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Snell final 6 8-12

  1. 1. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS 1 Equity and Justice for Tribal/Indigenous Students at Portland State University: Pathways to Student Success a Critical Analysis of the State of Affairs Carolyn Becker Snell Portland State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters in Science in Conflict Resolution. June 2012 Committee: Tom Hastings, Chair, Cornel Pewewardy, Judy Bluehorse Skelton
  2. 2. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS 2 AbstractThis paper seeks to examine how Tribal/Indigenous students at a predominantly White stateuniversity respond to a community survey that addresses race relations on their urban campus.The Portland metropolitan Indian community will respond to a 42-item survey that includesquestions about their own demographic characteristics and their perceptions of the racial climate,student support services, diversity courses, and about cultural diversity on campus. The analyseswill help gauge the progress that higher education institutions have made toward achievingaccess and retention of Tribal/Indigenous students. The survey will serve as a durable, livingasset for future research within the Tribal/Indigenous community.
  3. 3. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS 3 Acknowledgments With much appreciation, I thank the following mentors, advisors, relatives and friendsthat all played a significant role in my success. First and foremost, I thank the Creator for all myrelations, a good life and good health. It is important for me to mention that when I was in gradeschool, my grandmother would walk me to the bus stop and wait until I got onto the bus, butbefore I boarded, she would say “study hard baby”. I thank my grandmother Frances Quinterofor teaching me the value of education, something that she was not privileged to experience. Myrole model and mentor, my strength, my success is yours Granny. To my children andgrandchildren, Jason, Shulamit, Matthew, Johanna, Melina, Michael, and Madalyn, you are mylife and thank you for your light. I also extend much gratitude, and love to the following mentorsthat supported me emotionally, spiritually and academically, Dr. Cornel Pewewardy, Dr. NoconaPewewardy, Dr. Kofi Agorsah, and Judy Bluehorse Skelton. Rose Hill, Rachel Cushman, MariaTenorio, and Tabitha Whitefoot are women of valor, which have unceasingly given ofthemselves to help Native students over the years. To my dear, and cherished friends Cathi, Ron,Senkinesh, Zina, Dorit, Elizabeth, that have held me up over the years and encouraged me not togive up in the face of adversity, I thank you. To my dear friend Ana, who stood by my side andheld me up when my son Jason acquired a brain injury, much love. To members of the ConflictResolution Department, Dr. Robert Gould, Stephanie Janke, Stan Sitnick, Harry Anastasiou,Rachel Hardesty, Barbara Tint and Amanda Byron for your insights and wisdom. A very specialthank you to my first mentor, Dr. Thomas Biolsi who encouraged me to pursue studies in thearea of Indian – White Relations. Much gratitude to my committee members, Dr. Tom Hastings,Dr. Cornel Pewewardy, and Dr. Judy Bluehorse Skelton for your encouragement and support.Blessings and prayers to all my relations, Dagota.
  5. 5. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS 5 PageAbstract………………………………………………………………………………………...2Acknowledgments……………………………………………………………………………..3Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………6Problem Statement/Needs Assessment……………………………………………………….6 Positioning the subject………………………………………………………………...9Project Plan………………………………………………………………………………..…..Literature Review……………………………………………..……………………………… Historical Background………………………………………………………………..16Conclusions and Recommendations………………………………………………………….22References………………………………………………………………………………………Appendices A: Survey Questionnaire…………………………………………..……………..Appendices B: …………………………………………………………………………...…… Introduction
  6. 6. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS 6 Tribal/Indigenous (T/I) success in education has come a long way, though conflictingvalues, interests, norms, and lack of knowledge concerning ward responsibly to Tribesperpetuates marginalization. This paper will examine current discourse in the area of NativeAmerican (N/A) Education, sovereignty, race and power imbalances. It will also examine howTribal/Indigenous students at a predominantly White state university respond to a communitysurvey that addresses race relations on their urban campus. Because Indian education issignificantly different from other groups, it was also essential to illuminate the intricate systemthat has supported historical inequities and unjust Indian-specific policies that have longoppressed Indigenous peoples. With my community partner, Dr. Cornel Pewewardy, Chair ofPSU Indigenous Studies, I have developed a survey to measure Portland area Native Americanopinion and experience in education. The Portland Indian Community Survey will serve as adurable, living document (iterative design) asset for future research within the Native/Indigenouscommunity. The pilot project focused on survey development and the cultural and measurableeffectiveness of the survey questions. My vision is to help facilitate the transformation of currentIndian-specific education challenges by cultivating and inspiring community discourse on thissubject. Problem Statement/Needs Assessment “Indian education is a microcosm of the American Indian world. The problems thatplague the Indian world are not only manifested but also accentuated in education. Thoughcommonalities may be found with other ‘protected’ classes or groups, certain characteristicsmake American Indians (A/I), and Indian education quite different. These characteristics haveroots well grounded in history and context.” (Woodcock & Alawiye, 2001, p. 810).
