Abstract

Native American cultures have persisted despite systematic suppression through government policies, education policies, and the impact of stereotypes and stigmatization. Stereotypes interfere with art educators’ instruction of Native American learners and effective teaching about Native American art. This study focused on the life stories of Ruthe Blalock Jones, a Native American woman who is an artist and educator, to inquire into how she understood these experiences, the value she placed on them, and how she negotiated two or more cultures. A dual methodological framework for the study was developed that combined indigenous research methodology with feminist methodology. Themes that emerged from the data included identity development, strategies for circumventing federal regulatiosn that made practicing Native American religions illegal, and cultural suppression through stereotypes, including race-based mascots. Art educators should be reflexive concerning their dispositions toward Native Americans, develop culturally literacy and culturally responsive instruction, and assist students’ understanding of Native Americans by addressing stereotypes prior to meaningful learning about Native American art.

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