Education Indigenous Students in Higher Education in the United States
by
Robin Zape-tah-hol-ah Minthorn
  • LAST REVIEWED: 30 March 2020
  • LAST MODIFIED: 29 July 2020
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756810-0245

Introduction

This article attempts to highlight literature that focuses on Indigenous students, including the various areas that work to support and honor Indigenous students, faculty, staff, and communities. Only since 2000 has there been more literature produced by Indigenous scholars that honors Indigenous peoples’ lived experiences. This article attempts to focus on Indigenous-authored and Indigenous-centered literature whose goal is to shed light on how we better support Indigenous students through representation, research, teaching, and learning to the praxis of being an Indigenous student affairs professional and faculty member.

Representation of Indigenous Students

This topic provides an overview of literature regarding the representation of Indigenous students in higher education in the United States. This includes university-specific data to specific research that focuses on institutional type such as the Ivy League college experience for Native American college students and experiences of Indigenous men in higher education (Wright 2012, cited under Indigenous Students in Higher Education; Brayboy 2004 and Brayboy, et al. 2017, both cited under Addressing Indigenous Student Inequities in Higher Education). There are a wide variety of topic areas that present general information on Natdive American students in higher education to the invisibility that still exists for Indigenous students through their campus experiences to their exclusion in data and policy (Brayboy, et al. 2012 and Brayboy, et al. 2015, both cited under Indigenous Students in Higher Education; Lopez 2017, cited under Addressing Indigenous Student Inequities in Higher Education; Fox, et al. 2005 and Minthorn and Shotton 2015, both also cited under Indigenous Students in Higher Education). This section is broken down into three subsections: Indigenous Students in Higher Education, Indigenous Higher Education Policy, and Addressing Indigenous Student Inequities in Higher Education.

Indigenous Students in Higher Education

In this section, resources are highlighted that provide an overview or general understanding of Native American and Native Hawaiian students in higher education. This includes college access, nation building, and necessary areas of support as presented in Brayboy, et al. 2012 and Brayboy, et al. 2015. Fox, et al. 2005 is noted as one of the first pieces that extensively discussed how to serve Native students. Two recent edited volumes, Shotton, et al. 2013 and Waterman, et al. 2018, discuss how to better understand Native student experiences, and the latter book discusses efforts to Indigenize programs that support Native student success.

  • Balutski, B. J. N., and E. K. Wright. 2012. Native Hawaiian student profile: Annual report on the status of Native Hawaiian students in the University of Hawai‘i System using institutional data. Kōkua a Puni, U.S. DOE Title III Strengthening Institutions. Honolulu, HI: Univ. of Hawai‘i.

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    The mission of Native Hawaiian Student Services (NHSS) is to serve Native Hawaiian students at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa through a comprehensive, culturally respectful, and academically competent program of student support and advising services. The first kuleana is to provide support to all Native Hawaiians pursuing higher education. The second kuleana is to provide support and guidance to all Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge (HSHK) students.

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  • Brayboy, B. McK. J., A. Fann, A. E. Castagno, and J. A. Solyom. 2012. Postsecondary education for American Indian and Alaska natives: Higher education for nation building and self-determination. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    This volume explores the factors that influence university attendance in Indigenous communities and upon enrollment in institutions of higher education, the factors that influence college completion. Chapters cover the legacy of Western education in Indigenous communities, the experiences of Indigenous students in K–12 systems, transitions from student to faculty of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) graduates, and recommendations that can improve the success of Indigenous students and faculty. Central to this book is the foundational concept that Native American students are nation builders, and the institutions that work with them are doing so within a nation-to-nation relationship and framework.

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  • Brayboy, B. McK. J., J. A. Solyom, and A. E. Castagno. 2015. Indigenous students in higher education. Journal of American Indian Education 54.1: 154–186.

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    This article reports findings from research on the experiences, challenges, and achievement of American Indians in higher education. It offers information on those at predominately white institutions and those with tribal colleges and universities. Findings suggest racism remains a challenge for students at predominantly white institutions. Overall, students and faculty report deep satisfaction in working with Native students, and a majority indicate an ongoing desire to work in, with, and for Native communities.

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  • Fox, M. J. T., S. C. Lowe, and G. S. McClellan, eds. 2005. Serving Native American students. New Directions for Student Services 109. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    This volume includes a series of chapters that provides historical background for American Indian education. The text includes a list of factors to consider in retaining Native American students as well as stories of American Indian students, along with perspectives from parents, tribal leaders, faculty, and staff who address the issues of Native American identity and American Indian epistemologies. Authors suggest approaches to serving American Indian students in tribal colleges and services that should be provided at other institutions.

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  • Minthorn, R. S., and H. J. Shotton. 2015. Native American students in higher education. In Today’s college students. Edited by P. A. Sasso and J. L. deVitis, 31–43. New York: Peter Lang.

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    Understanding the lived experiences of Native American college students in higher education is important as higher education seeks to better serve and support all college student populations. This book chapter encourages conversation and learning about Native American students in higher education, including general experiences of Native students, building community on campus, and transitioning back home. Finally, authors offer recommendations for improving how colleges and universities serve Native American students. Available for purchase online.

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  • Nelson, C. A. 2015. American Indian/Alaskan Natives in higher education fact sheet. Center for Policy Research and Strategy Post-Traditional Student Profiles. Washington, DC: American Council on Education.

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    This fact sheet shows the demographic characteristics of American Indian/Alaskan Native students attending higher education institutions. It also includes the location of the areas in which AI/AN students are attending these higher education institutions. Included in this fact sheet are the financial aid trends and the degree aspirations for AI/AN students.

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  • Shotton, H. J., S. C. Lowe, S. J. Waterman, eds. 2013. Beyond the asterisk: Understanding Native students in higher education. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

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    This book challenges all of us to move beyond the asterisk, to a deeper understanding of the complex needs, programs, and areas to expand the narrative of Indigenous students in higher education. This book includes topics on how to support Native experiences in national organizations: from how to support Native faculty and graduate students and honor the culture of Native American students, to looking at the Historically Native American Fraternities and Sororities movement.

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  • Waterman, S. J., and K. E. Wright. 2015. Transforming institutions through serving Indigenous students. In Navigating with courage: The annual knowledge community conference publication. Washington, DC: National Association of Student Personnel Administrators–Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education.

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    Best practices for serving Indigenous students can transform higher education theory and practice. Native participation in higher education has increased since the late 20th century. An institution may not realize it has a Native population on campus because of the diversity of Native Americans (Shotton, et al. 2013). The authors provide their approach as scholar-practitioners to serving Native students and explain the Family Education Model.

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  • Waterman, S. J., S. C. Lowe, and H. J. Shotton, eds. 2018. Beyond access: Indigenizing programs for Native American student success. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

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    This book is a follow-up to Beyond the Asterisk and provides a deeper context to Indigenized programs that promote (or are provided within) higher education settings. This includes highlighting programs such as developing a college-going culture, the role of tribal colleges and universities, the recruitment and retention of Native American students in STEM and nursing programs, financial aid, educational leadership programs, and data regarding Native American college students with disabilities.

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  • Wright, E. K. 2012. Lead writer for “People: Students” section. In Ke au hou: Final report of the UH Mānoa Native Hawaiian Advancement Task Force. Honolulu: Univ. of Hawai‘i.

