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Working for Social Justice Inside and Outside the Classroom

A Community of Students, Teachers, Researchers, and Activists

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Edited By Nancye E. McCrary and E. Wayne Ross

What were once distinct professions for serving others and building knowledge are now communities of workers struggling against a tide of increasingly unregulated capitalism that is being fed by human greed. Teachers have become education workers, joining a working class that is rapidly falling behind and that is increasingly being silenced by the power elite who control nearly all the wealth that once supported a thriving middle class. Working for Social Justice Inside and Outside the Classroom delivers critical counter-narratives aimed at resisting the insatiable greed of a few and supporting a common good for most. The book is dedicated to hopeful communities working against perpetual war, the destruction of our natural environment, increasing poverty, and social inequalities as they fight to preserve democratic ideals in a just and sustainable world. Written by some of the most influential thinkers of our time, this collection is a tapestry of social justice issues woven in and out of formal and informal education.
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Chapter Eleven: Counter-Narratives in State History: The 100 Years of State and Federal Policy Curriculum Project Educational Thought and Sociocultural Studies

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ELEVEN

Counter-Narratives in State History: The 100 Years of State and Federal Policy Curriculum Project Educational Thought and Sociocultural Studies

Glenabah Martinez

Introduction

Indigenous youth in high schools in the Southwest are faced with daily challenges to their individual and collective existence as Indigenous Peoples.1 While the argument is made that all youth and teachers face challenges to some degree in school settings by scholars such as Casanova (2010), Lee (1995, 2005), Lopez (2003), and Patel (2013), the challenges that Indigenous youth face in public school settings are different. In the Southwest, they are different because of the history of tense relations between Indigenous Peoples and the colonizing nations of Spain, Mexico, and the United States that precedes them as they enter high school for the first time. They are qualitatively different because of their cultural ties to their aboriginal homeland, which calls for them to fulfill community and cultural obligations throughout the year. They are unique, as Indigenous legal scholar David Wilkins (2002) reminds us, because Indigenous Peoples are the original inhabitants of the Americas. As descendents of the original inhabitants, Indigenous Peoples possess cultural distinctiveness, property rights, and political sovereignty. Oftentimes, however, the unique position that Indigenous Peoples occupy is not consistently recognized in public education. Instead, the interests of the colonizing state are dominant in determining, for example, what counts as knowledge.

The intensity of cultural hegemony in public institutions of...

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