Sacred Journey into the Indigenous
Integrated Seminar 101 Section 3
tentative, subject to change
Go to Topics:
A. Methodology: Approach and Perspective and Contact History Overview (to be covered in 1st exam)
B. Indigenous Communities of the Apsaalooke and Schitsu'umsh
1. Preparing the World: Landscape embedded with Gifts and Bones (to be covered in 1st exam)
2. Perpetuating the World Relations with the First Peoples (to be covered in 2nd exam, along with remembered story)
3. Acquiring the Spiritual Gifts: Rites of Passage (to be covered in 2nd exam, along with remembered story)
4. Relations with the Spiritual Peoples: Sharing the Spiritual Gifts (to be covered in 2nd exam, along with remembered story)
5. Relations with the Animal, Fish and Plant Peoples: Seasonal Round and Home Territories (to be covered in 3rd exam)
6. Relations with the Human Peoples - The Family (to be covered in 3rd exam)
A. Methodology of "Eye Juggling" - Entering the Tin Shed Contact History
What are the key elements and components of the "Eye Juggling" methodology?
What are the similarities and differences between a social science and humanities academic disciplinary approach? What is the importance of each discipline and how can they be integrated, each supporting the other discipline?
Define a "symbol" and "story text," offering your own examples for each.
What are the "bones" of a story?
Be able to apply the "Eye Juggling" method of an interpretation to a specific "Indigenous text."
What are the advantages, as well as limitations of the "Eye Juggling" method?
What is the significance and meaning of the "Tin Shed and Sweat House" stories?
What is meant by "huckleberrying"?
Provide an overview of the major events (disease, the horse, missionaries, war, treaties, reservations and allotment) in the Euro-American contact history with the Apsaalooke and Schitsu'umsh, and their consequences. What is tribal sovereignty and how does it relate to culture change?
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B. 1. Preparing the World
How is the landscape understood before the coming of Human Peoples? How as it changed given the actions of the First Peoples? What did they leave behind? How is the landscape now understood?
What is meant by the "bones" of an oral tradition?
Based upon the materials presented during class, what are the defining values and key teachings as well as ontological principles upon which Indigenous communities, and their entire world are based?
How are the oral traditions and creation stories, understood and used by Indigenous peoples? Be able to re-tell the story of Salmon or Sedna, and identify their "bones."
Provide story examples illustrating of the ethic of sharing and the ethic of competition.
What is the primary goal in one's life? And what are the means to achieving that goal?
Discuss the meaning of the Wagon Wheel, with its "spokes and hub", and its implications for how people live their lives.
What can be in a stone?
Know the meaning of key terms, such as: Snq-hepi-wes, Ashammaléaxia, Unshat-qn, Suumesh/Baaxpée, Ammaakée, the Mi'yep - the "Bones"
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B. 2. Perpetuating the World: Relations with the First Peoples
What does it mean "to swirl with Chipmunk and Coyote" and "stories make the world"? What is an hierophany? From an Apsáalooke and Schitsu’umsh perspective, what are the meanings and implications of these two statements? What are all the processes and components entailed in the efficacy of these assertions, i.e., what contributes to making them work? Provide detailed illustrative examples of the various processes and components. How might this view of reality compare as similar to or different from your own view of reality?
Concerning the “swirl,” look into our
textbooks, Landscape Traveled by Coyote and Crane pp.
196-198; Stories that Make the World pp. 171-173;
and Eye Juggling pp. 9-10 (PDF used at the
beginning of the semester).
What are among the types of oral traditions, and what do they share in common?
What are among the challenges in translating Indigenous oral traditions?
What are the primary goals of a story-teller and a story-listener? What single attribute and skill is needed to successfully re-tell stories and successfully participate in the stories?
Disuses the techniques of storytelling.
Contrast the significance of orality and literacy.
What is dasshússua? Discuss the implications of "the power of words."
What are the three significant roles of the oral traditions? What do they typically do not do?
Know the meaning and implications of baaeechichiwaau.
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B. 3. Acquiring the Spiritual Gifts: Rites of Passage
What are the primary purposes, roles and significances of "rites of passage" in Indigenous communities? Consider both social science and humanities disciplinary perspectives.
What are among the significances of symbolic "death" in a rite of passage?
What are the primary structural stages to a "rite of passage" and of a "pilgrimage"? How are the two processes alike? Provide examples from the textbooks, class presentations and videos. Provide an example from your own experiences that illustrate each stage and both types of processes.
