Date: May 2010
Creator: Riding In, Leslie D.
Description: This qualitative research, specifically a content analysis of 31 tribal colleges' mission statements and curricula, examined how the colleges' curricula aligned with the five educational concepts suggested in the colleges' mission statements. Cajete's (1994) seven foundations to indigenous thinking proved to be a major theoretical framework which provided a worldview for tribal learning. The study concluded that whereas the five educational concepts aligned between mission statements and curricula, the curricula emphasized culture, tribal community, and academic success at a greater level than mission statements indicated. Further, tribal colleges' curricula did not emphasize economic concepts as the mission statements indicated. A particular finding suggests that tribal colleges' are investing in environmental studies programs, thus increasing their intellectual capacity to protect their environmental interests while promoting indigenous thinking and community learning across all academic disciplines. Considerable implications include that an increase of American Indian environmental studies graduates may have a positive impact on environmental justice matters as well as the ability to promote new agricultural technologies. Additional implications include how mainstream universities will adapt to an increase of native students studying the sciences rather than liberal arts.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries