Making the Dream Real: Montana’s Indian Education for All Initiative Thrives in a National Climate of Anti-Ethnic Studies

Jioanna Carjuzaa, Anna E. Baldwin, Michael Munson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    The espoused foundation of U.S. society, E pluribus unum (out of many, one), is based on the belief that this nation should simultaneously support pluralism and promote unity. The road to making this ideal a reality, however, has not always been smooth. The ever-widening achievement gap highlights how this discordance plays out in our education system. Ethnic studies came about to counterbalance the predominance of Euro-American perspectives in our textbooks and curricula and address the inaccuracies, myths, and misconceptions surrounding other groups. Efforts to create a better and more just America were recently tested, however, when an Arizona law prohibiting school districts from offering courses taught from a specific racial/ethnic perspective targeted the Mexican-American Studies Program in Tucson schools. In contrast, Montana's educators who embrace the Indian Education for All initiative and teach all students about Montana's first inhabitants is thriving. In this article, we summarize the research on ethnic studies; track the inception, opposition, and abolition of the ethnic studies program in Tucson; and describe how Montana legislators, state education agencies, tribal members, and classroom teachers have collaborated and successfully promoted the unprecedented reform effort known as Indian Education for All in this anti-ethnic studies national climate.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)198-206
    Number of pages9
    JournalMulticultural Perspectives
    Volume17
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Oct 2 2015

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