Transformative learning, tribal membership and cultural restoration: A case study of an embedded Native American service-learning project at a research university
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Results indicate that the service-learning project served as a catalyst for tribal nation higher education students and tribal leaders to collectively engage in critical reflection. In doing so, both groups came to develop new, emergent views of tribal membership. Students, in particular, emerged with transformed world views and deepened cultural connections, while tribal leaders came to appreciate service-learning relative to tribal needs. We thus assert that service-learning can be a culturally appropriate, sustainable educational mechanism that has application across a wide range of Indigenous
communities, thereby highlighting the instrumentality of this case.
The research also indicates how higher education institutions and fellow researchers oriented to CBPR may render more successful their future collaboration practices with historically marginalised communities. We advocate that service-learning be directed by the tribal nation or community in question. As such, the community’s lived experience and world view becomes the focal point of the partnership, thereby making it culturally relevant and broadening the views of other stakeholders.
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