Self-Determination and the Social Education of Native Americans

Self-Determination and the Social Education of Native Americans

Self-Determination and the Social Education of Native Americans

Self-Determination and the Social Education of Native Americans

Synopsis

Self-determination, a crucial concept in American Indian social and educational policy and the force behind Indian policy programs, is assessed here and found wanting. The volume contends that many aspects of this policy impulse are contradictory. Senese, looking at an area largely neglected by scholars of American educational policy, explores the discrepancy between the rhetoric of self-determination and its reality in Native American social settings. This study is rigorous in its analysis of the development, implementation, and language of this policy and unique in its critical perspective.

Excerpt

This book is the result of fourteen years of interest in, observation, and study of, the issue of Native American self-determination and community-controlled schooling. No language more greatly captures the democratic pluralist vision of educational potential than the language of self-determination. This concept has been used to martial support for a variety of participatory democratic, self-empowerment efforts which are the heart of progressive social policy. Ironically, the power of this language to win minds for policy initiatives has resulted in a wide gulf between the rhetoric and reality of self-determination. My involvement in the issues surrounding self-determination began during the two years 1977-78, when I worked as a youth counselor in a juvenile facility serving a large number of Tlingit-Haida school-aged children in southeast Alaska. It was there, at the Juneau Receiving Home, that I became aware of the strong contradictions that affected the lives of these children. Their material poverty was radically opposed to their community and extended-family connections, a connection which most of our Euro-American children did not have. This poverty was in contradiction to the great natural riches their surroundings implied and also to the growing administrative, political, and educational influence of the Sealaska Native Corporation, which owed its own wealth to the greatest single exchange of land for money since the Louisiana Purchase--The Alaska Native Claims settlement.

Throughout my experience I was greatly affected by the unique position of Native Americans in the twentieth century and the complex dimensions of culture, politics, and education in their lives. I developed a particular interest in the resilience and restorative dimensions of the Native American community. I was not too surprised, upon further study, to discover my concerns preceded by those of a long line of . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.