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    This document provides an overview of the work of the task force that was to examine and recommend goals, objectives, and activities that would authentically reflect this university’s uniqueness as a Native Hawaiian place of learning, a world-class institution. As Native Hawaiian scholars and educators, the members of the task force took this charge seriously because while we represent diverse disciplines, our commitment to Native Hawaiian advancement is unified.

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Indigenous Higher Education Policy

There are three recent pieces that have attempted to provide a deeper understanding to Indigenous higher education policy. Deloria, et al. 2018 discusses efforts to better understand political movement and leadership within a broad array of areas that are tied to historical and contemporary realities of Indigenous peoples. Lopez and Marley 2018 provides information on federal data sets and what challenges exist and future directions around this form of research and data. Salis Reyes and Shotton 2018 discusses policy and areas of work that support Native American and Native Hawaiian student success.

  • Deloria, P. D., K. T. Lomawaima, B. Brayboy, et al. 2018. Unfolding futures: Indigenous ways of knowing for the twenty-first century. Daedalus 147.2: 6–16.

    DOI: 10.1162/DAED_a_00485Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This publication offers Native and non-Native voices on subjects ranging from political movements, adaptive leadership, and representational politics to the production of scientific knowledge, the ethics of bioscience, and language preservation. The fifteen essays in the volume are informed by the authors’ shared goal of addressing two questions: What have we learned from the past? And how can we better the future?

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  • Lopez, J. D., and S. C. Marley. 2018. Postsecondary research and recommendations for federal datasets with American Indians and Alaska Natives: Challenges and future directions. Journal of American Indian Education 57.2: 5–34.

    DOI: 10.5749/jamerindieduc.57.2.0005Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Discusses methodological strengths and limitations of federally managed postsecondary data with American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) college student populations. The validity concepts are applied to dominant culture and AI/AN postsecondary persistence theories. Challenges of conducting scientifically valid research with AI/AN populations using large federally available data sets are considered within the described research and measurement validity frameworks. This critique focuses on needs for culturally relevant constructs and AI/AN subpopulation-specific studies. Available by subscription online.

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  • Salis Reyes, N. A., and H. J. Shotton. 2018. Bringing visibility to the needs and interests of Indigenous students: Implications for research, policy, and practice. Policy report commissioned by the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE). Bloomington, IN: National Institute for Transformation and Equity.

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    This report brings visibility to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians in US higher education. The authors highlight what we know that contributes to or hinders their postsecondary access and success. Some of these factors include Indigenous college access programs, culturally relevant curricular and cocurricular experiences, and opportunities to give back to their communities.

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Addressing Indigenous Student Inequities in Higher Education

This section highlights areas in which various scholars have attempted to dismantle and provide clarity around inequities in higher education for Indigenous students. Brayboy 2004 discusses the experiences of inequities for Native students attending Ivy League schools. Brayboy, et al. 2017 continues this conversation in discussing the recognition of the lack of Indigenous males in higher education and what factors have come into play for this inequity. Lopez 2017 starts to analyze and provide a connection to the issues of access in general within higher education for Native American students. Other pieces of literature offer a deeper narrative on inequities or focus on specific areas that impact equity such as the pervasive representation of the settler colonial narrative in higher education and the impact that has on Indigenous students.

  • Brayboy, B. McK. J. 2004. Hiding in the ivy: American Indian students and visibility in elite educational settings. Harvard Educational Review 74.2: 125–152.

    DOI: 10.17763/haer.74.2.x141415v38360mg4Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article explores the experiences of three Native American students attending Ivy League universities in the 1990s. Reflects larger societal beliefs and statements about the perceived place of Native Americans in higher education and US society. Posits that Native Americans are visible in these institutions in ways that contribute to their marginalization, surveillance, and oppression. In response, these students exercise strategies that make them invisible to the largely white communities in which they attend school.

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  • Brayboy, B. McK. J., J. A. Solyom, J. Chin, et al. 2017. A study of Indigenous boys and men. Tempe, AZ: Prepared for Research, Integration, Strategies, Evaluation for Boys and Men of Color.

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    Highlights community programs that promote the education and well-being of Native men and boys. The findings and recommendations capture the breadth and depth of educational experiences among Indigenous men and boys. In addition, the authors identify guiding principles that might not otherwise be included, such as cultural practices (i.e., spirituality) in intervention(s), personal, and emotional influences, and other individualized details regarding educational access, persistence, and attainment.

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  • Davidson, C. E. Striving to be human in non-Indigenous institutions of higher education. Washington, DC: NASPA Knowledge Communities Publication: Professional Competencies.

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    Non-Indigenous institutions of higher education often understate the role that traditional Indigenous values play in the holistic development of Indigenous students. Discourses on student success fail to document how these foundational philosophies often undergird both academic persistence and cultural survival. As institutionalized capital continues to mute the importance of place and Indigenous habitude within college settings, other responses are needed to better grasp the levels of Indigenous student development.

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  • Guillory, R. M., and M. Wolverton, and V. Appleton. 2008. American Indian voices in the model of institutional adaptation to student diversity. Journal of American Indian Education 47.2: 51–75.

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    The purpose of the study reported in this article was to determine whether the Model of Institutional Adaptation to Student Diversity remains a useful diagnostic model in examining institutional responsiveness to American Indian/Alaska Native issues at three land-grant universities. A two-part analysis first examined the policies and policy interpretation at each university. Phase 2 compared nine faculty and thirty American Indian/Alaska Native student perspectives about campus diversity initiatives.

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  • Lopez, J. D. 2017. American Indian access to higher education: Where are all the NDNs? In Culturally sustaining and revitalizing pedagogies: Language, culture, and power. Edited by C. Coulter and M. Jimenez-Silva, 41–60. London: Emerald.

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    This chapter explores factors that contribute to the accessibility of higher education for Native American students. The differences in the rate of Native Americans attending institutions of higher education are not attributed to one single problem. This chapter argues that it is imperative to acknowledge an accumulation of experiences influences higher education accessibility and that to increase attendance of Native Americans, a multifaceted approach informed by Tribal Critical Theory must be used.

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  • Minthorn, R. 2018. Being displaced on your own homelands: The narratives of Native American young adults finding space in The United Methodist Church. In Displaced persons: Theological reflection on immigration, refugees, and marginalization. Edited by T. Moore and K. Armistead, 99–117. Nashville: General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

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    This study explores the relationship of Christianity, spirituality, and access to programs within The United Methodist Church (UMC) for Native American college students and young adults as they navigate their higher education journeys and life experiences. The study used a mixed-methods approach with former and current young adult United Methodist Native Americans to better understand their lived experiences and provide an understanding of the context of culture and identity.

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  • Minthorn, R., and C. A. Nelson. 2018. Colonized and racist campus tour. Journal of Critical Scholarship on Higher Education and Student Affairs 4.1.

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    This article explores the macrostructural aspects of college campuses to understand how higher education institutions embody hostile campus climates against Indigenous students. This case study articulates the historical and contemporary aspects of space and place in higher education. Provides virtual racist campus tour by rearticulating typical campus tour components through a critical Indigenous approach. Lastly, recommendations are offered to engage in work that dismantles educational systemic racism.

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  • Nelson, C. A. 2017. Shifting from data invisibility towards data usage: Research and data collection at tribal colleges and universities. Washington, DC: American Council on Education.