  7. 7. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS 7 In February of 2012, President Wim Wiewel invited the PSU community to contributeinput on the comprehensive Diversity Action Plan. Wiewel stated, “Barriers that result ininequality of opportunity must be addressed and eliminated” (Wiewel, 2012, p. 1). In thisaddress, he presented plans to promote diversity, and enhance recruitment, retention andgraduation rates. In his words, “Diversity is central to the educational experience at PortlandState (Wiewel, 2012, p. 1). PSU is committed to contribute to the overall enhancement of the metropolitan areas.The mission statement of the University asserts PSU’s commitment to providing educationalprograms that are relevant to the metropolitan areas. The research and community engagementcomponents that PSU prides itself on are geared to serve the community. Despite the great work that PSU claims to do for the community, if one were to look atthe current data presented in the Native American community in Multnomah County anUnsettling Profile (2011, p. 42-43), one would find that Tribal/Indigenous (T/I) people continueto be the most marginalized community in the Portland Metropolitan Area. According to thereport, the Native American student population is not graduating from Oregon universities atrates that reduce gaps in occupational or income experiences. The report states that “only 58% ofall students in Multnomah County obtain a high school degree” (p. 55-56), these results arestaggering. The report confirms that repeated attempts have been made to remedy the disparityexperienced by Native Americans (N/A) for decades (since the 1928 Meriam report on Indiancondition), but have had little or no effect on correcting this phenomenon. The question onemust ask is, what is the real issue plaguing the N/A community?
  8. 8. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS 8 It is difficult to determine what the main cause of N/A disenfranchisement is withoutasking a few more specific questions first. The first question one must ask is what does diversitymean? Each person experiences a different understanding or reality of the term diversity.According to the Merriam-Webster definition (2011), diversity is the inclusion of different racesor cultures in a group or organization.” The follow up question one must ask is who is included,and who is not? Furthermore, when diversity is made a policy, are these proposed policies trulyunbiased, or do hegemonic standards and systems really determine the success or failure ofIndigenous students at PSU? In order to truly understand what the unmet needs and challenges faced by T/I people are,I have been working with Dr. Cornel Pewewardy on a “needs assessment survey.” The surveywill be conducted within the Portland Metropolitan Area, among Indigenous people. While promoting diversity and preparing students for international competency may beworthy endeavors for PSU, a critical examination of institutionalized power imbalances isstrongly recommended (Almeida, Hernandez-Wolfe, & Tubbs, 2011, 18). These powerimbalances perpetuate deficits in education for Indigenous peoples. We don’t need to “fix” thepeople, we need to “fix” the system (Brayboy, 2005, p. 165). Moreover, The Native Americancommunity in Multnomah County An Unsettling Profile (2011, p. 1) places T/I peoples at themost vulnerable level of all socio-economic levels. For over one hundred years, Indianeducation policies and implementation have proven to be unsuccessful in meeting theeducational requirements of T/I peoples. Collectively we must seek change within the academy and create sustainable equity andjustice for T/I students and all people of color. To date, PSU has overlooked the benefit of
  9. 9. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS 9enhancing political partnerships between the PSU administration and T/I communities (Almeida,Hernandez-Wolfe, & Tubbs, 2011p. 11-12). If PSU made a commitment to remedy disparities inthe Native American community, PSU would be promoting global interaction and acceptance ofIndigenous peoples. The National Congress of American Indians October 2011 SummaryReports, “…consultation and coordination with Tribal Governments is rooted in the longstandinggovernment-to-government relationship between Native nations and the U.S. government…furthermore, anytime an agency develops a new policy that impact tribes, the agency mustconsult with affected tribes early and often during the decision-making process…the purpose isto improve services and programs for Tribes. The world community has begun to seek outinformation on U.S. Tribal law (Coulter, 2010, p. 3) and take Indigenous concerns into account.Fostering inclusive, respectful relations, PSU, Multnomah County, and Oregon would do well tofollow the example of this executive order.Positioning the subject As cited in Prucha (1975), Commissioner of Indian Affairs T. Hartley Crawford states“The principle lever by which the Indians are to be lifted out of the mire of folly and vice inwhich they are sunk is education…to teach a savage man to read, while he continues a savage inall else, is to throw seed on a rock” (1975, p. 72). The legacy of this perspective continues to ring true today in the form of policies, implicitexplicit and systemic forms. Unearned white privilege exists in our society as unacknowledged,subjugating T/I peoples to the desires of the white majority (Phillips & Rice, 2011). According to Duran, Duran & Yellow Horse Brave Heart (1998), the U.S. governmentutilized “education” as the mechanism in which to civilize and assimilate Indigenous peoples;
