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Museum to offer Native American arts course


By Anthony Broderick



November is National American Indian Heritage Month, and IU will offer a two-day course on Native American art and culture at Mathers Museum of World Cultures starting Tuesday.

Classes will be today and Nov. 19, from 7 to 9 p.m.

This course will make use of the Mathers Museum collections, which are not normally on public display.

Jason Baird Jackson, associate professor of folklore and Mathers Museum director, will teach the course.

Jackson recently had a book published by Oklahoma Press titled “Yuchi Indianan Histories Before the Removal Era.”

The book focuses on the civilization and ethnology of the Yuchi Indian tribal
communities.

When he was a graduate student in the 1990s, Jackson studied the exploration of Native American arts and cultures by working with different Native American Indian communities in Oklahoma.

Jackson said this continuing education class is aimed toward an adult audience and some undergraduate students who are interested in the topic.

“This time of month is a good time to convey what Native Americans arrange their culture, traditions, music, customs, crafts, dance, morals and ways and concepts of life,” Jackson said. “Native American communities have and always will be a part of modern America.

“They lived in the same country as everyone else for decades before everyone else and continue to do so.”

The course will explain and introduce the endemic lifestyle of Native Americans and the historical preservation of their tribes in the present-day United States.

Jackson said he wants this course to help end stereotypes of Native Americans, whether portrayed in media from around the world or on campus.

He said he wants students to gain insight on the cultures’ traditions and heritage they may not know about.

“These kinds of courses offered at IU focus on helpless heritages and bringing understanding and peace to their nation,” Jackson said. “This course helps bring down the stereotypes and misunderstandings, which is misinterpreted and extremely disrespectful toward Indian culture.”

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