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Native art and school curriculum : Saskatchewan Aboriginal artists' perspectives Lysyk, Linda Marie


This study presents Aboriginal artists' perspectives on the study of Native art in the school curriculum. The case study is a naturalistic inquiry that employs ethnographic techniques to interview nine Saskatchewan artists, five females and four males. Overall, the artists agree on having Native art content in school programs, especially for Native students. All the artists believe that Aboriginal peoples should be involved in the definition and presentation of their art in the school curriculum. The artists show that content, and materials, may or may not be traditional. The artists prefer an observing and modelling approach to teaching bead and leather work, and to teaching drawing and painting. The male artists, primarily, support a research approach for studying the vast, diverse, and complex art of indigenous peoples. As well as learning about the art, the artists stress learning from the art including history, ecology, and about art from a non-Western perspective. The words, stories, and views of all the artists emphasize that art is a dynamic part of Aboriginal peoples' lives and cultures; one which they are willing to explain and share. Native art is a rich resource for school curriculum. It is a resource that must be and can be shaped by Aboriginal peoples.

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