  10. 10. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS10removing young children from their families, and stripping them of their culture, language andspiritual practices. Inflicting what is known as “soul wounds” upon the colonized people ortraumatic events of the past (p. 65). Project plan As stated earlier, Native American students face greater challenges than other students ofcolor. The status quo must be interrupted by stepping up inquiry, discourse and meaningfuldialogue. This transformation cannot occur in isolation, it will require collaboration and thewillingness of PSU to address substantive issues that Indigenous students are up against (Wilmot& Hocker, 1998, 101). I have worked under the supervision of the Director of Indigenous studies at PSU, Dr.Cornel Pewewardy. The focus of my studies was on T/I (Indian) education and the powerimbalances that have created marginalization for these people. My plan was to develop a needsassessment survey to increase understanding of specific issue for T/I people in the GreaterPortland area. In completing this task, I have obtained literature and assisted in facilitating T/Ieducation related events. This has helped to further enhance my knowledge of Portland’sIndigenous community’s needs and possible solutions. My project involved surveydevelopment, and an analysis of the experiential and literature review findings; that will helpgauge the progress that higher education institutions have made toward achieving access andretention of Tribal/Indigenous students Survey questions address demographic characteristics, and perceptions of the racialclimate, student support services, diversity courses, and about cultural diversity on campus. The
  11. 11. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS11utilization of this survey will help gauge the progress that higher education institutions havemade toward achieving access, and retention of Tribal/Indigenous students. The survey willserve as a durable, living asset for future research within the Portland Indigenous community. • Student satisfaction of services rendered by PSU • Status of the individual’s academic achievement • Source of educational funding • Number of Native Professors they are familiar with on campus • Perception of diversity among teaching staff; does it reflect the community it serves? • Identify motivating factor(s) to remain in school • Cultural competency of Instructors • Cultural campus climate (awareness of non-native) • Level of connectedness to the campus community • Types of challenges Indian student faces • Degree of difficulty coping with individualistic values and norms in the university environment (isolation) • College preparation • Prior experience with Indian college if any In the near future I will develop an informational pamphlet for distribution to theindigenous community, and non-native agencies that work closely with the Indigenous
  12. 12. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS12population within the Portland metropolitan area. I will discuss this pamphlet in the followingsection. Outcomes My expectations are to promote self-determination and create an effective enduringtransformation within the framework of Native education here at PSU. This will beaccomplished in part, by my pilot project (survey). Future utilization of this survey will yieldcritical data that will serve as the ground work for additional inquiry into the state of affairs of N/A students at PSU. My expectation is, that the survey findings braided with the current researchtaking place within the Indigenous Studies Department, will serve as mechanisms of change incurrent university policies. The second component of my project is the development of the pamphlet, “Are treatyrights special rights?” This will serve as an introduction to sovereignty; information that isintended to enlighten and dispel misconceptions about the unique government-to-governmentstatus between the U.S. and Tribal members. The strategy is to spark dialogue between nativeand non-native communities. The pamphlets will be a mechanism in which accurate anddocumented information will be shared. Someone once told me that the language of law ispower”, therefore we must diligently strive to become knowledgeable and articulate these treatylaws. The more often that we exercise these rights, the more empowered we become. Historically, Colonial Indian education has ignored and violated the inherent rights ofIndigenous peoples, to maintain their cultures, education, religion, and the rights to exist asdistinct peoples (UNDRIP, 2010). By acknowledging these rights, and working with T/I people
  13. 13. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS13to create positive change, steps in the right direction can be made. Who knows better whatIndigenous people need, than Indigenous people? By implementing policy changes that fosterIndigenous values and norms, PSU will be modeling pathways to a more globally recognizedmeans of responding to the affects of colonialism upon Tribal/Indigenous peoples. In addition, PSU administration must enhance its relations with Indigenous communities;if the university’s goal is to create a campus culture of diversity and equity. Too often the legalrelationship between Indigenous peoples goes unrecognized, by mainstream society andgovernmental agencies; this must be addressed. This is extremely important to Indigenouspeoples. They must also be given the venue in which participate in “dialogue, that will helpdevelop mechanisms of enduring and responsive change” (Almeida, Hernandez-Wolfe & Tubbs,2011, p. 25), perhaps by developing an advisory council to the President. Former PSU Presidents, have strongly and wholeheartedly supported Indigenous interestsand concerns. In previous years, cultural responsiveness was demonstrated by valuing andrespecting Indigenous knowledge, culture, norms and values. For example, collaborative effortsbetween PSU and the Portland Native community brought about the creation of the departmentof Native American Studies Program (now named Indigenous Nations Studies Department), theNative American Community Student Community Center (NASCC) and development of supportsystems that were culturally responsive to the ninth largest Native population in the US. Efforts to enhance and strengthen partnerships between the NASCC and in theIndigenous community at large have proven to enhance student success. The Indigenous Nations
