Celestial calendar-paintings and culture-based digital storytelling: cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, STEM/STEAM resources for authentic astronomy education engagement
Department of Physics and Astronomy, St. Cloud State University, 740 Fourth Ave. S., St. Cloud, Minnesota, 56301, USA; Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College,
2102 14 th Street,
2 Consultant, Ojibwe language and culture; visual artist, Minnesota, USA
3 Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, 2102 14th Street, Cloquet, Minnesota, 55720, USA
4 College of St. Scholastica, Department of Am. Ind. Studies, 1200 Kenwood, Duluth, MN, 55811, USA
5 Consultant, visual artist, art educator, Minnesota, USA
6 Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre, 2-1100 Waverly St., Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 3X9, Canada
7 Director of the SCSU American Indian Center, St. Cloud State University, 740 Fourth Ave. S., St. Cloud, Minnesota, 56301, USA
8 Curator, Physical Sciences and Medicine, Conservateur, Sciences physiques et médecine Ingenium - Canada's Museums of Science and Innovation, Musées des sciences et de l’innovation du Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
Published online: 1 February 2019
In D(L)akota star knowledge, the Sun is known as Wi and the Moon is Han-Wi. They have an important relationship, husband and wife. The pattern of their ever-changing relationship is mirrored in the motions of Sun and Moon as seen from our backyards, also called the lunar phases. The framework of the cultural teaching is storytelling and relationships. Cultural perspectives in astronomy such as this remind us of how indigenous ways of knowing are rooted in inclusion, engagement, and relevancy. Designed by A. Lee in 2007, the Native Skywatchers initiative seeks to remember and revitalize indigenous star and earth knowledge, promoting the native voice as the lead voice. The overarching goal of Native Skywatchers is to communicate the knowledge that indigenous people traditionally practiced a sustainable way of living and sustainable engineering through a living and participatory relationship with the above and below, sky and earth. In 2012 two indigenous star maps were created: the Ojibwe Giizhig Anung Masinaaigan-Ojibwe Sky Star Map (A. Lee, W. Wilson, C. Gawboy), and the D(L)akota star map, Makoce Wicanhpi Wowapi (A. Lee, J. Rock). In 2016, a collaboration with W. Buck of the Manitoba First Nations Resource Centre (MFNRC), produced a third star map: Ininew Achakos Masinikan- Cree Star Map Book. We aim to improve current inequities in education for native young people especially through STEM engagement, to inspire increased cultural pride, and promote community wellness. Presented here will be recently created resources such as: astronomical calendar-paintings and short videos that exist at the intersection of art-science-culture. As we look for sustainable ways to widen participation in STEM, particularly in astronomy education, part of the conversation needs to consider the place for art and culture in STEM.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2019
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.