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Circling the Cross: Bridging Native America, Education, and Digital Media

November 28, 2008

Part of the Volume on Learning Race and Ethnicity: Youth and Digital MediaTo paraphrase a Native elder, any road will get you somewhere. The question for Native America is, where will the information highway take them? As Native Americans continue to face challenges from the legacy of colonialism, new media provide both an opportunity and crises in education. Standardized education policy such as No Child Left Behind and funding cuts in social services inadvertently impact Net access and Indian education, yet alternative programs and approaches exist. It is necessary that programs conceptualize new media learning strategies within a historical context by being sensitive to the political and cultural connotations of literacy and technology in Native American communities. By encouraging the use of new media as a tool for grassroots community media and locally relevant storytelling, this chapter asks educators to consider an alternative epistemology that incorporates non-Western approaches to ecology and knowledge.

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