Native Knowledge 360°: To promote improvement of teaching and learning – USA, Canada, Mexico, Central America & South America

Native Knowledge 360° by the National Museum of the American Indian’s to inspire and promote improvement of teaching and learning about American Indians >>

What is the correct terminology: American Indian, Indian, Native American, Indigenous, or Native?

All of these terms are acceptable. The consensus, however, is that whenever possible, Native people prefer to be called by their specific tribal name. In the United States, Native American has been widely used but is falling out of favor with some groups, and the terms American Indian or Indigenous American are preferred by many Native people. Native peoples often have individual preferences on how they would like to be addressed. When talking about Native groups or people, use the terminology the members of the community use to describe themselves collectively.

Learn more: The Impact of Words and Tips for Using Appropriate Terminology: Am I Using the Right Word?| Helpful Handout Educator Resource

Source: FAQ “Check out the answers to some of the questions that educators frequently ask about Native Americans”, National Museum of the American Indian
URL: https://americanindian.si.edu/nk360/faq/did-you-know#category-1
Date Visited: 5 February 2023

Things to keep in mind

Avoid generalization
Use conditional language instead! Instead of generalizing phrases like “all Native Americans”, use conditional language such as “most Native Americans” or “different Indigenous cultures”. There is no one “Indian” language, culture, or way of thinking. Generalizations negate the diversity of Native peoples and create an inaccurate understanding for students. Whenever possible, have your students learn about specific individuals from a community.

Use present tense and contemporary examples
Only using the past tense reinforces the myth of the “Vanishing Indian” and negates the experiences and the dynamic cultures of Native peoples today. If your curriculum teaches the history of Native Americans, also do some research on the community today. Teach your students about contemporary culture and topics. Use the present tense and make Native Americans relevant and contemporary.

Emphasize that Indigenous peoples have living cultures that change over time. If you do need to use the past tense, provide context by including dates. Otherwise, it may seem like Native cultures are no longer living.

Refrain from using terminology and phrases that perpetuate stereotypes
Common phrases like “Indian Princess”, “Low man on the totem pole”, “sitting Indian style”, etc. perpetuate stereotypes and imply a monolithic culture. If you are unsure about a phrase, do some research into its origins and think about its meaning and implications.

Source: “The Impact of Words and Tips for Using Appropriate Terminology: Am I Using the Right Word?”, National Museum of the American Indian
URL: https://americanindian.si.edu/nk360/informational/impact-words-tips
Date Visited: 5 February 2023

Do you remember the first time YOU learned about American Indians?

If you are like most Americans, you probably received only a tiny glimpse into the rich and diverse cultures, histories, and contemporary lives of Native peoples.

You may have even learned some things that were limited, false, or misleading.

During my childhood, for example, we learned that American history began with European settlement of the “New World”—a vast wilderness populated only by a few wandering hunter-gatherers.

The messages from popular culture were equally clear. Contemporary Indians were not relevant. Indians were figures of the past.

Today, misrepresentations about Native people often remain unchallenged in the educational system and culture of the United States.

It isn’t because teachers don’t care. It’s because many teachers and students just don’t have the information or resources to provide deeper and more comprehensive knowledge and perspectives.

That’s why the National Museum of the American Indian is joining with Native communities and educators to develop a web-based educational initiative called Native Knowledge 360° that will help change the way American Indian histories, cultures, and contemporary lives are taught in K–12 classrooms (you can learn more about it here).

Source: email from Kevin Gover (Pawnee), Director
National Museum of the American Indian
31 January 2018

Watch “The Good Ancestor – The Legacies We Leave” (3 min.): An animation that explores the legacies we might leave for future generations >>

Listen to related discussions on CBC Unreserved: Canada’s radio space for indigenous community, culture, and conversation | CBC related posts >>

Learn more

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India’s tribal cultural heritage – Lakshadweep

Lakshadweep, which is a land in the deep Arabian Sea and is a part of the Indian Subcontinent, is recognised as the smallest Union Territory of India. The UT has one Lok Sabha constituency which is reserved for Scheduled Tribes (ST).

