Native Village 
Youth and Education News

October, 2013

Getting Smarter About Indian Education: Who Has The Power?
Condensed by Native Village

Hayden Lawn on the Tempe, Arizona campus of Arizona State University.

A new study, For Our Children: A Study and Critical Discussion of the Influences on American Indian and Alaska Native Education Policy,” spotlights organizations, universities and people who most influence American Indian/Alaska Native education.

The study was done by Hollie J. Mackey (University of Oklahoma) and Linda Sue Warner (Northeastern A&M College)

Mackey and Warner say that until now, the most influential reports have been the The Kennedy Report (1968) and the Merriam Report (1928.) Both studies have played an enduring role in Indian education legislation and policy. Both share similar recommendations and identify similar problems. The main difference is Collier’s intention to promote economic rehabilitation as a means to tribal self-governance.

John Collier was the Superintendent of Indian Affairs who commissioned the Merriam Report. Congress’s responded with the Indian Reorganization Act.

"For Our Children" listed many organizations as the most influential in Indian education. They include the nonprofits:

“It is interesting to note that neither the Department of Education’s Office of Indian Education Programs or the Bureau of Indian Education, both largely responsible for financing Indian education, were included in participants’ responses as influential organizations,” says the study.

The study noted six highly influential universities in Indian education:

 influential sources of information for Indian education include:

Websites and print media outlets were another source of influence noted by Mackey and Warner:

Influential universities as sources of information include:

 Federal agencies and offices as sources of information include:

influential people named in the study include:

John Tippconnic, the Comanche and Cherokee director of the American Indian Studies department at Arizona State University Dr. Henrietta Mann, the founding president of Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College  Byron Dorgan, who established the Center for Native American Youth at The Aspen Institute.

“This study might begin a critical conversation about the education of American Indian and Alaskan Native students that would not only include them in the broader context of American education, but also provide insight into the people themselves; what they value, who they trust, and what is most influential and important to them in terms of the future of their children,” the study says. “It is our hope that our study will provide educators and scholars alike a snapshot of the state of influence in both policy and practice and will provide a catalyst for researchers beginning their careers.”


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