Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Multicultural Learning and Teaching

Editor-in-Chief: Obiakor, Festus / Algozzine, Robert

Managing Editor: Banks, Tachelle

2 Issues per year

See all formats and pricing
More options …

A Conceptual Framework for Non-Native Instructors Who Teach Adult Native American Students at the University

Tom M. Buckmiller / Renee A. Cramer
Published Online: 2013-06-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mlt-2012-0009


Native students often desire an education that will enable them to contribute to their home communities and facilitate tribal development, while retaining close ties to their cultural heritage and identity. We outline a conceptual framework that provides a starting point for non-Native American educators to consider as they engage Native American students in higher education. Four elements are critical for non-Native instructors to consider: his or her positionality; the history of educational delivery to Native populations – in particular the “Boarding School Era” – and its implications for education today; the presence of micro-aggressions felt by Native students on most college campuses; and how desires to increase and facilitate tribal sovereignty and self-determination may inform the education of Native students. By engaging in self-reflective pedagogy with positionality, history, and sovereignty in mind, non-Native instructors may be more likely to engage in effective strategies for Native learners.

Keywords: Native American; American Indians; higher education; adult education


  • Alfred, T. (2004). Warrior scholarship: Seeing the university as a ground of contention. In D. A. Mihesuah & A. C. Wilson (Eds.), Indigenizing the academy, 88–99. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.Google Scholar

  • Author, R. A. (2006). The Common Sense of Anti-Indian Racism: Reactions to Mashantucket Pequot Success in Gaming and Acknowledgment. 31 Law & Social Inquiry 2: 313–341.Google Scholar

  • Begaye, T. (2004). Foreword. In S. Grande (Ed.), Red pedagogy: Native American social and political thought, vii–viii. Lantham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar

  • Brayboy, B. M. (2006). Toward a tribal critical race theory in education. The Urban Review, 37(5), 425–446.Google Scholar

  • Brookfield, S. (2005). The power of critical theory: Liberating adult learning and teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar

  • Brown, L. L., & Robinson Kurpius, S. E. (1997). Psychosocial factors influencing academic persistence of American Indian college students. Journal of College Student Development, 38, 3–12.Google Scholar

  • Calsoyas, K. (2005). Consideration in the educational process relative to Native Americans. Cambridge Journal of Education, 35(3), 301–310.Google Scholar

  • Castagno, A. E., & Brayboy, B. M. (2008). Culturally responsive schooling for Indigenous youth: A review of the literature. Review of Educational Research, 78(4), 941–993.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Connell-Szasz, M. (1999). The education connection: Christopher Columbus to Sherman Alexie. Journal of American Indian Education, 38(3).Google Scholar

  • Crenshaw, K. (1989) Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: a black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory, and antiracist politics, University of Chicago Legal Forum, 139.Google Scholar

  • Deloria, V., Jr. (1979). The metaphysics of modern existence. New York, NY: Harper and Row.Google Scholar

  • Deloria, V., Jr., & Lytle, C. (1984). The nations within: The past and future of American Indian sovereignty. New York, NY: Pantheon Books.Google Scholar

  • Deyhle, D., & Swisher, K. (1997). Research in American Indian and Alaska Native education: From assimilation to self-determination. In A.M.W. (Ed.), Review of research in education (pp. 113–194). Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.Google Scholar

  • Fann, A. (2004). Forgotten students: American Indian high school students’ narrative on college going. UC Berkeley Center for the Study of Higher Education Research Colloquium. May 7, 2004.Google Scholar

  • Fanon, F. (1963). The wretched of the earth. New York City: Grove Press.Google Scholar

  • Flores, J., & Garcia, S. (2009, July) Latina testimonies: A reflexive, critical analysis of a ‘Latina space’ at a predominantly White campus. Race Ethnicity and Education, 12(2), 155–172.Google Scholar

  • Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York, NY: The Continuum Publishing Group.Google Scholar

  • Grande, S. (2004). Red pedagogy: Native American social and political thought. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar

  • Grande, S. (2008). Red pedagogy: The un-methodology. In N. K. Denzin, Y. S. Lincoln, & L. T. Smith (Eds.), Critical and indigenous methodologies (pp. 233–254). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.Google Scholar

  • Guillory, R. M., & Wolverton, M. (2008). It’s about family: Native American student persistence in higher education. Journal of Higher Education, 79(1), 58–87.Google Scholar

  • Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. (2007). The state of the native nations: Conditions under U.S. policies of self-determination. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Hernandez, P., Carranza, M., & Almeida, R. (2010). Mental health professionals’ adaptive responses to racial microaggressions: An exploratory study. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 41(3), 202–209.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Hughes, R., & Giles, M. (2010). CRiT walking in higher education: Activating critical race theory in the academy. Race Ethnicity and Education, 1, 41–57.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Inglebret, E., & Pavel, M. (2000). Curriculum planning and development for Native Americans and Alaskan Natives in higher education. In F. Parkay & G. Hass (Eds.), Curriculum planning: A Contemporary approach (pp. 493–502). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar