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    This report highlights the invisibility of Native American perspectives that continues to plague higher education, despite numerous calls for action from educational advocates across the country. It provides context on the lack of data usage for Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) and gives recommendations on how to uphold cultural integrity for data reporting, understanding the lack of resources and high needs areas for TCUs, and how to improve data usage.

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  • Tran, J., M. Wong, E. K. Wright, et al. 2010. Understanding a Pacific Islander young adult perspective on access to higher education. Special issue: California Journal of Health Promotion 8:23–38.

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    This paper provides an in-depth, qualitative assessment of the environmental, structural, socioeconomic, and social challenges that prevent Pacific Islander (PIs) from attaining higher education; it also discusses the needs of PI young adults as they relate to psychosocial support, retention and recruitment, and health career knowledge and access. This paper represents a local Southern California assessment of PI young adults regarding educational access barriers.

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  • Willmott, K. E., T. L. Sands, M. Raucci, and S. J. Waterman. 2016. Native American college students: A group forgotten. Journal of Critical Scholarship in Higher Education and Student Affairs 2.1: 79–104.

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    Utilizes qualitative content analysis of over two thousand journal articles, professional association conference programs, and reflective memos to detail the extent to which Native American college students remain a forgotten group within the literature. The study concludes by exploring the benefits of expanded Native American college student research and proposes a research agenda that guides higher education professionals to better serve the educational needs of this unique group.

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Indigenous Methodologies and Research in Higher Education

Brayboy 2005 is a foundational piece that centers tribal nations and Indigenous students as political beings whose narratives around research and work should be acknowledged. There are other works that have built on to this research and work, such as Oliveira and Wright 2015 and Minthorn and Shotton 2018, which posit that research that is done with and for Indigenous students and communities are to be centered in Indigenous epistemologies and ways of being. This section offers resources that center Indigenous methodologies and research to honor Indigenous voice and experience.

  • Brayboy, B. McK. J. 2005. Toward a Tribal Critical Race Theory in education. The Urban Review 37.5: 425–446.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11256-005-0018-ySave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    In this article, central tenets are outlined of an emerging theory called Tribal Critical Race Theory (TribalCrit) to more completely address the issues of Indigenous peoples in the United States. This theoretical framework provides a way to address the complicated relationship between American Indians and the US federal government and begin to make sense of American Indians’ liminality as both racial and legal/political groups and individuals.

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  • Minthorn, R., and T. Marsh. 2016. Centering Indigenous college student voices and perspectives through photo voice and photo elicitation. In Special issue: Indigenous issues in education and research; Looking forward. Edited by T. Flowerday and D. McInerney. Contemporary Educational Psychology 47: 4–10.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.cedpsych.2016.04.010Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Explores how Native American college students experience space and place. The objective of this study is to clearly understand how Native American students view their educational environment. This study is designed to inform the institution, local tribal communities, and the existing body of research on how participants viewed their college experience in relation to space and place, and how we might more adequately serve Native American college students.

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  • Minthorn, R. S., and H. J. Shotton, eds. 2018. Reclaiming Indigenous research in higher education. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Univ. Press.

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    Indigenous scholars have started to reclaim research through the development of their own research methodologies and paradigms based in tribal knowledge systems and values and that allow inherent Indigenous knowledge and lived experiences to strengthen the research. The book highlights the current scholarship emerging from these scholars of higher education.

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  • Oliveira, K. R. K. N., and E. K. Wright, eds. 2015. Kanaka ‘Ōiwi methodologies: Mo‘olelo and metaphor. Hawai‘inuiākea 4. Honolulu: Univ. of Hawai‘i Press.

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    A collection of “methods-focused” essays written by Kanaka scholars across academic disciplines. To better illustrate for practitioners how to use research for deeper understanding and positive social change, as well as language and cultural revitalization, the texts examine Native Hawaiian Critical Race Theory, as well as Hawaiian traditions and protocol in environmental research, using mele (song) for program evaluation, and more.

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  • Salis Reyes, N. A. 2017. A space for survivance: Locating Kānaka Maoli through the resonance and dissonance of critical race theory. Race Ethnicity and Education 21.6: 739–756.

    DOI: 10.1080/13613324.2017.1376632Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article maps a new theoretical space for Kānaka Maoli, within the landscape of critical race theory (CRT). Salis Reyes weaves together relevant concepts from extant strands of CRT with Kanaka Maoli knowledge and interests in the offering of new tenets toward a Kanaka Maoli critical decolonizing framework (KanakaCrit).

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  • Shotton, H. J., A. R. Tachine, C. A. Nelson, R. Z. Minthorn, and S. J. Waterman. 2017. Living our research through Indigenous scholar sisterhood practices. Qualitative Inquiry 24.9: 636–645.

    DOI: 10.1177/1077800417744578Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article explores the concept of Indigenous scholar sisterhood practices and its powerful role in affirming Indigenous women to survive and thrive in the act of research and the larger academic landscape. The article addresses how they extend beyond transactional validity practices in qualitative research and engage in a collective form of validity that is holistic and grounded in Indigenous ways of knowing. Available for purchase online.

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  • Tachine, A. R., E. Yellow Bird, and N. L. Cabrera. 2016. Sharing circles: An Indigenous methodological approach for researching with groups of Indigenous peoples. In Special issue: Indigenous knowledge as a mode of inquiry. International Review of Qualitative Research 9.3: 277–295.

    DOI: 10.1525/irqr.2016.9.3.277Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Used sharing circles as an Indigenous research methodology approach to understand the stories of Native American students as they transitioned to college. They found recognition, responsibility, and relationships as anchors in incorporating tribal cultural protocol in research. As Native scholars, they conclude by considering their cultural and ethical responsibilities as well as the complex tensions that surface as an “insider” and “outsider” when using sharing circles.

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  • Tsinnajinnie, L., R. Minthorn, and T. Lee. 2019. K’e & Tdayp-tday-gaw: Embodying Indigenous relationality in research methods. In Applying Indigenous research methods: Peoples and communities. Edited by S. Windchief and T. San Pedro, 37–54. New York: Routledge.

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    In considering the deepest core value in Indigenous research, the authors center themselves upon relationality or K’é and Tdayp-tday-gaw (in their own Diné and Kiowa worldviews). This chapter includes excerpts from a recorded narrative to the authors’ experiences as students and their engagement in Indigenous education; their individual narratives on their approach to research; and a recognition of the relationality that connects their individuality back to K’é and Tdayp-tday-gaw.

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  • Windchief, S., and K. Ryan. 2018. The sharing of Indigenous knowledge through academic means by implementing self-reflection and story. AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples 15.1: 82–89.

    DOI: 10.1177/1177180118818188Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article contemplates the passing of Indigenous knowledge through academic means by implementing self-reflection and story. Concluding that Indigenous research is for the Indigenous community, this article explores several questions: What are the “rules” for using Indigenous methodologies? How can we use Indigenous methodologies that reflect our community identity? How can we reciprocate in the sharing of Indigenous knowledge? How can we share Indigenous knowledge that maintains cultural protocol? Available for purchase online.

