The Fund helps TCUs to preserve culture with new grant

Nov 13th, 2013 | By | Category: Online TC News, Tribal College News, Web Exclusive

The American Indian College Fund will work with tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) in the upper-Midwestern states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota to preserve and restore Native arts. The program is designed to increase the intergenerational transfer of artistic and cultural knowledge and processes from elders to adults and children., the program will also provide direct support for Native artists, while stemming the tide of lost and endangered art forms in Native communities.

Funded by an $860,000 grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, the program will expand existing Native arts programs at TCUs by integrating culture-bearers, master artists, apprentices, and artists-in-residence into the classroom. TCUs will also have opportunities to develop courses in Native arts, as well as community outreach programs. TCUs identified bow-making, hide and cloth-painting, quillwork and plaiting, woodland and clay pottery, cedar and reed-weaving, and birch bark pattern and canoe-making as lost or endangered traditional and cultural art forms. The program will help restore these arts.

Cheryl Crazy Bull, president and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, said, “It is important to preserve and restore Native arts and cultural processes…these forms of art and cultural practices are integral to Native identity. Arts were and are a method of storytelling, ceremony, and perpetuation of Native culture and tradition. Thanks to the generous support of the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, the American Indian College Fund can work with tribal colleges to reclaim and restore what has been endangered, while integrating elders into the classroom.”

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