  • James, K. (2004). Corrupt state university. In D. A. Mihesuah & A. C. Wilson (Eds.), Indigenizing the academy: Transforming scholarship and empowering communities. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.Google Scholar

  • Jensen, R. (1998) White privilege shapes the U.S. Baltimore Sun (Julu 19): 1C, 4C.Google Scholar

  • Johnson, J. R., & Bhatt, J. (2003, July/October). Gendered and racialized identities and alliances in the classroom: Formations in/of resistive space. Communication Education, 52(3/4), 230–244.Google Scholar

  • Kirkness, V., & Barnhardt, R. (1991). First nations and higher education: The four r’s–respect, relevance, reciprocity, responsibility. Journal of American Indian Education, 30(3), 1–10.Google Scholar

  • Lopez, I. H. (2000 [1994]). The social construction of race. In R. Delgado & J. Stefancic (Eds.), Critical race theory: The cutting edge, 163–175. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.Google Scholar

  • Mihesuah, D. A., & Wilson, A. C. (2004). Introduction. In D. A. Mihesuah & A. C. Wilson (Eds.), Indigenizing the academy. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.Google Scholar

  • Norgren, J. (2004 [1996]). The Cherokee cases: The confrontation of law and politics. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.Google Scholar

  • Panter, A. T., Daye, C. E., Allen, W. R., Wightman, L. F., & Deo, M. (2008). Everyday discrimination in a national sample of incoming law students. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 2, 67–79.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Pavel, M. (1999). American Indians and Alaska Natives in higher education. In K. G. Swisher & J. W. Tippeconnic (Eds.), Next steps: Research and practice to advance Indian education, 239–258. Charleston, WV: ERIC/CRESS.Google Scholar

  • Perry, B. (2009). There’s just places ya’ don’t wanna go’: The segregating impact of hate crime against Native Americans. Contemporary Justice Review, 12(4), 401–418.Google Scholar

  • Pewewardy, C. D. (2003). Culturally responsive teaching for American Indian students (Publication no. ED482325). Retrieved October 4, 2007 from Eric: www.eric.ed.gov

  • Pillow, W. (2003). “Confession, Catharsis, or Cure? Rethinking the uses of Reflexivity as Methodological Power in Qualitative Research.” Qualitative Studies in Education 16(2):175–196.Google Scholar

  • Smith, L. T. (2005). On tricky ground: Researching the Native in the age of uncertainty. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research (Vol. 3), 85–108. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar

  • Sue, D.W., Capodilupo, C.M., Torino, G.C., Bucceri, J.M. Aisha M.B., Nadal, K. L., & Esquilin, M. (2007). Racial microaggression in everyday life: Implications for clinical practice. American Psychologist, 62, 271–286.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Swisher, K. (1998). Why Indian people should be the ones to write about Indian education. InD. Mihesuah (Ed.), Natives and academics, 190–200. Lincoln, NE: University of Lincoln Press.Google Scholar

  • Swisher, K., & Tippeconnic, J. (1999). Research to support improved practice in Indian education. In K. G. Swisher & J. W. Tippeconnic (Eds.), Next steps: Research and practice to advance Indian education, vii–x. Charleston, WV: ERIC/CRESS.Google Scholar

  • Tierney, W. (1992b). Official encouragement, institutional discouragement. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corporation.Google Scholar

  • Tippeconnic Fox, M.J., Lowe, S.C., & McClellan, G.S. (2005). Serving Native American Students. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar

  • Tisdell, E. J. (1998). Post-structural feminist pedagogies: The possibilities and limitations of feminist emancipatory adult learning theory and practice. Adult Education Quarterly, 48(3), 139–157.Google Scholar

  • US Department of Education. (2010). Retrieved June 2, 2011 from http://chronicle.com/article/Student-Race-Ethnicity-by-Type/123979/

  • Wilkins, David E. (2007). American Indian politics and the American political system. New York City: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar

  • Wilkins, D. E., & Lomawaima, K. (2001). Uneven ground: American Indian sovereignty and federal law. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.Google Scholar

  • Wilson, A. C. (2004). Reclaiming our humanity: Decolonization and the recovery of Indigenous knowledge. In D. A. Mihesuah & A. C. Wilson (Eds.), Indigenizing the academy: Transforming scholarship and empowering communities, 69–87. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.Google Scholar

  • The Cherokee Nation v. The State of Georgia 30 U.S. (5 Peters) 1 (1831).Google Scholar

  • Samuel A. Worcester v. The State of Georgia 31 U.S. (6 Peters) 515 (1832).Google Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2013-06-18

Citation Information: Multicultural Learning and Teaching, Volume 8, Issue 1, Pages 7–26, ISSN (Online) 2161-2412, ISSN (Print) 2194-654X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mlt-2012-0009.

Export Citation

© 2013 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin / Boston.Get Permission

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in