How do rites of passage influence how our identities are formed and how are we integrated into the larger social community?
Compare and contrast the role and meaning of "rites of passage" in Indigenous and Euro-American communities.
Why are "rites of passage" understood so differently and are less emphasized in Euro-American communities?
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B. 4. Relations with the Spiritual Peoples
What is the ritual process of the Apsáalooke Sundance, and why are the Apsáalooke dancing? In light of the Sundance, what is the meaning and significance of the "wagon wheel/medicine wheel"?
What is the ritual process of the Sweat Lodge ceremony?
What is the ritual process of the Jump Dance ceremony and why are the Schitsu'umsh dancing?
Within what context is súumesh - baaxpée best understood? And why is that context critical in understanding spiritual power?
What is the nature of súumesh - baaxpée, some attributes or parameters?
What are the ways and how is súumesh - baaxpée acquired? Provide examples from the textbooks, class presentations and videos.
What are among some of ways súumesh - baaxpée is applied to the lives of the people today, and in the past? Provide examples from the textbooks, class presentations and videos.
Describe the ritual processes of a Navajo "dry painting" healing ceremony? What are the principles upon which a Navajo healing ceremony is based? How and why does it work? What is the meaning of chanting the world into existence?
What is the efficacy of súumesh - baaxpée? How do we understand how it works from an American Indian perspective?
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B. 5. Relations with the Animal, Fish and Plant Peoples - Seasonal Round
What are the defining characteristics of an Indigenous "gatherer-hunter" ecology? What are the key Mi'yep - the "Bones" - that define this Indigenous ecology? From an Indigenous perspective, how is a deer or a field of camas viewed?
What is the "quality of life" among Indigenous "gatherer-hunters" and nature of the "original affluent society"? Contrast that quality of life with American affluence.
Describe the characteristics of Schitsu'umsh "hunting and gathering" and its implications on the "quality of life" of the people. Identify and be able to discuss the essential components (ecological, social and ritual) of the Schitsu'umsh or Nimíipuu "Seasonal Round."
Why did the people of Jericho domesticate plants? What are the long-term implications for humanity of the "walls" and "tower" of Jericho? Why do contemporary Euro-Americans generally view "gatherer-hunters" as "backward" - "nasty, brutish and short-lived"?
What is the meaning of "living by consent of everything else" (from the Makuna) and "finn" (Gabra)? Given this orientation, how must "nature" be viewed? What sort of economic and ecological system is compatible with and an extension of this view? What are the implications of "living by consent" for a "healthy" ecology for non-Indigenous communities?
"Eye Juggle" the "Abrahamic Creation Story"? What is its relationship to the "walls" and "tower" of Jericho? What are the implication of the Abrahamic Creation Story on the contemporary lives of Americans?
What sort of academic disciplinary approaches are reflected in the essays, "Story of Jericho," "Original Affluent Society" and "American Affluence?"? Discuss how each uses and expresses its particular disciplinary method and approach.
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B. 6. Relations with the Human Peoples - the Family
How is a "rich man" defined in American society and in Indigenous society? What are the implication of those contrasting definition on how people relate to each other? What is the meaning of, "a poor man shames us all"?
Contrast and discuss the most important social units in Indigenous and in Euro-American societies.
Compare and contrast the Crow, Coeur d'Alene and Euro-American kinship systems. What type are each? How does each function? Why are "marriage" and "kinship" patterns structured and why do they function so differently in Euro-American communities?
What is a matrilineal descent system and what are the principles upon which it is based?
Define the Crow "biilápxe" relationship and its functions.
What is the particular structural challenge men face in a matrilineal kinship system? How is it resolved?
What are the functions of the clan?
Why in a matrilineal system is the breakup of the marriage bond not synonymous with the breakup of the family?
In what ways can one express his or her "love" for another human being?
How are women characterized in Indigenous society? Why have women become subordinated to men in some other societies?
What are some of the theories accounting for societal "hatred" and "warfare"?
What are the defining qualities, the Mi'yep - the "Bones," embedded in how Indigenous peoples relate to fellow human beings? And what might we, as non-Indigenous, learn from those qualities in how we could relate to fellow human beings?
What sort of academic disciplinary approaches are reflected in the essays, "Loves," "Individualism," "Women's Roles" and "Hatred and War"? Discuss how each uses and expresses its particular disciplinary method and approach.
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