Tribal Colleges and Universities

Posted on March 5, 2012 by

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            The topic that I chose for this USHRS project was tribal colleges and universities.  I chose this topic after watching a video about Raquel Chapa, the first Native American Graduate from Harvard, and other stories of Native Americans that attended the school.  I did not know that one of the early Harvard College charters (1650) included the education of Native Americans, in order to Christianize  them.  From here I began to do some general research on Native American education, and began to specifically focus in on tribal colleges.  Why this interested me exactly, I’m not exactly sure.  I guess that as the topic of secondary education has come up more in my life, I have become interested in how other people are approaching and have approached secondary education.  Once I had narrowed down my topic idea, I began looking at a number of more general resources (like Wikipedia).  Wikipedia especially allowed me to find further links and make new connections to ideas for more in-depth topic research.  After getting a better idea of what direction I might go, I used some of the resources from Wikipedia, as well as some open web searching to get some more information.  This research mainly involved looking at the websites of the different tribal collages and universities for information about their mission, curriculum, etc.  I then tried used some databases provided by my school, including Facts on File (among others), these offered some new insight, as well as some interesting primary source documents.  I did do some searching for a book at my school library, but ultimately there were not a lot of books that had large amounts of information about tribal collages.  There were, however, some books that have some statistics about Native American education, as well a book about more of the social aspects of being a Native American in school (only a small portion of a book, and I am not sure if I will end up using it).  Lastly, I have been reading some older studies done by researchers looking into the statistics and surveys about the motivation behind Native American’s attending secondary schools.  I hope that my TED talk will give listeners a better understanding of the Native American tribal colleges and universities, why they were founded, how they were/are affecting Native American Education.  But I also that my talk will give them enough understanding to have an opinion of the subject that they are able and willing to defend.

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