Lakshadweep is a Lok Sabha / Parliamentary constituency in region of Lakshadweep in South India. This semi-urban scheduled tribe constituency has an estimated Scheduled Caste population of 0% and a Scheduled Tribe population of 94.8%. The estimated literacy level of Lakshadweep is 92.28%. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, there were a total of eligible electors and the voter turnout was calculated at %. The seat went to the polls on Phase 1 on Thursday, April 11, 2019. […]

There are in all 27 islands 3 reefs and 6 submerged sand banks. Only 10 islands are inhabited. The islands lie directly in the trade route between Africa Arabia and Malabar. The islands have been formed by polyps who are the architects and engineers of these atolls (a chain of islands formed of coral). The total area of the territory is 32 sq.kms. The erstwhile group of islands knows as the Laccadive, Amindivi and Minicoy group of islands was constituted into a Union Territory in 1956 and renamed as Lakshadweep in the year 1973. It is a uni-district territory with its headquarters at Kavaratti.

Malayalam is spoken in all the islands except Minicoy where people speak Mahl, which is written in Divehi script and is spoken in Maldives also. The entire indigenous population because of their economic and social backwardness has been classified as Scheduled Tribes. According to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes list (Modification Orders), 1956, the inhabitants of Lakshadweep who and both of whose parents are born in these islands are treated as Scheduled Tribes. There are no Scheduled castes in this Union Territory.

According to the 2001 Census, Lakshadweep has a population of 60650 persons, 95% are follower of Islam and classified as scheduled Tribe due o geographic isolation and economic backwardness. This U.T. is unidistrict & has one Parliamentary seat i.e. in Lok Sabha and is reserved seat for Scheduled Tribe. Out of the total population of 60650, 31131 are males and 29519 females. […]

Source: “Lakshadweep — State Profile”, Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Administration of UT of Lakshadweep
URL: https://ceolakshadweep.gov.in
Date Visited: 4 February 2023

[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]

“National development and the development of tribal communities are linked to each other” – Droupadi Murmu – 15th President of India >>

Find up-to-date information provided by, for and about Indian authors, researchers, officials, and educatorsMore search options >>
Search tips: in the search field seen below, combine the name of any particular state, language or region with that of any tribal (Adivasi) community; add keywords of special interest (health, nutrition endangered language, illegal mining, sacred grove); learn about the rights of Scheduled Tribes such as the Forest Rights Act (FRA); and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, women’s rights, and children’s right to education; specify any other issue or news item you want to learn more about (biodiversity, climate change, ecology, economic development, ethnobotany, ethnomedicine, global warming, effective measures to prevent rural poverty, bonded labour, and human trafficking).

For a list of websites included in a single search, click here. To search Indian periodicals, magazines, web portals and other sources safely, click here. To find an Indian PhD thesis on a particular tribal community, region and related issues, click here >>

There are over 700 tribes (with overlapping communities in more than one State) which have been notified under Article 342 of the Constitution of India, spread over different States and Union Territories of the country. The largest number of main tribal communities (62) has been specified in relation to the State of Orissa. The Scheduled Tribes have been specified in relation to all the States and Union Territories except Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, Delhi, and Pondicherry.

Source: National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST), Government of India, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, FAQ accessed on 14 September 2021

Up-to-date information on India’s Zonal Cultural Centers | Government website

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  4. explore India’s tribal cultural heritage with the help of another interactive map >>

“We shall first have to give up this hubris of considering tribes backward. Every tribe has a rich and living cultural tradition and we must respect them.”

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on India’s Constitutional obligation to respect their cultural traditions
Gandhiji at Prayer Time, Parnakuti, Poona (1944) by Chittaprosad, the great advocate of the rights of workers and revolutionary artists. | Learn more in “Gandhi, Secularism, and Cultural Democracy” by Vinay Lal >>
Gandhian social movement | Constitution >>

“Air is free to all but if it is polluted it harms our health… Next comes water… From now on we must take up the effort to secure water. Councillors are servants of the people and we have a right to question them.” – Mohandas K. Gandhi, Ahmedabad address on 1 January 1918; quoted by his grandson, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, in “On another New Year’s Day: Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘khorak’ a 100 years ago” (The Hindu, 1 January 2018)