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Retention and Persistence

This section highlights the research and work that specifically discusses retention and persistence factors related to Native American students in higher education. Guillory 2009 specifically addresses the complexities of understanding the various factors and barriers to impact American Indian and Alaskan Native student retention. To dig deeper, literature that includes first-year programs (Francis-Begay 2016), unique pathways to degree completion (Makomenaw 2014), and creating a home away from home (Tachine, et al. 2016) are highlighted. These are all important considerations when higher education institutions consider resources of support for Native American students.

  • Francis-Begay, K. 2016. Research report: College choice and transition experiences of first-year Native American students at the University of Arizona, a mixed-method approach. Tucson: Univ. of Arizona Press.

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    A principal purpose of the Native American Applied Research Initiative (NAARI), and this report is to generate practice-relevant data about college choice, transition, and first-year experiences of Native American students. In reporting results from their study, they consider students’ perspectives on how practices at the University of Arizona are facilitating and inhibiting access, validating and invalidating a sense of belonging, and overall success for first-year Native students.

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  • Guillory, R. M. 2009. American Indian/Alaskan Native college student retention strategies. Journal of Developmental Education 33.2 (Winter): 12–21.

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    Presents findings from a study examining the similarities and differences between American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) student perceptions and the perceptions of state representatives, university presidents, and faculty about persistence factors and barriers to degree completion specific to AI/AN. A comparative analysis of themes emerging from interviews reveals conflicting perceptions among participants. Retention-to-graduation strategies are offered for institutions of higher education to support these students and their tribal communities.

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  • Joseph, D. H., and S. Windchief. 2015. Nahongvita: A conceptual model to support rural American Indian youth in pursuit of higher education. Journal of Indian Education 54.3: 76–97.

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    Jospeh and Windchief interweave their individual and collective voices throughout the article, they provide a glimpse of their Hopi and Fort Peck Assiniboine identities. They include work that present models or concepts that support American Indian students’ pursuit of higher education. The Nahongvita model provides a unique platform in that it is broadly applicable to Indigenous communities; it empowers students to utilize their own experiences to define “Home” and “home” communities.

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  • Lopez, J. D. 2018. Factors influencing American Indian and Alaska Native postsecondary persistence: AI/AN Millennium Falcon persistence model. Research in Higher Education 59.6: 792–811.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11162-017-9487-6Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The purpose of this review of literature is to identify variables, relevant to AI/AN postsecondary persistence, and to examine the relationship between findings and postsecondary persistence theories. The factors were organized into four emerging themes: family support, institutional support, tribal support, and academic performance. Due to the lack of research conducted using measures important to AI/AN persistence, the understanding of factors influencing AI/AN student postsecondary persistence is limited.

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  • Makomenaw, M. V. 2014. Goals, family, and community: What drives tribal college transfer student success. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice 51.4: 380–391.

    DOI: 10.1515/jsarp-2014-0039Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examines success factors for American Indian tribal college students who transfer to four-year predominantly white institutions. The study examined the experiences of eight tribal college transfer students to Midwest universities. Using an Indigenous methodology, three themes were found to help American Indian tribal college transfer students succeed, which were personal goals and dreams, family matters, and being a member of an American Indian community.

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  • Tachine, A. R., N. Cabrera, and E. Yellow Bird. 2016. Home away from home: Native American students’ sense of belonging during their first year in college. Journal of Higher Education 88.5: 785–807.

    DOI: 10.1080/00221546.2016.1257322Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Using the peoplehood model, this study employed sharing circles to explore Native American students’ sense of belonging and factors that influence it during their first year in college at Southwest University. Findings indicated that many Native students experienced racial microaggressions and disconnections from their home communities. Family and the Native student center on campus provided a “home away from home.”

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  • Waterman, S. J. 2012. Home-going as a strategy of success among Haudenosaunee college and university students. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice 49.2: 193–209.

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    Fifty-four Haudenosaunee (Iroquois, predominantly in New York State) college graduates were interviewed regarding their educational experiences. Findings from this study support those and others who have contended that students of color find strength in their families and communities. This study explored the home-going behavior of Haudenosaunee college graduates.

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  • Waterman, S. J., and T. L. Sands. 2016. A pathway to college success: Reverse transfer as a means to move forward among the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois). Journal of American Indian Education 55.2: 51–74.

    DOI: 10.5749/jamerindieduc.55.2.0051Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examines the reverse transfer behavior of Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) college graduates as a forward moving process toward four-year degree completion. Integration, involvement, the Family Education Model, and Tribal Critical Race Theory (Brayboy 2005, cited under Indigenous Methodologies and Research in Higher Education) help explain this behavior. Findings support the reverse transfer literature offering a positive perspective and cultural context to this college pathway.

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  • Youngbull, N. R., and R. Minthorn. 2018. Demystifying influences on persistence for Native American first-generation college students. In Clearing the path for first-generation college students: Qualitative and intersectional studies of educational mobility. Edited by A. C. Rondini, B. Richards, and N. Simon, 257–284. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

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    Higher education institutions need to understand how to support Native first-generation students in their first year and throughout their higher education journey. This chapter has two main sections. First, there is an examination of Native student literature and an overview of student support structures that promotes Native student persistence. Second, there is a study that examines fifteen American Indian Gates Millennium scholars’ journeys, including recommendations to better support first generation Native American students.

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Indigenous Student Culture and Identity

This section provides examples of literature that seek to honor Indigenous student culture and identity at the center. This has been done by providing an alternative and deeper perspective to the reasons that silence protects culture (Covarrubias and Windchief 2009) to how we honor symbols and space on campus (Waterman and Arnold 2010). All of this serves as a mechanism of support for those who serve Indigenous students to better understand how to support and honor Indigenous students.

  • Covarrubias, P. O., and S. Windchief. 2009. Silences in stewardship: Some American Indian college students examples. The Howard Journal of Communications 20.3: 333–352.

    DOI: 10.1080/10646170903300754Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study focuses on three functions of silence that are central to the college experiences of American Indian students. The article shows silence to inhabit empowering and generative communicative actions within which are American Indian students. They explore how interactants actualize silence in the direct service of particularizing, perpetuating, and protecting culture. The authors show how silence is used to maintain traditional cultural practices, distinguish cultural practices, and safekeep cultural elements.

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  • Minthorn, R. 2014. Accommodating the spiritual and cultural practices of Native American college and university students. The Journal of College and University Student Housing 41.1: 154–163.

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    This article will address some of the unique practices within the Native American student population, as demonstrated in part by the description of a campus incident that ignited a change in housing practices at one university. The information in this article will assist residence life professionals in knowing how to better accommodate the spiritual and cultural practices of Native American students in on-campus residential settings.

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  • Shotton, H. S., S. J. Waterman, R. Harper, and N. L. Wilson. 2010. Isolation and traditional Native identity: Hodekki. In More than listening: A casebook for using counseling skills in student affairs work. Edited by R. Harper and N. L. Wilson, 133–147. Washington, DC: National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

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    This book chapter provides a case example of a Native student, Hodekki, who is attending an Ivy League university and has a hard time adjusting at the institution. There is a case study overview, a response from student affairs professionals, and then a counseling perspective. Integrated in the response are highlights of literature that focus on Indigenous identity and center an Indigenous perspective so non-Native professionals can make those connections.

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  • Waterman, S. J., and P. P. Arnold. 2010. The Haudenosaunee flag raising: Cultural symbols and intercultural contact. Journal of American Indian Education 49.1–2: 125–144.

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    Describes the Haudenosaunee flag raising at a predominantly white high school in central New York. The historical and educational background and current school setting provide the context. Indigenous epistemologies frame the authors’ interpretation of the symbol developed by three Haudenosaunee high school students who designed a logo for the flag-raising event. The authors argue that the logo is an example of the students’ sophisticated understanding of their indigeneity.

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  • Waterman, S. J., and L. Lindley. 2013. Cultural strengths to persevere: American Indian women in higher education. NASPA Journal About Women in Higher Education 6.2: 139–165.

    DOI: 10.1515/njawhe-2013-0011Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Includes discussion of values and practices of contemporary Native American women; data pertaining to Native American women’s participation in higher education; and an introduction of familial cultural capital, community cultural wealth, Native resiliency, and nation-building capital (see PhD dissertation by L. Lindley, “A Tribal Critical Race Theory Analysis of Academic Attainment: A Qualitative Study of Sixteen Northern Arapaho Women Who Earned Degrees at the University of Wyoming” [2009]). The women in this article come from two distinct tribal communities: Northern Arapaho and Haudenosaunee. Both women cited culture, community, and family as foundations of their success in college.

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  • Windchief, S., and D. H. Joseph. 2015. The act of claiming higher education as Indigenous space: American Indian/Alaska Native examples. Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education Studies of Migration, Integration, Equity, and Cultural Survival 9.4: 267–283.

    DOI: 10.1080/15595692.2015.1048853Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examines the concept of claiming postsecondary education as Indigenous space using curriculum, American Indian student services, and digital media. The intention of this manuscript is to address the disparities that are the result of assimilative educational practices in higher education for American Indians/Alaska Natives by employing theoretical strategies grounded in Indigenous epistemologies and implementing practices used in creating Indigenous community within the context of higher education. Available for purchase online.

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Financial Aid

This section highlights one report that has been released, Nelson and Frye 2016, that provides a deeper understanding of the nuanced issues that tribal colleges and universities face. This area of research is evolving and growing to assert a deeper understanding of financial aid through a nation-building lens and Indigenous-centered perspective.

  • Nelson, C. A., and J. Frye. 2016. Tribal colleges & universities: A funding pattern like no other MSI. Washington, DC: American Council on Education MSI Funding Brief.

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    This issue brief emphasizes the important progress Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) have made and describes inequities in funding that limit their ability to impact the tribal communities they are chartered to serve. It identifies five points: TCUs are perpetually underfunded, the formula for federal funds only allocates money for Native students, they receive zero federal funding for non-Native students, they are limited in their ability to increase tuition, and the underfunding may jeopardize the educational attainment of Indigenous students.

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Housing

This section presents Singson, et al. 2016, which was published to help student affairs professionals—specifically, residential housing staff—to better understand how to support Native American students and provide Indigenous-centered experiences for them.

  • Singson, J. M., A. Tachine, C. E. Davidson, and S. J. Waterman. 2016. A second home: Indigenous considerations for campus housing. Journal of College & University Student Housing 41.1: 95–109.

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    This article raises concerns on how higher education institutions inhibit Native students and their worldviews. The authors apply the Four Rs that represent issues faced by Native students to make relevant the cultural significance of place, community, and spirituality among Native students that applies to college housing. An explanation of the meaning of land, Indigenous knowledge, and Indigenous ways of being is provided to strengthen practices and improve the housing experiences for Native students.

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Indigenous Leadership in Higher Education

This section presents an evolving area that centers Indigenous thought and values when examining leadership in higher education. Johnson, et al. 2003 grounds the idea of Native leadership in a way that honors our Indigenous ways of being and the sovereignty that guides Indigenous peoples. Minthorn and Chavez 2015 encourages us to move away from the individualistic and patriarchal approaches used in academia to an Indigenous-focused approach that allows Native American students, administrators, and faculty to better connect to ideals of what Indigenous leadership means for them. The first Indigenous student leadership development article to be published, Minthorn, et al. 2013 provides an overview of the impact of a Native student–initiated conference, and the second article, Minthorn 2014, provides a deeper understanding of the perspectives and values of Indigenous leadership.

  • Johnson, V., M. K. P. Benham, and M. J. van Alstine. 2003. Native leadership: Advocacy for transformation, culture, community, and sovereignty. In The renaissance of American Indian higher education: Capturing the dream. Edited by M. K. P. Benham and W. J. Stein, 149–165. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

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    It is important to understand Native leadership and how it has been influenced by social, cultural, and historical contexts. This chapter examines this form of leadership because it is critical not only to our common growth and development as a nation but to the growth and development of future educational leaders. This chapter discusses Native leadership, specifically that of tribal college leaders.

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  • Minthorn, R. 2014. Perspectives and values of leadership for Native American college students in non-Native colleges and universities. Journal of Leadership Education 13.2: 67–95.

    DOI: 10.12806/V13/I2/R4Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Researchers and practitioners need to understand not only the views of Native students but also how cultural values impact Native student perspectives of leadership and leadership development, particularly given that this population is shaped by their tribal values, families, and home communities. The purpose of this study is to explore the meanings and perspectives of leadership among Native American college students who are student leaders in Native American student organizations.

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  • Minthorn, R., S. Wanger, and H. Shotton. 2013. Developing Native student leadership skills: The success of the Oklahoma Native American Students in Higher Education (ONASHE) conference. American Indian Culture and Research Journal 37.3: 59–74.

    DOI: 10.17953/aicr.37.3.01843v2733240715Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Examines the development of leadership skills among Native American college students through the Oklahoma Native American Students in Higher Education (ONASHE) annual conference. A research study was designed to assess the impact of ONASHE on the development of leadership skills among student attendees of the conference. Three major themes emerged regarding Native student leadership development, including developing a positive self-image, community building, and Native role models.

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  • Minthorn, R., and F. A. Chavez, eds. 2015. Indigenous leadership in higher education. New York: Routledge.

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    This book provides perspectives from Indigenous leaders in higher education to improve colleges and universities in service to Indigenous students and professionals. It discusses ways that leadership norms, values, assumptions, and behaviors find their origins in cultural identities and how they affect the evolvement of colleges and universities in serving Indigenous peoples. This book introduces readers to relationships between Indigenous identities and leadership in diverse educational environments and institutions.

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  • Waterman, S. J., and C. Nelson. 2012. Indigenous peoples knowledge community: Igniting leadership through collaborative efforts of NANIPKC, going beyond the asterisk. In NASPA ignite leadership influence change: The annual knowledge community conference publication. Edited by National Association of Student Personnel Administrators–Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, 24–26. Washington, DC: National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

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    In 2006, members of NASPA’s Indigenous Peoples Knowledge Community (IPKC) and ACPA’s Native American Network (NAN) gathered to discuss the future of these organizations. An alliance developed and NANIPKC was formed. NANIPKC identified leaders within the Native American community of higher education to coauthor Beyond the Asterisk: Understanding Native American College Students. This book increases visibility, portrays accurate knowledge about Native American students, and provides valuable resources for higher education.

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Study Abroad

This section highlights Wanger, et al. 2012, which seeks to provide a better understanding to reasons Native American students do and do not study abroad from an institutional research study.

  • Wanger, S., R. Minthorn, K. Weinland, B. Appleman, M. James, and A. Arnold. 2012. Native American student participation in study abroad: An exploratory study. American Indian Culture and Research Journal 36.4: 127–151.

