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YES: Youth Empowerment for Success the development of a program for Indigenous Youth

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By looking at the history and the current state of educational affairs in Indian Country there is an identifiable need to encourage Indigenous students to succeed. Theories involving decolonization, sovereignty rights, and the Indigenous pedagogy are essential to properly empower

By looking at the history and the current state of educational affairs in Indian Country there is an identifiable need to encourage Indigenous students to succeed. Theories involving decolonization, sovereignty rights, and the Indigenous pedagogy are essential to properly empower Indigenous youth. Research involved analyzing four previously implemented programs in Indigenous communities around the world which focused on education, culture, and decolonization. Data was collected through interviews and surveys from undergraduate and graduate students attending Arizona State University. From the information gathered a program is suggested which focuses on teaching Indigenous youth research methods and implementing a program within their community. The suggested program derives ideas from the aforementioned analyzed programs and cultural values in the Diné community.

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2014-05

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Diné decolonizing education and settler colonial elimination: a critical analysis of the 2005 Navajo Sovereignty in Education Act

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In 2005 the Navajo Nation Tribal Council passed the Navajo Sovereignty in Education Act (NSEA). The NSEA has been herald as a decisive new direction in Diné education with implications for Diné language and cultural revitalization. However, research has assumed

In 2005 the Navajo Nation Tribal Council passed the Navajo Sovereignty in Education Act (NSEA). The NSEA has been herald as a decisive new direction in Diné education with implications for Diné language and cultural revitalization. However, research has assumed the NSEA will lead to decolonizing efforts such as language revitalization and has yet to critically analyze how the NSEA is decolonizing or maintains settler colonial educational structures. In order to critically investigate the NSEA this thesis develops a framework of educational elimination through a literature review on the history of United States settler colonial elimination of Indigeneity through schooling and a framework of decolonizing education through a review of literature on promising practices in Indigenous education and culturally responsive schooling. The NSEA is analyzed through the decolonizing education framework and educational elimination framework. I argue the NSEA provides potential leverage for both decolonizing educational practices and the continuation of educational elimination.

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2015

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Indigenous students navigating community college: an assessment of culturally-based empowerment workshops

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Indigenous students have not been achieving their educational goals similar to other racial and ethnic groups. In 2008 Native American students completed a bachelor's degree at a rate of 38.3% the lowest rate of all racial and ethnic groups and

Indigenous students have not been achieving their educational goals similar to other racial and ethnic groups. In 2008 Native American students completed a bachelor's degree at a rate of 38.3% the lowest rate of all racial and ethnic groups and lower than the national average of 57.2%. The high attrition rate of Native students in post-secondary education, nationally, suggests that on-going colonization may be to blame. Much of the research exploring retention strategies found culturally sensitive institutions, family and peer support, supportive relationships with faculty and staff, skill development, and financial aid knowledge were consistent factors for student retention. No studies have examined the effects of cultural workshops as decolonizing practices, however. This action research examined the influence of a series of cultural workshops to address Native student and college community needs. Employing a mixed-methods design, this project framed the cultural workshops within decolonization and historical trauma. Five student participants attended five cultural workshops and completed questionnaires to offer insight into their college behaviors while journals were used to learn about their experiences within the workshops. The results of this study are consistent with the literature. There was no change in relationships as a result of the intervention, but relationships with faculty and staff that mimicked family were reported as important for student success. Participating students were at early stages in the decolonization process but were further along when they had experiences in college with American Indian Studies or faculty. Students felt that colonizing practices at the college must be challenged and Indigenous traditional practices must be integrated to create a culturally competent institution. Additional sessions are recommended to increase data collection and allow participants to develop and share their rich feedback with the college.

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2018