Posted in Anthropology, Cultural heritage, Democracy, Eco tourism, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Figures, census and other statistics, Government of India, Health and nutrition, Languages and linguistic heritage, Modernity, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Quotes, Regions of India – Tribal heritage & indigenous knowledge, Resources, Scheduled Tribe (ST), Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Success story, Tips, Tourism, Worship and rituals | Comments Off on India’s tribal cultural heritage – Lakshadweep

Mahatma Gandhi interested in promoting the Adivasi culture – Adivasi Sanskriti Sangam in New Delhi

To foster a better understanding of the unique lifestyle of tribal communities, Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti is hosting a three-day cultural event of Adivasi communities at Gandhi Darshan opposite Raj Ghat here beginning this Wednesday.

To be attended by social activists, intelligentsia and tribals hailing from 18 States, “Adivasi Sanskriti Sangam” seeks to emphasis the point that Mahatma Gandhi was interested in promoting the Adivasi culture. And the event will also point out the fact that the simplicity that characterised Gandhiji’s life and his love for nature was similar to the Adivasi’s lifestyle. Besides a two-day cultural programme, the event features an exhibition of Adivasi crafts, “Jan Sansad” and an Adivasi march from Raj Ghat to GSDS. […]

“Close to the Gandhian world view, the event presents an alternative to the current consumerist culture. It will be an important opportunity to pay attention on present strife in tribal areas and listen to the Adivasi perspectives,” said GSDS Director Manimala at a press conference here on Monday.

Pointing out that the tribal areas of the country are passing through a difficult phase, Ms. Manimala said unbridled exploitation of natural resources and dispossession of the Adivasi communities from their natural assets and habitat has led to a long drawn strife and violence in these green and mountainous regions. “It is threatening the self-reliant and dignified lifestyle of the Adivasi communities whose co-habitation with nature has been unique all along.”

“During his life span, the Father of the Nation was aggrieved by the exploitation of tribal communities and tried his best to serve them. Sending Takkar Bappa, a social worker, to work for uplift of tribal people was a case in point,” said a senior representative from GSDS.

Since Independence, the lot of Adivasi has been exacerbating and it has now come to the stage when their identity is in danger. “So the event will give the voiceless tribal folks an opportunity to make their voice heard. […]

Source: “Bid to give voiceless tribals a chance to have themselves heard”, The Hindu, 22 November 2011
Address : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-newdelhi/article2648640.ece
Date Visited: 28 November 2020

[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]

More about Takkar Bappa and the Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti >>

The slogan today is no longer merely ‘Asia for the Asians’ or ‘Africa for the Africans’ but the unity of all the oppressed races of the earth.” – Mahatma Gandhi addressing two stalwarts of the struggle struggle in South Africa against apartheid), quoted by Vinay Lal in The Solidarity of Oppressed Peoples: A Tribute to E S Reddy, Anti-Apartheid Activist >>

Truth (Satya) implies Love, and Firmness (Agraha) engenders and therefore serves as a synonym for force … that is to say, the Force which is born of Truth and Love or Non-violence.

Mahatma Gandhi on Civil Disobedience and Satyagraha in
The Essential Gandhi: His Life, Work, and Ideas >>
Learn more about Jawaharlal Nehru’s “five principles” for the policy to be pursued vis-a-vis the tribals >>
Photo © Indian Express
Gandhiji at Prayer Time, Parnakuti, Poona (1944) by Chittaprosad, the great advocate of the rights of workers and revolutionary artists. | Learn more in “Gandhi, Secularism, and Cultural Democracy” by Vinay Lal >>
Gandhian social movement | Constitution >>

“Air is free to all but if it is polluted it harms our health… Next comes water… From now on we must take up the effort to secure water. Councillors are servants of the people and we have a right to question them.” – Mohandas K. Gandhi, Ahmedabad address on 1 January 1918; quoted by his grandson, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, in “On another New Year’s Day: Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘khorak’ a 100 years ago” (The Hindu, 1 January 2018)

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Learn more from Virginius Xaxa & G.N. Devy Devy >>
Search publications via Indian publishers & libraries:
Virginius Xaxa & Ganesh Devy or G.N. Devy >>
Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Cultural heritage, De- and re-tribalisation, Dress and ornaments, Economy and development, Gandhian social movement, Government of India, Modernity, Nature and wildlife, Networking, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Rural poverty, Tribal identity | Comments Off on Mahatma Gandhi interested in promoting the Adivasi culture – Adivasi Sanskriti Sangam in New Delhi

Video | The festival that gives freedom to women to make choices about their marriage: A tradition for over 250 years – Odisha

Photo © Community Correspondent Sarita Biswal on videovolunteers.org

In Orissa, men and women gather and choose spouses on the spot, removing the need for a dowry.

