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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Thomas Nelson


Schooling provided to Native American children in the United States has been portrayed by many native and nonnative scholars as a major factor in undermining traditional languages and cultures, and as playing a role in the perpetuation of generational poverty and marginalization in indigenous communities. Historical accounts also suggest that schools have been settings for the emergence of an intertribal identity and shared political agenda that has been instrumental in generating Red Power activism and maintaining the sovereignty of North America's first nations into the 21 st century. This heuristic study draws upon the ethics of alterity in the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas to refract testimony from interviews with elders who attended boarding schools in the 1930s and 40s, student activists who staged an occupation of a native college in 2005, and educators working in tribal, public and federal schools, to shed light on native perceptions of how the continuing evolution of Indian identity in teaching and learning is contributing to a revitalization of heritage lifeways.





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