    DOI: 10.17953/aicr.36.4.08707161x6235611Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This exploratory case study examines the participation of Native American students in study abroad and institutional policies and practices. The study surveyed Native students enrolled at a land-grant university. Although Native students value the benefits of study abroad, the study finds that they face a unique confluence of factors that limit participation. The role of Native students’ social networks is found to be prominent in deliberations about participation.

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Peer Mentoring

This section includes Nelson and Youngbull 2015 and Shotton, et al. 2007, which discuss the role of peer mentoring and service learning in relation to Native American students in higher education. It is important to understand how cultural values and community create a positive higher education experience for Indigenous students.

  • Nelson, C. A., and N. R. Youngbull. 2015. Indigenous knowledge realized: Understanding the role of service learning at the intersection of being a mentor and college-going American Indian. In Education 21.2: 89–109.

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    This article begins by presenting the research problem and a short overview of service-learning literature. It continues by introducing the method of inquiry and the role of Tribal Critical Race Theory (TribalCrit) in this study. Through a reflexive, service-learning model, synthesized are three concepts relevant to the mentoring experience for American Indian students: (a) a sense of relationship, (b) a sense of community, and (c) a sense of power.

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  • Shotton, H. J., E. S. Oosahwe, and R. A. Cintrón. 2007. Stories of success: Experiences of American Indian students in a peer-mentoring retention program. Review of Higher Education 31.1: 81–107.

    DOI: 10.1353/rhe.2007.0060Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Employing a phenomenological approach, this study explored the experiences of American Indian college students in a peer-mentoring retention program at one university. The findings revealed key elements in establishing a successful peer-mentoring relationship and confirmed that peer mentoring can be a vital component in American Indian student integration and academic success. These findings warrant further investigation into the characteristics of successful peer-mentoring programs using other American Indian populations.

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Cultural Centers and Family Connections

In relation to building a sense of community, Shotton, et al. 2010 posits that cultural centers for Native American students serve an important role in honoring space and providing a place for them to call home. Guillory and Wolverton 2008 provides a deeper understanding on the pivotal role that family has in motivating Native American students to complete their degrees. Minthorn 2015 discusses the impact that family has on the academic achievement and as a motivator to not only complete higher education but to also engage with Indigenous student communities on campus.

  • Guillory, R. M. 2003. Giving back to tribal community: A factor in college persistence. The American Indian Graduate 3.1 (Fall): 7.

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    The study’s central goal was to assess what Native American students say serve as the strongest persistence factors toward completing a college education, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The majority of the students interviewed claimed that “giving back to the tribal community” (p. 7) is a primary driving force toward earning a college education.

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  • Guillory, R. M., and M. Wolverton. 2008. It’s about family: Native American student persistence in higher education. Journal of Higher Education 79.1 (January–February): 58–87.

    DOI: 10.1353/jhe.2008.0001Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Presents findings from a study (Guillory 2003) exploring the similarities and differences between Native Americans’ student perceptions and the perceptions of state representatives, university presidents, and faculty about persistence factors and barriers to degree completion as they relate to Native American students. The authors suggest implications that apply not only to the study institutions but also to universities that serve American Indian students and respective Native American communities.

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  • Minthorn, R. 2015. Native American student connections to community and family: Impacts on academic outcomes. In Student involvement and academic outcomes: Implications for diverse college student populations. Edited by D. Mitchell Jr., E. Daniele, K. Soria, and J. Gipson Jr., 203–218. New York: Peter Lang.

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    The increased presence of Native American college students requires advocacy and promotion of practices that researchers and practitioners should better understand not only the views of Native students but also how cultural values impact academic outcomes through the influence of tribal values, families, and home communities. The purpose of this study explores the meanings and perspectives of Native American college student leaders and how the roles of cultural values, family, and community impact academic outcomes.

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  • Shotton, H. J., E. S. Oosahwe, and R. A. Cintrón. 2010. Perspectives on American Indian cultural centers in higher education. In Culture centers in higher education: Perspectives on identity, theory & practice. Edited by L. Patton, 49–62. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

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    Provides background information on the historical relationship between American Indian college students and higher education. It then provides history and context of one cultural center at the University of Oklahoma and its role to provide space and support for American Indian students while on campus. Recommendations are provided on how to better support cultural centers on campus.

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Historically Native American Fraternities and Sororities

This section honors the Historically Native American Fraternities and Sororities movement (HNAFS) and its evolvement of having Native Americans in the Greek movement beginning in the early 1990s as described in Oxendine, et al. 2013. Minthorn and Youngbull 2019 discusses how HNAFS have a unique role in creating space for Native American college students to be a part of the Greek system and simultaneously honoring their own culture and ways of being.

  • Minthorn, R. Z., and N. R. Youngbull. 2019. Reclaiming and asserting our nations through the growth of historically Native American Fraternities and Sororities (HNAFS). In Supporting fraternities and sororities in the contemporary era. Edited by P. Sasso, P. Biddix, and M. Miranda, 210–218. Sterling, VA: Myers Education Press.

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    Historically Native American Fraternities and Sororities (HNAFS) roots go back to the mid-1990s and has blossomed to include seven organizations. Currently, there are seven HNAFS on NNCU and tribal college and university (TCU) campuses nationwide. In this chapter, we aim to provide a greater understanding of HNAFS through discussing these unique organizations’ histories, structures, traditions, and cultural rites of passage. Lastly, we offer implications for practice in working with and advocating for the continued success of HNAFS.

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  • Oxendine, D. R., S. D. Oxendine, and R. Minthorn. 2013. The historically Native American fraternity and sorority movement. In Beyond the asterisk: Understanding Native students in higher education. Edited by S. Lowe, H. Shotton, and S. Waterman, 67–80. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

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    In this chapter, the authors explore the foundation and growth of Historically Native American Fraternities and Sororities (HNAFS) and the emergence of these organizations within the context of the broader fraternity/sorority system. They also discuss the challenges these organizations face in their evolution, expansion, and relevance in both higher education and the Native American community. Last, they provide recommendations for current and future professionals who work with HNAFS.

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  • Still, C., and B. Faris. 2019. Understanding and supporting historically Native American fraternities and sororities. New Direction for Student Services (Spring): 51–59.

    DOI: 10.1002/ss.20293Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This chapter provides perspectives and recommendations for student affairs practitioners who work with Native students and historically Native American fraternities and sororities.

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STEM

Johnson, et al. 2017 discusses Native Americans in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), being an evolving space that is being created through an indigenized approach in offering curriculum, honoring belief systems, and understanding that Indigenous knowledge systems have informed these disciplines since their founding. These publications speak to these areas and help to inform researchers, faculty, and staff in the STEM areas how to serve and honor Indigenous students and communities. Windchief and Brown 2017 discusses the importance of including mentoring as a pivotal role in STEM for Native American students, meanwhile Williams and Shipley 2018 discusses how cultural taboos can impact whether Native students decide to take STEM courses in the first place, both being important factors for entry and retention.

  • Dalbotten, D. M., E. Ito, S. Eriksson, et al. 2017. Gidakiimanaanawigamig’s circle of learning: A model for partnership between tribal community and research university. Interdisciplinary Journal of Partnership Studies 4.3.