  14. 14. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS14Studies department, Indigenous Student groups, and the staff at the NASCC have workeddiligently to reconnect the Indigenous community of Portland to PSU. However, it has long been a concern of the Indigenous community, as to why thePresident has not attended Indigenous functions on campus, despite several invitations since hefilled the position. This response has negatively impacted Indigenous opinion of the currentAdministration. Institutional responsiveness to Indigenous issues can be demonstrated byrelationship dialogue and relationship building (Iverson, 2007, p.100) between Indigenousstudents, the Indigenous community and President Wiewel. A genuine commitment to affirmgovernment-to-government relations is elementary to building trust. Excellence in education for Indigenous students can be achieved through collaborativepolicy and decision making. Pathways for Native American Students: A Report on WashingtonState Colleges and Universities (2009, p. 30), suggests that “…best practices for Native Studentssuccess are: tribal involvement, providing connections to family and culture, supporting Indianidentity, finding Indian role models and mentors in the student body and the faculty and staff,comprehensive and integrated students service, cultural relevance in curriculum, culturallyappropriate pedagogy and programs that meet specific student needs in terms of scheduling andcontent” Over the years, PSU has been supportive in many of these areas, however, expandedefforts must be pursued and Indigenous community relationship building is critical. By valuing Indigenous voices, and acknowledging the importance of increased tribalcontrol (UNDRIP, 2010; Alfred, Corntassel, 2005, p. 602) in matters that affect Indigenous
  15. 15. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS15students - relations improve. This is where equity and justice can begin to thrive, thus creatingan environment of genuine diversity in academia - not rhetoric. Again, if the goal of diversity and equity are to be achieved at PSU, the need to becomeaccurately educated in the area Government-to-Government relationship that NW Tribes possess;they are political entities that practice self-governance enhanced partnerships are essential, and.the University will begin the process of building bridges in the very community that it is a part ofand serves. By being engaged and responsive to this bid, the University will be taking bold stepsin the right direction. Trailblazing moves such as this could be the mechanism in which the8University is catapulted into a progressive and beneficial path. Literature Review The resources that I have drawn upon are from peer reviewed journals, practitionerarticles, online sources, texts, personal experience and current statistics that reflect Indigenouspeoples condition. In this paper I have presented an analysis of these resources. Pointing to the direction that Colonial Indian policy was headed, Commissioner of IndianAffairs T. Hartley Crawford stated: The principle lever by which the Indians are to be lifted outof the mire of folly and vice in which they are sunk is education…to teach a savage man to read,while he continues a savage in all else, is to throw seed on a rock” (as cited in Prucha, 1975, p.72). The legacy of this perspective continues to ring true today in the form of policies, implicitexplicit, and systemic forms. Unearned white privilege exists in our society as unacknowledged,subjugating Tribal/Indigenous peoples to the desires of the white majority (Phillips & Rice,2011). According to Duran, Duran, and Yellow Horse Brave Heart (1998), the U.S. governmentutilized “education” as the mechanism in which to civilize and assimilate Indigenous peoples;
  16. 16. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS16removing young children from their families, and stripping them of their culture, language andspiritual practices. Inflicting what is known as “soul wounds” upon the colonized people ortraumatic events of the past (p. 65). Power imbalances are systemic, and have a legacy of aviolent past. In this section, I will give a brief history of the development of U.S./Tribal relations thathas influenced Indian education to date, in order to illuminate the legacy of trauma presentlyexperienced by Indigenous peoples. While the focus of my project is on the community survey,it is also important to present the complex and tumultuous relationship that laid the foundationfor what N/A education is today.Historical Background of Indigenous/White relations Loss of allies (1533-1789) • British and Spanish allies of Indigenous peoples negotiate treaties with the English (O’Brien, 1989, p. 52). Era of the New Government (1789-1871) • U.S. government assumes role of previous governing bodies and makes new treaties with tribes (O’Brien, p. 71). • 1819 - Promoting education and civilizing the “Indian” by promoting factory work (Prucha, 1984, p. 55). • 1820’s - War Department in the business of civilizing and educating “Indians” (Prucha, p. 57). • Federal policy is implemented in order to gain legal control over tribes (O’Brien, p. 73).
