Back to School

The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.

It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.

– Albert Einstein

Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion has no hold on the mind. Therefore do not use compulsion, but let early education be rather a sort of amusement; this will better enable you to find out the natural bent of the child.

-Plato

With school starting back up, here are some articles and videos that might be of interest.


The School of Tlingit Customs and Traditions – By Andrew Hope III

Goosú wé Dropouts? Where Are the Native Dropouts? By Ishmael Hope

School is a prison — and damaging our kids From Salon Longer school years aren’t the answer. The problem is school itself. Compulsory teach-and-test simply doesn’t work

The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto – The underground history of the American education will take you on a journey into the background, philosophy, psychology, politics, and purposes of compulsion schooling.

Be A rebel from Attack the System


Whether you’re a parent looking to homeschool, or a frustrated highschooler (or adult!) looking for something better; here are some of my recommendations on how to supplement or replace your current, compulsory, formal education.

  • Read. I recommend checking out this: Some Recommended Books of Native American Oral Literature
  • Apprentice. Find a master. A carver, weaver, boat builder, welder, carpenter…. anyone. Try out their craft. Show genuine interest. Watch, learn, try, fail, and try again. If it doesn’t seem like their line of work is for you then thank them profusely, and move on.
  • Speak. Speak your native language. For Tlingits, start here: Lingít sh tux̱altóow – I am learning Lingít
  • Exercise. Recess and PE is getting cut across the nation. My daughter’s public school has only 15 minutes of guaranteed recess per day and half an hour of PE per week. Go out hiking. Go pick berries. Go fishing. Get outside. If you are a teenager or older, then start a strength training program. Remember the story The Strong Man. A good rule of thumb: lift heavy stuff three times a week; move around a lot every day (get off that couch); and sprint once a week.
  • Write. Write something every week. Anything. Fiction, poetry, journal entries; whatever. Seek out someone who can help you improve your writing.
  • Create. If this isn’t already covered in your apprenticeship, then create something. Paintings, sculptures, furniture, buildings, weavings, drums, canoes, boats…. create something. Take on a small project first. Finish that project. Then take on a bigger one. Seek out someone to teach and guide you.

Ultimately your education is in your own hands. There is no such thing as natural talent. Talent is persistence and discipline put into action over time through practice and repeated successes and failures. If you do the things above persistently then you will become an educated person.

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About Vince

I am a Tlingit, born and raised in Tlingit Country, and a proud member of the Tlingit Nation.
This entry was posted in Decolonization, Lingít Language, Tribal Education. Bookmark the permalink.

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