Sacred Journey into Indigenous Communities
Integrated Seminar 101 Section 3
Fall Semester 2013
Shoshoni Sun Dance,
source: Frey 2000
Our textbooks to be used for semester are:
Landscape Traveled by Coyote and Crane: the World of the Schitsu'umsh. University of Washington Press, 2001 (ISBN 0295981628)
Stories That Make the World: Oral Traditions of the Indian Peoples of the Inland Northwest. University of Oklahoma Press, 1995 (ISBN 0806131314)
The World of the Crow Indians: As Driftwood Lodges. University of Oklahoma Press, 1987 (ISBN0-8061-2560-8)
Schedule for PDF and HTML files Note:
all royalties from the sale of the
three textbooks go to
support student scholarships and to the Coeur d'Alene
Tribal Language program.
Note: all royalties from the sale of the three textbooks go to support student scholarships and to the Coeur d'Alene Tribal Language program.
Seminar and Family Session days, times, and locations:
Seminar Times: Tuesday and Thursdays 9:30 - 10:45
Classroom: TLC 023
Family Meetings: TBA NOTE: allow time for regular out-of-class group meetings.
Evening at the Movies: TBA
Office Locations and Hours:
Rodney's office is in Phinney Hall, Rm.116, with office hours on Mondays and Wednesdays 9:30 to 12:00, or by appointment.
Jennifer's will meet you in the Library, with office hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:30 - 2:30pm.
Pilgrimage Edicts - Getting Started and Assistance Along the Way
Schedule of Topics, Assignments and Session Dates - A Map of Our Journey
Leaning Outcomes - Upon Reaching the Summit of Your Pilgrimage
Learning Activities - Skills and Competencies Needed to Reach the Summit
Grading Rubrics - Assessing How Well We're Doing - Grading criteria for Learning Activities
Family Groups and Memberships - A Collaborative Effort
Seminar Resources - More Assistance Along the Way, includes a Bibliography for the Projects
Study Guide - For Exams (Learning Activity A)
Course Description: Throughout history and in the varied communities of the world, sacred journeys within the world’s great traditions have been at the foundation at providing spiritual and cultural significance and meaning to life, and of creating and sustaining communities. Sacred journeys go to the heart of what it means to be "human." During this semester we will consider the sacred journeys embedded in Indigenous communities throughout the world today, with special attention to the Schitsu-umsh and Apsáalooke (Coeur d'Alene and Crow American Indian).
Sacred journeys are of many different types and serve a variety of essential roles. In this seminar we will focus on "rites of passage," such as spiritual quests, initiations into religious and social orders or statuses, states of illness and healing, and the final rite of passage, death. It is through the rites of passage, embedded in oral traditions, that communities facilitate access to and disseminate their quintessential teachings and truths. While all sacred journeys travel over and through an exterior landscape, seeking to discover the divine on a mountain or some other a sacred site, all sacred journeys are fundamentally focused on the interior journeys of the soul and spirit, realizing the divine within oneself. We will discover that all sacred journeys are essential to and shared by all human communities throughout time and throughout the world today.
Before we begin our journey and to better equip you for it, we will develop your learning skills in "Huckleberrying" and "Eye Juggling." The seminar will provide an academic research and learning technique (as distinguished from a theological approach) involving an integrated humanities and social sciences methodology known as Eye Juggling, that allows you to interpret religious/cultural symbols, values and stories from not only Indigenous but from all human communities. As you consider various sacred story texts throughout this seminar, such as an oral narrative or a ritual dance, interpreting these texts will allow you to better understand the meaning embedded within them. It is a methodology that allows you to get a little closer to seeing the world's communities from the perspectives of the community's members themselves. As the seminar's methodology is self-reflexive, as you will “travel” (through the learning activities) into these Indigenous communities, you will at the same time explore and perhaps unveil special and revered territories within him or herself, and his or her own community. And as a consequence, by juxtaposing what can be unique and distinct along side what is often veiled and taken for granted, one also can more clearly reveal and appreciate your own essential and cherished values and teachings.
So we will explore such questions as: what distinguishes the Indigenous from you and what do we all share in common? What is the meaning of rites of passage and how do they influence our lives? How is identity formed, and how are communities held together? What influences our capacities to love and to hate one another? How are we to engage the many strangers amongst us?
While our study of the Indigenous and their oral traditions and rites of passage will be conducted within a scholarly venue, seeking academic objectives, the sacred journey will not and can not be divorced from your own personal quest. This seminar, as with your entire first-year experiences, are themselves a special sort of "rite of passage," within which you will receive many powerful "gifts, and journey on your own unique educational pilgrimage in search of your own "special place." Cherish all the "gifts" that are bestowed on you, gifts from your class experiences, as well as outsider the classroom. They will serve you for a life-time.
Learning Activities and Grade Distribution: This is a seminar modeled as a rite of passage and a pilgrimage. As such, it is a seminar that requires your participation. You can not assume a passive observer's role, viewing the sacred journeys from afar. To help you stay on course and reach your destination, you will need to adhere to the "Pilgrimage Edicts" of this course. As a “rite of passage” and “pilgrimage” some of the learning activities will be conducted as an individual journey, while other learning activities will be engaged as “family” group journeys. The “families” will also serve as study groups.
Your attendance and participation are essential at all seminar sessions and all out-of-class family meetings. Repeated absences will render you as a "rock," . . . . . and rocks don't get good grades! And there are many ways to accumulate rocks. Loading your pockets with rocks only slows your progress toward the seminar's pilgrimage destination. Shouldering too many rocks will prevent you from even reaching that destination.
NOTE: As e-mail is the out-of-class form of instructor-student, as well as family group communications, regularly using and checking of your e-mail is critical. You are expected to check your e-mail on a daily basis.
Each of the seminar's Learning Activities are in turn linked to specific Learning Outcomes of this seminar and of the university. The Learning Outcomes of this seminar are in turn linked to a Grading Rubric. You will be expected to complete the following Learning Activities:
A. Assessing the Growth of the Neophyte (three exams - 45% of your grade)
B. Pilgrimages (attendance, in-class discussions, note-taking and reflective writes - 10% of your grade)
C. Family Quest (group participatory project - 30% of your grade)
D. Library Journey (individual research and reflection essay - 10% of your grade)
E. Common Read Passage (individual response essay - 5% of your grade)
Your final grade will be based upon the total points
earned from A. the three exams (90
points; 30 points for each of three exams);
B. attending seminar
sessions, family group meetings, in-class discussion,
writes (20 points; 1.5
points for the approximate twelve to fifteen meetings/writes/discussions/notes;
repeated misses earn your "rocks" and result in points being taken
family participatory project (5 points for proposal, and
55 points for project, for total of 60 points);
D. library journey (20 points), and E. Common Read essay (10 points).
Only through participation can you arrive at our pilgrimage destination, the
receive your earned and appropriate grade. The following scale typically determines your grade: 180-200 (90%-100%) = A, 160-179
(80%-89%) = B, 140-159 (70%-79%) = C, 120-139 (60%-69%) = D
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