Every winter, during the month of January, hundreds of tribal people from all over Orissa gather in Biswanakan village with one goal: to find their life partner and get married. This festival has been going on for more than 250 years, creating opportunities for thousands of tribal men and women to get married, regardless of their age and social origin. The celebration, which lasts for one day, sees couples – who were strangers just a few minutes earlier – coming together and getting married by simply holding hands.  […]

Sarita has been going regularly to this festival, that is also attended by non-tribals who enjoy the joyful and relaxed atmosphere. She decided to make a video on this event that she found rather peculiar: “It is quite a unique event in India. I enjoy this festival because it gives freedom to women to make choices about their marriage. Also, it’s a way of getting rid of the appalling tradition of dowry giving,” says Sarita.

About Community Correspondent Sarita Biswal

Born in a village where there are no schools that teach past the seventh grade, Sarita Biswal had to struggle and persevere to get literate. She wants to be the Community Correspondent of her community so she can make videos on the lack of basic infrastructure which impedes all progress not just in roads and medical services but also in thought and knowledge. With her videos she hopes to campaign and bring about much needed change in her neighborhood.

Source: Unique Tribal Wedding Customs
Address : http://www.videovolunteers.org/unique-tribal-wedding-customs/
Date Visited: 15 December 2022

[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]

“If women are empowered, there is more development in society” – Droupadi Murmu – 15th President of India >>

“Tribal communities are a standing example of how women play a major role in preservation of eco historic cultural heritage in India.” – Mari Marcel Thekaekara (writer and Co-Founder of ACCORD-Nilgiris) | Learn more >>

Tips for using interactive maps

  1. toggle to normal view (from reader view) should the interactive map not be displayed by your tablet, smartphone or pc browser
  2. for details and hyperlinks click on the rectangular button (left on the map’s header)
  3. scroll and click on one of the markers for information of special interest
  4. explore India’s tribal cultural heritage with the help of another interactive map >>
Posted in Commentary, Community facilities, Customs, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, Education and literacy, History, Media portrayal, Modernity, Organizations, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Seasons and festivals, Social conventions, Storytelling, Video resources - external, Women | Comments Off on Video | The festival that gives freedom to women to make choices about their marriage: A tradition for over 250 years – Odisha

eBook | Download comic books as PDFs: Free resources for rural education and health care – Unicef

Tips: 1. click the eBook title (heading) for browsing, to Share this item and for Downloadable files; 2. to Search inside this eBook, click on the (…) Ellipses icon; 3. Zoom (+/-) to match your PC or tablet screen; 4. click the headphone icon to Read this book aloud

Read or download this and more Meena comic books on Archive.org >>

Unesco-Meena-ScreenShot

Source: UNICEF ROSA – Media centre – Meena Communication Initiative
Address: https://www.unicef.org/meena/
Date Visited: 3 November 2018

Download the above 14 volumes for free: Unicef-Rosa_Meena_Archive.zip (Google Drive zip-file, 21 MB) >>

The Meena Communication Initiative
Who is Meena?

Meena is a cartoon character from South Asia. She is a spirited, nine-year-old girl who braves the world – whether in her efforts to go to school or in fighting the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS in her village.

Meena is widely recognised and appreciated in most South Asian countries, and is a successful advocacy and teaching tool for girls’ and children’s rights. The Meena figure has achieved remarkable popularity as she tackles the key issues affecting children, and the threats to the rights of millions of girls in South Asia.

