Sociology, Department of


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Published in Journal of American Indian Education 46:2 (2007), pp. 42-61. Published by Center for Indian Education of the Mary Lou Fulton Institute and Graduate School of Education at Arizona State University.


This research examined American Indians' recall of cultural inclusion from their elementary through high school education. Sixteen American Indians described their experiences of schools to peer interviewers. Analysis of interviews revealed three themes: the nature of cultural inclusion, factors influencing cultural inclusion, and recommendations for ideal cultural inclusion. Most participants recalled very little cultural inclusion. However, when cultural inclusion was experienced, it could be categorized into five types ("Indian pride," mismatched specific tribal information, negative/ stereotypical, student initiative, and inclusion due to parental, familial, and/or community involvement). Participants' experiences most closely resembled Charleston's (1994) pseudo or quasi Native education. However, some elements of true Native education were also reported. In addition, respondents stressed the important role of teachers in experiencing cultural inclusion. Finally, participants discussed their visions of ideal American Indian education and offered their recommendations. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for American Indian education.

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