  17. 17. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS17 • 1824 – Secretary of War Calhoun, by his own order creates the Bureau of Indian Affairs (Prucha, p. 59). • Marshall Trilogy handed down by Supreme Court, establishing trust responsibility over tribes (O’Brien, p. 57). • 1859 – First “Indian” boarding schools established in Washington and Oregon (Prucha, p. 59). • 1885 – annual report revealed that the government failed to educate “Indian” children (Prucha, p. 57). Era of Assimilation and Allotment (1871-1928) • U.S. ceases treaty making (O’Brien, 76). • Allotment act the U.S. changed the communal ownership of tribal lands to individual ownership, allotment process is a disaster due to clash of cultures, game depletion, and liquidation of land, creating poverty for tribes (O’Brien, p. 77) • Assimilation thorough executed through boarding schools, young children are forcibly taken from families, home and land, the erosion of identity begins (O’Brien, p. 77). Era of Reorganization (1928-1945) • The Merriam Report of 1928 establishes reform, but the allotment act is a disaster, the report reveals the devastation and poverty suffered by Indigenous peoples due to this policy (O’Brien, p. 81). • Reorganization act stops allotment, and reestablishes tribal governments without Tribal member input or imposed alien input (O’Brien, p. 82).
  18. 18. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS18 Era of Termination (1945-1961) • Unilateral decisions is made by legislation to reverse tribal self- governance, and to terminate ward responsibility to tribes, stripping Indigenous peoples of their inherent sovereignty, and casting them into mainstream society; laying the groundwork for present day marginalization (O’Brien, p. 83). • Several tribes were affected, (except Warm Springs Reservation). • 1953 Congress directs Bureau of Indian affairs (BIA) to transfer responsibility for Indigenous education to the states (O’Brien, p. 84). Era of Self-determination and Educational Assistance Act (1961-present) • U.S. seeks to address discrimination, restore tribal governments and lands (O’Brien, p. 88). • Important legislation in this era includes: Indian Civil Rights Act, Self- Determination and Education Act (O’Brien, p. 89). As demonstrated above, throughout history, the U.S. have been ineffective inaddressing the unique needs of Indigenous peoples. The form of pedagogy, must change. Aspresented in the UN Declaration, “Affirming further that all doctrines, polices, and practicesbased on or advocating superiority of peoples or individuals on the basis of national origin orracial, religious, ethnic or cultural differences are racist, scientifically false, legally invalid,morally condemnable and socially unjust” (ATNI, p. 4). Restoration, equity and just acts
  19. 19. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS19 While the goals of the PSU diversity plan seem well intentioned, the fact is, that it willmost likely hinder, rather than advance genuine diversity; if implemented in its current form(Iverson, 2007). In order to adequately and effectively ameliorate diversity challenges, we mustfirst critically examine the configuration of academia (Alfred, Corntassel, 2005, p. 508),structural power imbalances (Wilmot, Hocker, 1998, p. 98), institutionalized hegemony (p. 587),and the historical aspect of Indian education. According to the ….Metric 3: Current Native American 1.2% of PSU Population, is themost statistically underrepresented group compared to population size. In order to create anequitable and just environment, for the most underrepresented group at PSU we should, turn tothe U.S. Department of Education Recommendations. It points to the treaty obligations of theU.S. that is supported by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Theserecommendations include: • Invest in Native higher education and/or vocational education students by designation financial resources for students; i.e., scholarships, leadership internships, work-study, childcare, housing, veteran support, infrastructure and resource needs. • Address, the need for an Office of Native Student Advocacy at higher education institutions who retain significant number of tribal members and/ or descendants. Also, to grant points to public universities and private colleges who sustain an active collaborative, efficient, and effective Office of Native Student Advocacy.
