July 02, 2006

Indians don't trust education?

Tribal ContactMistrust of education is rife among Native Americans, says Cynthia Lindquist, president of Cankdeska Cikana (Little Hoop) Community College, in Fort Totten, N.D.

“Education was used to force assimilation in an organized government fashion,” she notes. “There’s that whole Great White Father myth that we live with, and educated Indians are sometimes seen as ‘thinking they’re better’ than reservation Indians.”

Some leaders at mainstream academic institutions believe that understanding Indian culture and political status may play a crucial approach in getting more Native American students to attend colleges and universities. The population currently has the lowest college graduation rates of all student groups in the U.S.

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