Dr. Vivian Delgado, assistant professor of languages and ethnic studies, has begun writing a regular column for the Bemidji Pioneer on Native American issues and topics, including the ongoing “Truth and Reconciliation” efforts in Bemidji. The first issue of her column was published in February 2015.
• October 24 – “A succinct overview of education”
Delgado shares her thoughts on education being at the heart of a truth and reconciliation process that could take many years to complete.
“Everyone has their own truth, honesty, sincerity and conformity with facts,” she said. “Reconciliation requires people work together to establish a friendly environment, to have consistent ideas without protest or harm with a goal for some level of contentedness.”
• August 22 – “Original teachings and worldviews”
Delgado explores Creation stories as the source of an indigenous person’s original teachings.
“Creation stories describe for them their geographical surroundings, their place, their relationship with the land, and their environmental knowledge and teachings,” she said. “It is this revered knowledge and teachings that guide our inner thoughts and daily ways of life. It is how we make sense of the world around us.”
• July 20 – “Learning from the first teachers”
Delgado examines family relationships that become “part of the natural laws that fortify and strengthen the “we” in one’s nation.”
• June 21 – “The future, and the past, of indigenous education”
Delgado contemplates the meanings behind Indigenous education and Indigenous studies.
“I have come to realize that not only are they are based on very ancient knowledge with roots tied to Indigenous ancestral beliefs, philosophies and teachings, they are based on ancient, diverse environments: land, waters, people and cosmos, as well,” she said.
• May 23 – “Education: The rites of passage”
Within Indigenous cultures, rites of passage are used to keep individuals connected to their communities, traditions and beliefs.
• March 21 – “Education, perspectives and reflections”
How a person’s relationship to their environment and their connections to previous generations can help guide them through life’s difficult decisions.
• Feb. 21 – “Education: What is it?”
Having a Native voice presents many opportunities as well as challenges; the goal however is to be able to share and contribute intellectually.