An educational model based upon the "old Lakota ways" (ehanni lakol wicohanki tunkasila kiksuye) and a plan to implement the model

Sheris R. Red Feather
School of Educational Leadership & Change, Fielding Graduate University
August, 2006


This dissertation addresses the problem of educational injustice that exists in Indian Country today (Cajete, 1994; Deloria & Wildcat, 2001; Gilliland & Reyhner, 1988; Jacobs, 2001a, 2001b, 2001c, 2001d). Because of this injustice, an educational model was developed based upon the "old Lakota ways." Qualitative methods using one-on-one interviews with Lakota elders were used to gather the data for the study. A plan to implement the model is also included.

The Lakota elders suggested that an educational model based on the old Lakota ways would consist of elements including teaching the Lakota language, teaching the Lakota culture, teaching the Lakota history and beliefs, teaching the Lakota values, observing the sacred ceremonies, telling Lakota stories, teaching Lakota songs and dances, teaching Lakota survival skills and games, and preparing children spiritually. Implementation of the model would include starting with the lower grades, hiring teachers who live a Lakota life, inviting elders to talk with the children, having family members teach the children, teaching/learning in a continuous environment, teaching the current educational ways, using language immersion, and involving the college administrators.