  20. 20. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS20Recommendations, of The National Advisory Council on Indian Education states, “Tribalsovereignty and trust responsibility must be upheld by the U.S. Department of Education(USDOE), (ATNI, 2012). • recognize Indian tribal as Tribal Education Agencies/Department (TEAs/TEDs) comparable to Local Education Agencies (LEAs). • raise the accountability of Indian Education through consultation with Tribes, Tribal education departments, Indian educators and parents • Through the identification of programs and services impacting Native education and accessibility In order to transform relations and improve Indigenous education, tribal sovereignty mustfirst be clearly understood by policy and decision makers. A genuine commitment to improveIndigenous education, through shared decision making is strongly recommended. This wouldentail, shared decision making, the development of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU),and an appointment by the President of PSU of a liaison to the Northwest Tribes. These stepshave proven to increase Indigenous students’ success at Washington State University. . Strides towards improving Indigenous success in education have come a long way.However, conflicting values, interests, norms, and lack of knowledge concerning treaty (legal)responsibility to tribes, perpetuates inequities in education and exclusion of Tribal/Indigenousvoices in policy and decision making (Antone, E., & Cordoba, T. 2005; Toomey, Oetzel, & Yee-Jung, 2001). Embedded power systems or colonial legacies (Alfred, 2005, p. 599), also createbarriers to equity and success. Strategies for change that foster an environment of equity,
  21. 21. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS21justice and excellence in education for Indigenous peoples must be developed (Almeida,Hernandez-Wolfe, & Tubbs, 2011, p. 25). Historically, Indian education has ignored and violated the inherent rights of Indigenouspeoples to maintain their cultures, education, religion, and self determination to exist as distinctpeoples (UNDRIP, 2010 p.3). What can be done differently? By acknowledging these rights,and working with Indigenous peoples to create positive change, steps in the right direction cantake place. Who knows better what Indigenous people need than T/I people? PSU willdemonstrate a more globally recognized way of responding to the effects of colonialism uponIndigenous peoples by; implementing policy changes that foster Indigenous values and norms,and recognizing T/I cultural strengths. Valuing Indigenous voices, and acknowledging theimportance of increased tribal control (UNDRIP, 2010; Alfred, Corntassel, 2005, p. 602) inmatters that affect Indigenous students - relations improve. This is where equity and justice canbegin to thrive, thus creating an environment of genuine diversity in academia – creatingeffective change. Conclusion After researching this subject, I find that it is imperative that the PSU (state agency) andits community become fully and accurately informed (Alfred, Corntassel, 2005, p. 601)regarding the unique Government-to-Government relationship between Indigenous tribes and theUnited States; a relationship unlike any other people. It is incumbent upon PSU to recognize theinherent rights of Oregon’s original people, and not look upon them as relics of the past, rathersee them as partners in the advancement of Indigenous education and the development of true
  22. 22. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS22equity (Almeida, Hernandez-Wolfe, & Tubbs, 2011, p. 25). There is also a need to, identifyembedded power systems or colonial legacies (Alfred, 2005, p. 599) that create barriers to equityand success and dismantle them. Strategies for change that foster an environment of equity,justice and excellence in education for Indigenous peoples must be developed (Almeida,Hernandez-Wolfe, & Tubbs, 2011, p. 25). In closing, I must point out that the Indigenous Studies department has achieved greataccomplishments in a short amount of time. The development of the Indian Teachers program isone example that has help bolster Indigenous students participation at PSU. Exceptional,Indigenous students also play a critical role in both the Indigenous and PSU communities. Theirpresence and participation at PSU is a valuable component, one that encourages the success oftheir colleagues. And as the world flattens, folks must develop the competency to connect,collaborate, and understand how to work with diverse groups of people, and their unique sets ofvalues, cultures, belief systems and norms in order to thrive. The challenge to PSU is, will we“Let knowledge truly serve the city?”
  23. 23. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS23 ReferencesAlmeida, R., Hernandez-Wolfe, P., & Tubbs, C. (2011). Cultural equity: Bridging the complexity of social identities with therapeutic practices International Journal of Narrative Therapy & Community Work, 3, 43-56.Antone, E., & Cordoba, T. (2005). Re-Storytelling Aboriginal Adult Literacy: A Wholistic Approach. Paper presented at the National Conference On-Line Proceeding. University of Western Ontario.Brayboy, B. M., Castagno, A. E., & Maughan, E. (2007). Chapter 6 Equality and Justice for All? Examining Race in Education Scholarship. Review of Research in Education, 31, 159-194. DOI: 10.3102/0091732X07300046159Calderón, D. (2006). Review: Red Pedagogy: Native American Social and Political Thought by Sandy Grande. InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies, 2(1).Deyhle, D., & McCarty, T. I. (2007). Beatrice Medicine and the Anthropology of Education: Legacy and Vision for Critical Race/Critical Language Research and Praxis. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 38(3), 209-220.
