The jingle dress dance is a spiritual healing practice dating back to 1918. Guided by the research efforts of Brenda Child—professor and current chair of the Department of American Studies—an exhibit featuring the evolution of the dress will launch in April 2019. How did this tradition emerge from a story, a dream, and the worst pandemic that the modern world has seen?
Last March, three staff members in the Department of American Indian Studies traveled to Hawai’i to observe their full-immersion schools. Potentially implementing elements from full-immersion programs like those in Hawai’i could help facilitate the necessary efforts toward Dakota and Ojibwe language revitalization.
With as few as 1,000 Native speakers of Ojibwe remaining, preserving the language is more important than ever. It’s “a big effort to not lose who we are; how we view the world is in the language,” says Professor Brendan Fairbanks, who works tirelessly to revitalize the language through teaching, research, and special programming.
The Native Artist Talk Series, hosted by the Department of American Indian Studies, features Native American artists and provides a platform for discourse about modern Native American identities, creating opportunities for engagement between students, University alumni, faculty, and the Twin Cities community.
Due to rising sea levels, the Pacific Islands are struggling with cultural loss as Natives are forced to relocate. To counteract the potential loss of water practices in Pacific Islander cultures, Professor Vince Diaz is working on three major canoe projects that will work in tandem to maintain and adapt their ancient traditions.