FDL Presents Peacock with Achievement Award

Aug 15th, 2000 | By | Category: 12-1: Celebrating Our Students, Tribal College News

Tom Peacock stands along the St. Louis River where the Ojibwe and Dakota signed a peace treaty in 1826. Photo by Charles Curtis

Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College presented Dr. Thomas Peacock a Lifetime Achievement Award at graduation ceremonies May 19. Peacock is a former board member for the tribal college and a tribal member. He has become known internationally for his research and for his efforts on behalf of Indian education.

Speaking about the need for systemic change in Indian education last winter in Cortez, Colo., he said, “Something is terribly wrong in Indian education. The communities are in trouble. A lot of kids are too wounded to educate.” He emphasized that the problems impeding education, such as institutional racism and poverty, are too complex for piecemeal approaches. Since 1973, Peacock has directed Indian youth programs, directed Indian education for the Duluth Public Schools and for the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, served as a school principal and superintendent, and operated his own educational consulting firm. “What we have done for the past 30 years has not brought the changes we desired,” he said. To solve these problems, Indian people can turn to their fundamental cultural values. He described his own Anishinabe people’s values, such as honoring the Great Mystery; honoring women; keeping promises; being kind, peaceful, and forgiving; and being moderate.

Peacock grew up on the Fond du Lac Reservation near Cloquet, Minn. He edited a book of archival research and interviews compiled by band members, A Forever Story: the People and Community of the Fond du Lac Reservation.  He also wrote Collected Wisdom: American Indian Education with Linda Miller Cleary in 1998; and Ojibwe: We look in all Directions, a photo history book with Marlene Wisuri. He is a published poet and a frequent contributor to Tribal College Journal and other education journals.

Peacock holds master’s degrees from the University of Minnesota and from Harvard University. He earned his doctorate in education at Harvard in 1989. Since 1993, he has held an endowed chair at the University of Minnesota –Duluth.  He leads a cohort education doctoral group at UMD through which four American Indians have earned doctorates. He has served on the Tribal College Journal Research Review Panel since 1995.

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