Wyoming Arts Council

Ancient Native arts bring cultural revolution to tribal colleges and universities

tribal college

Gabrielle Tateyuskanskan, workshop teacher, prepares student pottery for the Traditional Dakota Pottery Firing Methods Workshop at Sisseton Wahpeton College. (Courtesy Sisseton Wahpeton College)

From Indian Country Today Media Network:

Ancient Native arts and technology are bringing a cultural revolution to 13 tribal colleges and universities that received a grant from the American Indian College Fund. The three-year “Restoration and Preservation of Traditional Native Art Forms and Knowledge Grant” allows tribal colleges and universities (or TCUs) to develop curriculum on lost or rare art forms that have fallen out of usage.

“It’s art now, but back then, they were items for everyday living and use. Birch bark and porcupine quills; we are treasuring the gifts the land gives,” Ronald Turney, Ojibwe, Leech Lake Tribal College multimedia specialist, said about collecting materials for the projects. “Everyone had a canoe, everyone always had baskets, there was always someone tanning hides. The rarity (of creating these traditional objects) has transformed into art now, and we are planning on bringing these things back.”

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/11/23/rare-traditional-arts-making-comeback-tribal-colleges-162501

There are 32 tribal colleges and universities in the U.S. One of them is Wind River Tribal College in Fort Washakie, Wyo.

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