The Privilege Of Studying Intro For Indigenous Studies : Art, Culture And History

The Privilege Of Studying Intro For Indigenous Studies : Art, Culture And History

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This past semester I had the privilege of studying intro to Indigenous studies: art, culture and history. The textbook is captivating with the history, different photographs and moments focussing on an artistic motif or practice. Although the textbook is educational, the beading sessions were the highlight for myself. The process is unique in my university career with the steps of gathering materials, planning a design and then actually executing it. The learning process and the experience is something unforgettable. It is very different than a typical university atmosphere of exam writing and regurgitating facts.
For my beading piece, I chose to bead a design that combines the moon and sun. Together they complete and share a full circle. I changed the colours of beading half way to match the blue moon or the shining bright yellow sun. I beaded a sleeping face into the moon side. I chose this design because I always liked the aesthetic look of the two together. Moreover, the sun reminds me of my mother and the moon of my father. My mother used to always sing to me the song “You are my Sunshine”, and my father always recites interesting facts about astronomy. Ever since I was a child, I remember the excitement I felt when I was able to see both the sun and moon together in the sky at the same time.
I think it would be strange if Indigenous learning methods were not incorporated into a course specifically on Indigenous art and culture. When someone attempts to immerse themselves in a culture and learn as much as they can, it is necessary to do more than just read academic texts and listen to lectures. The unique traditions of cultures cannot simply translate into words on a page. In this instance, the hands-on learning method is...


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...eed. The Indigenous pedagogy of verbal education mixed with self directed leaning compliment each other and would probably benefit other courses.
I found this course both interesting and entertaining. The readings paired with the visuals in the textbook were extremely educational, and the beading sessions were memorable. The process improved my patience and grew my appreciation and respect for the artistic motif of beading. The social dynamic and Gloria’s guided assistance made the experience unique, especially in the university atmosphere. I thoroughly enjoyed the hands-on approach to acquiring the basics of the skill. The community atmosphere in the beading classroom was extremely helpful as well in learning how to bead and sharing techniques and encouragement. Overall, the experience was relaxing and much appreciated in comparison to typical university courses.

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