Lacing Together Mathematics and Culture

Document Type


Publication Date



For a great many students, mathematics is a vast, loosely connected collection of facts, procedures, and routine problems (Fey 1990, NCTM 2000). Native Americans students, in particular, may find that their educational experience lacks relevance (Williamson 1987). Historically there has been a cultural mismatch between the traditional school math perspective and the cultural orientations of Native American Indians. This mismatch has created a very real dilemma for many students who have been raised in different cultural tradition (Cajete 1999, p. 5). The problem, then, becomes how to develop a culturally rich curriculum.