    DOI: 10.24926/ijps.v4i3.176Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Looks at the gidakiimanaaniwigamig math and science camps for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade and the Research Experience for Undergraduates on Sustainable Land and Water Resources, which takes place on two Native reservations, and support for new majors at tribal colleges. Strong partnerships between university, tribal college, and Native American reservations were a foundation for success but took time and effort to develop. This paper explores steps toward effective partnerships that support student success in STEM via environmental education.

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  • Johnson, C. M., C. B. Myers, K. Ward, N. Sanyal, and D. Hollist. 2017. American Indian/Alaska Native graduate students: Fostering Indigenous perspectives in STEM. Journal of American Indian Education 56.3: 34–58.

    DOI: 10.5749/jamerindieduc.56.3.0034Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    It is critical to understand the experiences of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) as a means to improve policy and practice. Relying on key concepts from the literature, including transculturation, socialization, and Indigenous knowledge systems, we propose a promising practices framework for faculty and institutions to improve the recruitment and the retention of Indigenous students in STEM fields.

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  • Williams, D. H., and G. P. Shipley. 2018. Cultural taboos as a factor in the participation rate of Native Americans in STEM. International Journal of STEM Education 5.

    DOI: 10.1186/s40594-018-0114-7Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Reviewed literature, surveyed students, and interviewed four faculty. They found that 50 percent of survey respondents observe tribal taboos, 38 percent would not pursue a science major if they were required to violate a tribal taboo, and 67 percent would likely take science classes if the science curriculum was more respectful of tribal taboos. Increasing Native American participation in STEM requires that cultural concerns regarding STEM curricula be acknowledged and addressed.

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  • Windchief, S., and B. Brown. 2017. Conceptualizing a mentoring program for American Indian/Alaska Native students in the STEM fields: A review of the literature. Mentoring and Tutoring: Partnerships in Learning 25.3: 329–345.

    DOI: 10.1080/13611267.2017.1364815Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    In order to address the disparity of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) doctorates in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), culturally congruent mentorship program development is needed. The synthesis of literature demonstrates there is a dearth of Indigenous participation in the STEM fields that needs to be addressed by instituting a bicultural paradigm. This paradigm includes incorporating traditional academic mentoring into Indigenous values and kinship structures. Available for purchase online.

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Impact of Native American/Indigenous Studies

This is a newer area of research, starting with Champagne and Stauss 2002, which provides an edited collection of stories of the impact on Native American students in higher education from the United States to Canada. Lee 2017 then expands that work by addressing the impact that Native American/Indigenous studies has on Native American students in their experiences in higher education and the honoring of community in the process.

  • Champagne, D., and J. H. Stauss. 2002. Native American studies in higher education: Models for collaboration between universities and Indigenous nations. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.

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    This edited collection was the one of the first efforts to highlight the impact of Native American studies programs on Native student success and in higher education. This narrative expands from the United States to Canada. It includes sharing of stories and work by many of the scholars who were pivotal in the Native studies movement. Available by subscription online.

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  • Lee, T. S. 2017. Native American studies: A place of community. AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples 13.1: 18–25.

    DOI: 10.1177/1177180116689032Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Native American studies at the University of New Mexico in the United States aims to practice a pedagogy of community, which facilitates students’ engagement and contribution to community. The article first examines Native American studies’ growth in the United States toward nurturing a collective and intellectual learning community. Then shared are students’ viewpoints to demonstrate how Native American studies practices a pedagogy of community.

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Teaching and Learning

The impact that teaching and learning in the classroom and beyond has on the experiences of Native American students in higher education has been found in the early research of what hinders student retention and persistence (Guillory 2008, Guillory and Williams 2014). There is an evolving area of research to acknowledge that an emphasis on Indigenous knowledge and teaching approaches is profoundly impactful for Native American student success (American Indian College Fund 2019, Salis Reyes 2014).

  • American Indian College Fund. 2019. Creating visibility and healthy learning environments for Native Americans in higher education: Declaration of Native purpose in higher education; An Indigenous higher education equity initiative. Denver, CO: American Indian College Fund.

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    The cooperation of the leadership at Colorado State University, the College Fund hosted the Indigenous Higher Education Equity Initiative (IHEEI). In response to this call to action, IHEEI attendees generated a Declaration of Native Purpose in Higher Education to assist higher education institutions in ensuring the access, visibility, and success of Native American students on their campuses. This document provides context to services and support that should be in place within Indigenous higher education.

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  • Guillory, R. M. 2008. Study tells how to best teach native students. Tribal College Journal 20.1 (Fall).

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    These are results from a study designed to identify effective instructional strategies for educators of American Indian/Alaska Native students. The following themes emerged from the study: instructional strategies deemed most effective for teaching American Indian/Alaska Native students depended on the subject; participants indicated that teachers are the critical components in integrating various aspects of Indigenous culture within the classroom experience; and participants said non-Native teachers need to learn important facts about American Indian/Alaska Native people.

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  • Guillory, R. M., and G. L. Williams. 2014. Incorporating the culture of American Indian/Alaska Native students into the classroom. Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education 8.3: 155–169.

    DOI: 10.1080/15595692.2014.897224Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Focus group interviews were conducted with educators and stakeholders for American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) students to determine a global definition of culture and ways of integrating this culture into the curriculum to better educate AI/AN students. Using a cross-case analysis approach, the themes are as follows: (1) traditional definition of culture, (2) contemporary definition of culture, (3) infusing culture into pedagogy, and (4) teacher responsibility and state standards.

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  • Minthorn, R. 2016. Strengthening our teaching by honoring our culture. In Going inward: The role of cultural introspection in college teaching. Edited by S. D. Longerbeam and A. F. Chávez, 201–206. New York: Peter Lang.

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    This self-reflective and cultural autobiography affirms the Indigenous identity of the author. This should be a constant reminder of what is important and true to our role as Indigenous faculty who are connected to our family values (which also guide our teaching). It is also a way to be accountable, especially to the students who we have a responsibility to educate.

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  • Salis Reyes, N. A. 2014. ‘Ike Kū‘oko‘a: Indigenous critical pedagogy and the connections between education and sovereignty for ka Lāhui Hawai‘i. Hūlili: Multidisciplinary Research on Hawaiian Well-Being 9: 205–227.

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    The purpose of this article is to theorize how Indigenous critical pedagogy can be applied to Hawaiian knowledge to serve Hawaiian needs. Salis Reyes fleshes out the central ideas behind Indigenous critical pedagogy by providing some background for what critical pedagogy entails; how Indigenous scholars have borrowed from, criticized, and indigenized critical pedagogy; and how Indigenous critical pedagogy be tailored for application to ka lähui Hawai‘i.

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Graduate Education

This section highlights publications from Shotton 2017 discussing the racial microaggressions that are still faced by Native American women in doctoral education, which are evolving support mechanisms such as social media (Keene, et al. 2017). Also covered in this section are Brayboy and Huaman 2016 and Brayboy, et al. 2014, which integrate nation building into the approaches to creating graduate cohorts and programs to revolutionize graduate experiences for Indigenous students and ultimately tribal communities.

  • Brayboy, B. McK. J., A. E. Castagno, and J. A. Solyom. 2014. Looking into the hearts of Native peoples: Nation building as an institutional orientation for graduate education. American Journal of Education 120.4: 575–596.

