuses on Piikani school leadership as shared through the narratives and experiences of a retired school leader. Noonaki's experiences chronicle her longevity in school leadership and steadfast commitment to integrating the Piikani culture and language into the schools she led on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Noonaki's stories provide a realistic view of school leadership challenges she faced and offer her thought provoking knowledge to inspire current and aspiring school leaders to accept the Piikani values into their practices. School leaders are key to advancing Piikani values, culture, and language into the schools they serve on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Therefore, school leaders when developing relevant leadership practices, are called upon to commit themselves to practice ai-sii-moki' (guidance, teaching, and discipline), as they encounter and mitigate challenges among community stakeholders, specifically focusing on how they each can support student success. Through Noonaki's transfer of knowledge from her to the researcher, this exchange encapsulates her experiences into stories, told in the places where she practiced school leadership. Community Centered Digital Storywork (CCDS), is an integrated Piikani knowledge dissemination framework, that leverages cultural protocols to capture Piikani ways of knowing. Noonaki inspires current and aspiring school leaders to build their skills and practices around the Piikani values of okamotsitapiyiisin (honesty), ainnakowe (respect), aahsitapiitsin (generosity), waattosin (spirituality), matsisskii or iiyiikittahpii (courage), maanistapaisspipii (humility), and kimmapiiyipitsinni (compassion).




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