  24. 24. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS24Deyhle, D., & Swisher, K., (1997). Research in American Indian and Alaska Native Education: From Assimilation to Self-Determination. Review of Research in Education, 22, 113-194 Published by: American Educational Research AssociationDiversity. 2011. In Retrieved May 1, 2011, from, B., Duran, E., & Yellow Horse Brave Heart, M., (1998). Native American PostcolonialPsychology, Ambany: SUNY Press,Iverson, S. (2007). Camouflaging Power and Privilege: A Critical Race Analysis of University Diversity Policies. Educational Administration Quarterly, 43(5), 586-611.Kymlicka, W., & Norman, W. (1994). Return of the Citizen: A Survey of Recent Work on Citizenship Theory. Ethics, 104(2), 352-381. Article Stable URL:, T. K., (2000). Tribal Sovereigns: Reframing Research in American Indian Education. Harvard Educational Review, 70(1), 1-23. Retrieved from Congress of American Indians. Consultation with Tribal Nations: An Update on Implementation of Executive Order 13175. Retrieved from
  25. 25. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS25 KjJOjwUnKjSQeoVaGOMvfl_Consultation_Report_-_Jan_2012_Update.pdfO’Brien, S. (1989). American Indian Tribal Governments. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.Pathways for Native Students: A Report on Washington State Colleges and Universities. (2009).Phillips, A. and Rice, D., (2010). The “Fighting Sioux” Conflict: Lessons on Social Justice for Higher Education.Prucha, F. P. (2000). Documents of United States Indian Policy. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.Taiaiake, A., Corntassel, J., (2005). Being Indigenous: Resurgences against contemporary colonialism, from Wasase: Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom, Peterborough, ON, Broadview Press.Ting-Toomey, S., & Oetzel, J. G., and Yee-Jung, K. (1999). “Intercultural Conflict Competence: Eastern and Western Lenses.” Retrieved January 5, 2012 Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 107th Plenary meeting, 61/295, (2007, September). Retrieved from NewsID=23794.pdfWiewel, W. (20111-2012) Diversity action plan. Retrieved from
  26. 26. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS26 pdfWilmot, W. & Hocker, J. (1998). Interpersonal Conflict. Boston, MA: McGraw Hill.Woodcock, D. B. & Alawiye, O. (2001). The Antecedents of Failure and emerging hope: American Indians & Public Higher Education. Project Innovation. High Beam Research. Retrieved from
  27. 27. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS27Appendices A : Community SurveyThe purpose of this research is to gather and compile data pertaining to the concerns of theTribal/Indigenous population in the Portland metro area. You are invited to participate in theresearch study conducted by Dr. Cornel Pewewardy, the director of Indigenous Nations Studies atPortland State University. You were selected as a possible participant in the study because of youraffiliation with the Tribal/Indigenous community in Portland, Oregon. Should you decide toparticipate, you will be asked to address a series of questions regarding your personal experiencesand concerns on the matter ofYour thoughtful responses provide information vital to the future and growth and development ofthe Portland Indian Community, the information collected will be kept anonymous.Tribal/Native voices are a valuable component of PSU’s diversity plan; that can promote self-determination and decolonization of Native/Tribal people. If these ideals are to become a reality atPSU, it is imperative that the Native/Tribal community voice their concerns.Please answer questions and check appropriate boxes below, this survey will take approximately15-20 minutes to complete. We would like to express our gratitude for your willingness to completethis survey. 1. Tribal affiliation(s):
  28. 28. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS28 2. Zip code where you live: 3. Gender: 4. Age: 5. What is the highest level of school you have completed: 6. What is your relationship to Portland State University: Tribal Community Member Native Community Member PSU Graduate Tribal Employee PSU Prospective Student Council Member Other (please specify): PSU Employee Student 7. What type of activities/program have you participated in at the Portland State University (check all that apply): Academic Course Work Community meetings Other (please specify): Cultural activity Social gathering 8. When was the last time you participated in an academic or cultural activity at Portland State University? Prior to 2012 (when?): During Winter 2012 Spring 2012 I have never visited Portland State University
  29. 29. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS29Describe your interest in Portland State University (check all that apply): I am currently a student PSU Graduate I am currently an employee PSU Prospective Student I have a family member that is a Other (please specify): student at the Portland State University I have a family member that is anemployee at Portland State University PSU Student 9. What academic programs at Portland State University are most beneficial to the tribal/native community? (check all that apply): General education PSU American Indian Urban Teacher Program Social Work The Institute For Tribal Government - Hatfield School of Government Science Indigenous Languages Other (please specify) 10. What cultural, ceremonial, or social event/activities do you value at the Portland State University (check all that apply): Theatre practice Other (please specify): Theatre performance Dance Tribal singing Lacrosse Powwows Salmon Bake Hand/stick games Round Dance Healing Feathers Chinuk wawah language gatherings AISES/UISHE