    DOI: 10.1086/676908Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article suggests that graduate programs should be sites of self-education and tribal nation building. It examines how a particular graduate program and the participants of that program engaged in tribal nation building and then suggests that graduate education must also adopt an institutional orientation of nation building. We argue that higher education should be centrally concerned with capacity building and graduates who aim to serve their communities.

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  • Brayboy, B. McK. J., and E. S. Huaman. 2016. A journey to higher education: Origins of an Indigenous doctoral program. Journal of American Indian Education 55.3: 134–147.

    DOI: 10.5749/jamerindieduc.55.3.0134Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Offers an overview of how the Pueblo Doctoral Cohort evolved. Rooting their story in nation building, they argue that this doctoral program was guided by rigor and revision; and Arizona State University was forced to rethink how they engage in doctoral studies and programming. The conclusion emphasizes that this program is rooted in Indigenous justice and the hope of Indigenous peoples to move toward establishing their own futures.

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  • Huaman, E. S., and B. McK. J. Brayboy, eds. 2017. Local knowledge and critical research in higher education: American Indian innovation. Amsterdam: Sense.

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    This edited volume is the result of a collaborative project of Indigenous graduate education training and higher education–tribal institution partnerships in the southwestern United States. It features the work of interdisciplinary scholars writing about local peoples, issues, and knowledge that demonstrate rich links between universities and Indigenous communities. These efforts reflect a conscientious practice to maintain Indigenous worldviews through diverse yet unified approaches aimed at serving Indigenous peoples and places.

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  • Keene, A., A. R. Tachine, and C. A. Nelson. 2017. Braiding our (in)visibility: Native women navigating the doctoral process through social media. Journal Committed to Social Change on Race and Ethnicity 3.1: 39–72.

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    This Indigenous qualitative study explores three Native women doctoral students’ documented lived experiences via social media as they navigated the doctoral and dissertation writing process. Early career Native scholars discuss managing visibility, maintaining cultural integrity, and using social media as a means for strengthening relationships and empowering resistance to oppressive university structures. Institutions must incorporate Native culture and perspectives when seeking ways to advance Native doctoral degree recipients.

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  • Shotton, H. J. 2017. “I thought you’d call her White Feather”: Racial microaggressions in Native doctoral education. Journal of American Indian Education 56.1: 32–54.

    DOI: 10.5749/jamerindieduc.56.1.0032Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study explores the experiences of Native women in doctoral education in the United States. The findings indicate that encounters with racism were common experiences for Native women in doctoral programs. The findings provide insight into the complex and unique nature of racism experienced by Native women in doctoral education and demonstrate the need for deeper conversations that interrogate forms of racism against Native people in higher education.

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  • Shotton, H. J. 2018. Reciprocity and nation building in Native women’s doctoral education. American Indian Quarterly 42.4: 488–507.

    DOI: 10.5250/amerindiquar.42.4.0488Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study explores the experiences of Native women in doctoral education and the way Native women create pathways to the PhD. The central role of reciprocity in the motivation and persistence to completion is studied. Findings indicate that Native women viewed a doctorate as a means for bettering their tribe/community. This article seeks to further understand the role of reciprocity in the context of nation building through doctoral education.

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Native American Student Affairs

Waterman and Harrison 2017 discusses how Native American student affairs as a profession has grown to the point that professionals have been able to create support networks and best practices for serving Indigenous students and communities. Davidson, et al. 2018 provides deeper insights into understanding what it means to be a Native American student affairs professional. Oxendine, et al. 2018 provides research on what factors illuminated a pathway to becoming Native American student affairs professionals.

  • Davidson, C. E., J. Estrada, J. M. Singson, et al. 2018. Reflections of Diné Elder, Larry Emerson, and his indigenizing impact to our participation in the profession. In The annual knowledge community publication, 38–40. Washington, DC: National Association of Student Personnel Administrators–Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education.

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    Indigenously crafting our student affairs practice has become more profound as the authors continue the unfinished work of a man who deepened their simple understandings of harmony, role modeling, collective knowledge, transformation, struggle, and trauma. The authors offer important lessons for Indigenous student affairs professionals to consider. Bundling the cultural offerings of the profession with those of Elders such as Larry Emerson is integral to how they navigate higher education.

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  • Freitas, A. K., E. K. Wright, B. J. N. Balutski, and P. Z. Wu. 2013. Development of the “Indigenous self” in Indigenous-centered student services: An examination of the Kōkua a Puni Summer Enrichment Program. Educational Perspectives Journal of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa College of Education 45:82–92.

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    Student development theories fail to consider the diverse set of socioeconomic, cultural, and academic experiences of Indigenous peoples, in this case Hawaiians, as they interface with institutions of higher education. This examination of the Kokua a Puni Summer Enrichment Program will identify gaps in student development theory, offer an Indigenous-centered model of student services, and discuss how this model promotes the program goals of leadership, self-actualization, and identity exploration.

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  • Oxendine, S. D., D. J. Taub, D. R. Oxendine. 2018. Pathways to the profession: Native Americans in student affairs. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice 55.4: 386–398.

    DOI: 10.1080/19496591.2018.1470005Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study explores how Native American student affairs professionals entered the field and factors influencing their decision to pursue a career in student affairs. Awareness of student affairs came through involvement in campus organizations and student leadership, and respondents pursued student affairs to provide programs and services, as well as to give back to Native American students and community. Implications for Native American students and recruitment into the profession are discussed.

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  • Waterman, S. J., and I. D. Harrison. 2017. Indigenous Peoples Knowledge Community (IPKC): Self-determination in higher education. Journal of Student Affairs Research & Practice 54.3: 316–328.

    DOI: 10.1080/19496591.2017.1305391Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) calls its Special Interest Groups (SIGs) “knowledge communities.” This article describes the ways the members of the Indigenous Peoples Knowledge Community (IPKC) have indigenized their knowledge community through community cultural wealth, Indigenous knowledge systems, and relationality. Evidence of the IPKC’s impact on Indigenous visibility in higher education is presented.

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  • Wright, E. K. 2013. Towards indigenizing student affairs: Indigenous peoples and the relevance of Indigenous knowledge. In Excellence in practice: Knowledge Communities. Washington, DC: National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

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    The purpose of this piece is to consider the ways we can authentically support Indigenous students and scholar practitioners by using Indigenous knowledge in student affairs. To be clear, this is not a comprehensive discussion of Indigeneity, nor is it meant to essentialize the cultures, experiences, and thoughts of Indigenous peoples.

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Indigenous Faculty Perspectives

Minthorn 2019 discusses the efforts of one Native woman faculty member to honor her identity and values in all facets of being an Indigenous faculty member. This is a growing area of exploration and understanding to better advocate for increasing the presence of Native American faculty in all types of higher education institutions.

  • Minthorn, R. 2019. Being brave in the ivory towers as “Zape-tah-hol-ah” (sticks with bow). In Counternarratives from women of color academics: Bravery, vulnerability, and resistance. Edited by M. C. Whitaker and E. A. Grollman, 25–32. New York and Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

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    While negotiating academic spaces, it is important for Indigenous women to honor the roles we have in our families and communities. We have both of our feet planted in the academy and the community. Being “brave” is embodying what it means to be a Kiowa woman scholar and remembering our ancestors, the students, and the community. In this essay, Minthorn shares her journey in the academy as an Indigenous woman warrior scholar.

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