Perceptions of North Dakota spiritual leaders on incorporation of cultural information into courses transmitted over tribal college distance learning networks
Carol Ann Davis, Walden University, United States
Walden University . Awarded
This qualitative interview study involved 18 spiritual leaders from six tribes located on the four North Dakota American Indian reservations. Using 17 cultural traditions common to each tribe, the spiritual leaders defined the tribal cultural information, based on tradition, that was appropriate or inappropriate for transmission over tribal college distance learning networks in North Dakota. They also clarified who may relate the information and under what circumstances.
The cultural data were presented in three main categories: (a) sacred ceremonies and sacred objects, (b) general cultural information, and (c) ceremonies to celebrate events. Evaluating the spiritual leaders' responses revealed several commonalities, but very few of the traditions had standard responses as each spiritual leader arrived at his or her resolution based on a rationale idiosyncratic to that particular tribe. Just as there were similarities, there were also many differences. The matrix for the traditions revealed a diversity of opinion and many recommendations by the spiritual leaders for how specific cultural information was to be discussed or demonstrated on distance learning networks and by whom for each tribe.
Due to the sacredness of some of the traditions, a culturally sensitive protocol was used when approaching the spiritual leaders for information. The study revealed that spiritual leaders clearly were concerned about sending cultural information over distance learning networks. But their responses indicated that they are willing to get involved in the process.
Davis, C.A. Perceptions of North Dakota spiritual leaders on incorporation of cultural information into courses transmitted over tribal college distance learning networks. Ph.D. thesis, Walden University.
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