  30. 30. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS30 11. The Tribal/Native community regards elders, parents, and community members as resources of knowledge, culture and language. How often does PSU draw on these resources? Daily Weekly Bi-Weekly Monthly Annually Not at allThe American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) provides leadership and serves memberinstitutions and emerging Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU’s). The AIHEC also reinforcesculturally responsive accreditation standards, like those defined by the World Indigenous Nations HigherEducation Consortium (WINHEC), which are based on Alaska Cultural Standards and Indicators. Pleaserate how well the PSU achieves the following by circling your response below: 12. Students at PSU are exposed to Native Strongly Agree Undecide Disagre Strongly American cultural traditions agree d e disagree 13. PSU combines traditional wisdom with Strongly Agree Undecide Disagre Strongly knowledge to help prepare students for agree d e disagree success in the larger world in which they live 14. PSU encourages students to contribute Strongly Agree Undecide Disagre Strongly to the quality of life in their agree d e disagree Tribal/Urban communities 15.The academic and cultural programming Strongly Agree Undecide Disagre Stronglyat PSU promotes social, emotional, physical, agree d e disagreeintellectual, and spiritual well-being 15. PSU respectfully utilizes the cultural Strongly Agree Undecide Disagre Strongly knowledge of Indigenous People in a agree d e disagree relevant and respectful way17. PSU values the Portland Indian community Strongly Agree Undecide Disagre Strongly agree d e disagree18. At PSU Elders are treated in a way Strongly Agree Undecide Disagre Stronglythat demonstrates an appreciation of their agree d e disagree
  31. 31. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS31role as culture-bearers and educators in thecommunity 19. PSU is engaged in efforts to gather oral Strongly Agree Undecide Disagre Strongly and written history information from the agree d e disagree local community and provide an appropriate interpretation of its cultural meaning and significance20. When working with the Tribal/Native Strongly Agree Undecide Disagre Stronglycommunity, PSU utilizes cultural agree d e disagreeknowledge21. PSU solicits input and feedback from Strongly Agree Undecide Disagre StronglyTribal/Native community members to agree d e disagreeimprove 22. PSU encourages students to identify Strongly Agree Undecide Disagre Strongly and appreciate their indigenous culture agree d e disagree as they achieve academic success 23. PSU instructors utilize indigenous Strongly Agree Undecide Disagre Strongly Elder’s expertise in multiple ways agree d e disagree24. PSU instructors continually involve Strongly Agree Undecide Disagre Stronglythemselves in learning agree d e disagree 25. PSU instructors provide opportunities Strongly Agree Undecide Disagre Strongly for Native/Tribal students to learn in agree d e disagree settings where local cultural knowledge and skills are naturally relevant26. PSU instructors recognize that Strongly Agree Undecide Disagre StronglyNative/Tribal students have a shared agree d e disagreehistorical experience of cultural andintellectual exploitation27. PSU instructors introduce Strongly Agree Undecide Disagre StronglyTribal/Native students to the world beyond agree d e disagreetheir home community in ways that expandtheir horizons while strengthening theirown cultural identities28. PSU effectively recruits students from Strongly Agree Undecide Disagre Strongly local Native/Tribal communities agree d e disagree29. PSU is a safe and healthy environment for Strongly Agree Undecide Disagre Strongly all children agree d e disagree30. PSU organizes and encourages Strongly Agree Undecide Disagre Stronglyparticipation of members from all ages in agree d e disagreeregular community-wide, family-orientedevents 31. PSU is dedicated to the wellbeing of Strongly Agree Undecide Disagre Strongly the Native/Tribal community agree d e disagreeThere is a current trend in higher education toward offering classes on the Internet. Please answer thefollowing questions to help us determine if this is an option for our students.
  32. 32. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS32 31. Do you have a working computer at home? Yes No 32. Do you have a high-speed internet connection at home? Yes No 33. Do you have dial-up internet connection at home? Yes No Comments: 34. Would you be interested in Distance Education classes if offered? Yes No Input: 35. How does PSU help the Tribal/Native community? 36. What new services, programs, or courses should PSU consider for the Tribal/Native? 37. What Tribal/Native workshops would you like to see PSU offer? 38. What other community-based outreach programs would you like to see PSU offer?
  33. 33. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS33 …the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) has recommended that states include indigenous community members in education policy-making and decisions, support indigenous knowledge and languages in primary and secondary schools, and help train additional indigenous people to manage and implement their own education systems”. UNPFII (2005).According to President Wim Wiewel, one of the key values of Portland State’s mission is the support of acampus environment that acknowledges, encourages and celebrates differences (partnering in diversity).He also points out that building the diversity of PSU faculty and staff creates “learning experiences” –both inside and outside of the classroom. In order to better address “barriers” to inequality, Wiewel hasinvited campus-wide input regarding his Diversity Action Plan for 2012.To view the Diversity Action Plan, Download (PDF): 31. How can the Portland State University improve relations with the Native Community? 32. Is power sharing, in decision and policy making important to you as a Tribal/Native person?In the earlier part of 2012, a collaborative study between the Native American community, the Coalitionof Communities of Color and PSU was released. According to this study, “The Native AmericanCommunity in Multnomah County: An Unsettling Profile- 2011” the findings were indeed an unsettlingpicture of the overwhelming disparities faced by the Native Community in Multnomah County.
  34. 34. Running head: EQUITY AND JUSTICE FOR TRIBAL/INDIGENOUS STUDENTS34In light of this, the Tribal/Native communities have historically demonstrated the ability to creatively andcollectively empower itself in order to survive; through striping of languages, cultures, customs and lands.According to the summary, these findings “…can arm the community with accurate data and advocacymethods needed to communicate effectively to change policies, and provide public agencies with thedata necessary to reinvent systems in a fair and equitable manner”. 33. What are some tangible ways that PSU can involve the Tribal/Native community in PSU’s vision for the future? Thank you again for completing this survey.Please return survey to:Dr. Cornel PewewardyDirector of Indigenous Nations Studies503.725.9689Portland State UniversityAppendices B: