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American Indian Identity and Education

This entry does not describe the voluminous literature on American Indian education and identity. Instead, it outlines some of the ways that the concept of identity and American Indian education have been taken up and addressed in research. The entry begins with a brief discussion of the term identity before describing how identity has been used as both a concept and an analytical tool in educational research. The aim is to highlight a number of broad themes that frame the conversations in the literature, including American Indian identity as related to

  • indigenous culture and language,
  • notions of race,
  • legal constructs,
  • school reform, and
  • place and community.

In an article published in the Harvard Educational Review, Creek scholar K. Tsianina Lomawaima (2000) wrote, “The history of American Indian education can be summarized ...

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