Teaching Indigenous Cultural Expressions

Decolonizing Frances Densmore's Legacy in Education

Land Acknowledgment

We stand on lands originally belonging to the Wahpekute Band of the Dakota Nation. We acknowledge the history covered in pain and violence that was forced upon this tribal land. Now known as Rice County, our goal is to acknowledge the injustices that have been enacted and to honor those that have been harmed and continue to be affected. We wish to fight against current and future wrongdoings committed by our nation on this tribe and to focus on reparations from the past in the form of action. This action we hope to focus on efforts of healing and education.

Project Mission

This project serves to collect resources, from both Frances Densmore’s collection and Indigenous culture-bearers, that represent Indigenous musics (or Traditional Cultural Expressions) in a way that honors their history and significance to their peoples. We hope to challenge western narratives of Indigenous cultures and to prevent appropriation of traditional cultural expressions in the classroom.

About Us

This project began in 2022 as a mapping project, exploring the possibilities of spatial representation for Frances Densmore’s body of research. In the course of this original project, the researchers realized a need for means of engagement with Densmore’s work that prioritized the past and present needs of the Native communities she worked with. This need was particularly apparent in the context of music education. The project was expanded into its current form with funding from a Magnus the Good Collaborative Fellowship.