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K-State Today

March 16, 2018

College of Education colleagues co-author article to inspire future Osage Nation agricultural education leaders

By Patrice L. Scott

A doctoral student and two College of Education faculty members recently co-authored a journal article focusing on the unique intricacies of the Osage Nation's needs concerning agricultural education — intricacies that traverse sociocultural, geographical and jurisdictional complexities. 

Jann Hayman, educational leadership doctoral student and director of the department of natural resources for the Osage Nation, was the lead author of "New Horizons in the Osage Nation: Agricultural Education and Leadership Development."  

Alex RedCorn, assistant professor of educational leadership and member of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma, and Jeff Zacharakis, professor of educational leadership, were co-authors. The article was published in the "Journal of Research in Rural Education." 

"I am honored to have worked with Dr. RedCorn and Dr. Zacharakis on this publication, who were not only supportive of me but supportive of the belief that this publication can make a difference in Indigenous communities," Hayman said. "I believe this article can facilitate conversations of agricultural education development and inspire future Indigenous agricultural leaders." 

The authors explain Indigenous peoples' deep connection to the land and the need for an agricultural education program that encompasses their belief system and develops practices that will sustain the land for future generations. The overarching goal is to cultivate Osage-specific agricultural leaders with place-based identities. 

RedCorn applauded Hayman's insight.

"Jann is to be commended for the work she put into this publication, as this article helps lay an important foundation in the literature for the development of Osage agricultural education in modern contexts," RedCorn said. "The value of an article such as this cannot be understated, as it offers both theoretical foundations for future research, as well as practical considerations for future program development." 

In 2006, the Osage Nation generated a 25-year strategic plan that highlighted six areas of focus: economic development, cultural preservation, education, health, minerals and natural resources, and governance and justice. While specific agricultural education goals were not originally outlined in the plan, the authors argue that developing agricultural education in the Osage Nation will still help the community further its progress across many of the stated areas of focus. Furthermore, since the Osage Nation has recently reacquired large amounts of acreage that historically belonged to the tribe, the authors claim that now is an opportune time for the development of place based, Osage specific agricultural education programming to help foster new generations of Osage land stewards to help manage that land in a culturally responsive manner.