On March 18, 2021, the California Department of Education adopted the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum. Chapter 3 of the Model Curriculum includes a section on “Native American Studies.” Three Native and Indigenous educators will reflect on this and the state of ethnic studies in their regions. The educators are Dr. Harold Begay, Dr. Sachi Edwards, and Dr. Ronda Māpuana Shizuko Hayashi-Simpliciano. Kasumi Yamashita will serve as the moderator of the panel. She is an Instructor for SPICE and was trained as a cultural anthropologist at Harvard University and was a Fulbright Scholar to Brazil.
Some of the topics that will be addressed include (1) the various academic field names of the study of Native and Indigenous people; (2) the complexity and diversity of Native and Indigenous people’s experiences, highlighting key concepts like indigeneity, settler colonialism, diaspora, social justice and activism; and ontological and epistemological philosophy; and (3) recommended resources for K–12 educators.
These topics are not only relevant to teachers in California but to teachers in other states as well. K–12 educators and administrators are encouraged to sign up at https://bit.ly/3z4kxtc.
Dr. Harold Begay, Superintendent of Schools, Navajo Nation, was raised on the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona, amid a deep bicultural chasm irrevocably bound by his traditional Dine’ (Navajo) culture upbringing and mainstream Western Greco-Roman education in the United States. He completed his Ph.D. in school finance/economics, concentrating his advanced studies in educational administration, bilingual education, and social foundations of education from the University of Arizona. Dr. Begay has worked in several Native American school districts in different teaching and administrative capacities over a span of 25 years. Has been a Visiting Scholar at U.C. Berkeley and is currently doing transnational educational work with Stanford University.
Dr. Sachi Edwards
Dr. Sachi Edwards is a Faculty Member at Soka University in Tokyo, Japan, and also a Lecturer in the Educational Foundations department at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa. Her areas of research include higher education, internationalization, and religious identity, diversity, and oppression. Dr. Edwards received a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Maryland, College Park. She teaches classes about higher education, international and intercultural education, educational theory/philosophy, qualitative research methods, and academic writing. She was recently featured with Dr. Ronda Māpuana Shizuko Hayashi-Simpliciano in discussion on “Ainu in Diaspora: Rising from Shame, Honoring Ainu Resilience,” hosted by the Japanese American Memorial Pilgrimages.
Dr. Ronda Māpuana Shizuko Hayashi-Simpliciano
Dr. Ronda Māpuana Shizuko Hayashi-Simpliciano is Vice Principal of the Hawaiian language immersion school, Ke Kula Kaiapuni ʻo Ānuenue, Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. She is an Ainu-Hawaiian scholar and educator who works in the field of indigenous language and culture restoration. She did her doctoral work at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa. Dr. Hayashi-Simpliciano recently gave a talk on “Ainu in Diaspora History,” hosted by the Japanese American Memorial Pilgrimages.