Professor of the Year Teaching at HaskellFeb 15th, 1994 | By jgrayreddish | Category: 5-4: Education, Tribal College News
Dr. Henrietta Mann, a University of Montana professor who was named to Rolling Stone magazine’s top ten professors list in 1991, is spending a year at Haskell Indian Nations University in Kansas.
Mann, a Cheyenne, is a former BIA administrator and works as coordinator of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act coalition. She was awarded national American Indian of the Year in 1988 by the American Indian Heritage Foundation.
Haskell is not Mann’s first experience with tribal college education—which she calls the “answer to the prayers of our grandparents.”
Teaching at Haskell is a liberating experience for Mann, who loves “teaching] a class of all Indian students. This is my year to give back in a very direct way to Indian communities—to be involved in helping to recreate a very positive future for us as Indian people.”
The highlight for Mann this semester is her special topics course, “American Indian Belief Systems.” Despite the generalized title, she quickly notes: “I try to give tribally specific examples—such as this is the way the Cheyennes look at the world.”
Her students sometimes”…have a dragon-image of me. Evaluation of students is not easy. I told my students…that I wish I could say that every student in my class has earned an “A”—there was nothing I would rather do for all of you at Haskell this year. The truth of the matter is that all of you can do it—all you have to do is set your mind to it.”
Mann plans to return to the University of Montana. Her main goal at Haskell this year is to tell Indian students that “they [should] be the best they can possibly be, because they come from a very strong and spiritual people.”