The Meena Communication Initiative

UNICEF developed the Meena Communication Initiative (MCI) as a mass communication project aimed at changing perceptions and behaviour that hamper the survival, protection and development of girls in South Asia.

Following eight years of extensive research in the region since the initial conceptualization, UNICEF launched the Meena Communication Initiative in September 1998. The name Meena is one that spans the different cultures in the region, and a cast of carefully researched characters has been created for Meena’s family and community. The Meena stories are entertaining and fun, but also reflect the realities of girls’ lives in South Asia. The stories revolve around the adventures of Meena, her brother Raju, her pet parrot Mithu, and members of her family and village community.

The stories cover issues such as education, health, gender equity, freedom from exploitation and abuse.  A story about girls’ right to play called ‘Fair Play for Girls’ was developed in conjunction with the Asian Cricket Council, and recently the Government of Japan helped UNICEF produce an episode that helps teachers and children deal with the shocks and trauma of natural or human-made disasters.

The MCI arose from a need to find culturally appropriate ways to communicate messages that address the empowerment of girls in one of the world’s most challenging gender environments. Showing a healthy, personable child who can engage constructively with her family and her community to help overcome serious issues has proved extremely popular.

The MCI has been linked to education, health and social development programmes undertaken by UNICEF partners in government, NGOs, the media and the private sector. Meena has proven to be an effective messaging device when implemented alongside other programme interventions, and has enhanced perceptions of girls. Many children have wanted to either emulate Meena or have adopted her as a figurehead for their own efforts to change their worlds.

How is Meena used?

Meena is used as a tool to impart important messages on gender, child rights, education, protection and development.  The Meena stories present many positive images of a girl succeeding against odds to gain equal treatment, love, care and respect.  Creative and exciting story lines have promoted social issues in an appealing and provocative way.

By the end of 2005, 33 stories had been produced by UNICEF’s Regional Office for South Asia.  The core materials are in five languages – English, Bangla, Hindi, Nepali and Urdu. These have been translated or dubbed into many other South Asian languages as well as European languages.

The Meena Communication Package consists of:

  • Comic books
  • Animated films
  • Posters
  • Discussion and teachers’ guides
  • Radio series (produced in collaboration with BBC world service)

The animated film is the flagship medium through which a set of characters and core set of stories come to life, capturing the attention and imagination of audiences and providing a creative focus.

Meena in South Asian Countries

In Bangladesh, Meena stories have been incorporated into the formal and non-formal school curricula. UNICEF Bangladesh introduced the Meena Media Awards in 2005 – an initiative aimed at promoting excellence in media regarding stories for and about children.

In Pakistan, Meena and her brother Raju are Ambassadors for Children’s Rights. The MCI has been systematically integrated as a communication resource into the work of the education, health, and girl/child rights promotion sectors.

In India, the Meena series has attained national recognition and has been integrated as a communication tool within ongoing nationwide education and communication programmes. State-owned radio and television channels are airing spots promoting girls’ education featuring Meena. In Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, the State Education Department has taken the lead in establishing more than 19,000 girls’ groups called “Meena Manch” throughout the state. The process was initiated in 2002. Under the guidance of one facilitator/teacher, the Manch helps ensure age-appropriate enrolment, regular attendance and completion of primary education up to class five by all girls in the area. Meena Cabinets are being set up in primary schools with two children from each class (i.e., classes 3, 4 and 5).

In Nepal, Meena is used as a key resource in initiating community discussion and reflection on child health, development and gender issues, helped by the strong partnership that has been built with the media and other partners.

In Bhutan, UNICEF in collaboration with the Bhutan Post designed and printed 10,000 sheets of Meena postage stamps and 5,000 Meena posters. The Meena postage stamps and posters contain the key message, “Educate Every Girl and Boy”.

In Sri Lanka, Child Rights Education programme and Mine Risk Education programmes use Meena as the role model for educating children, with a spillover effect to adult education.

Meena episodes have been dubbed into local languages and shown on TV in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam as well.

Source: UNICEF ROSA – Media centre – Meena Communication Initiative
Address: https://www.unicef.org/rosa/media_2479.htm
Date Visited: Mon Sep 28 2015 14:47:12 GMT+0200 (CEST)
Updated: 3 November 2018

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