Education on the Reservation: Extracurricular and Culturally-Relevant Programming
This dissertation, “Education on the Reservation: Extracurricular and Culturally-Relevant Programing,” examines educational activities for Lakota youth on an Indian reservation from the founding of a mission school (1886-1972) to the present day. The research compares colonial education paradigms at the former mission school with the culturally-relevant curricula at a tribally-run juvenile detention facility founded in 2005 on the reservation. The mission school and tribally-run juvenile hall have articulated almost identical goals: to produce productive citizens of high character. I focus on extracurricular programing because this is the realm in which activities associated with Indianness and culturally-relevant curricula have existed at both institutions. While students are supposedly less regulated during extracurricular activities, these facilities nevertheless require that students adhere to specific performances. This project considers how curricula linked with assimilation and subordination have come to seem “natural” or “common sense,” even to those who were victimized by these models. Conversely, this dissertation asks how have Lakota thinkers been able to move beyond such programming to innovate and/or retraditionalize tribal programs for youth. Tribally-run juvenile detention facilities are relatively recent developments that scholars have yet to explore.