A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculty of the


In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements

For the Degree of


V In the Graduate College.


1 9 7 2



I hereby recommend that this dissertation prepared under my



Samuel William Billison_____________________

Indian Education

be accepted as fulfilling the dissertation requirement of the

degree of

Doctor of Education___________________________

lasertation Director

After inspection of the final copy of the dissertation, the

following members of the Final Examination Committee concur in

its approval and recommend its acceptance:*

U p


This approval and acceptance is contingent on the candidate's

adequate performance and defense of this dissertation at the

final oral examination.

The inclusion of this sheet bound into

the library copy of the dissertation is evidence of satisfactory

performance at the final examination.


This dissertation has been submitted in partial fulfill­ ment of requirements for an advanced degree at The University of

Arizona and is deposited in the University Library to be made .

available to borrowers under rules of the Library.

Brief quotations from this dissertation are allowable without special permission, provided that accurate acknowledge­ ment of source is made„ Requests for permission for extended quotation from or reproduction of this manuscript in whole or in part may be granted by the copyright holder.

© 1973



The writer wishes to express- sincere appreciation to his dissertation director, Dr. John H. Chilcott, whose valuable con­ tribution of time, patience, and advice made this study possible.

Appreciation is also extended to the writer’s advisor. Dr.

Henry E. Butler, Jr., for his advice and encouragement.

Paulsen, Dr. David W. Smith, and Dr. Donald R. Ross for their participation as members of the examining committee . Gratitude is also due the late Dr. Lloyd E. McCann, whose advice and friendship during the early part of the writer’s doctoral studies will always be remembered. Special thanks is extended to Mrs.

Rita Mikula for her care and concern while typing this disserta­ tion .

Finally, the writer wishes to express his profound grati­ tude and love to his. wife, Patsy, and the Billison boys— Sam Jr.,

Robert, John, and Larry--for their encouragement, faith, and






. . . . ■

1. INTRODUCTION . ... . . . .

General Background

Significance of the Problem . . . . . . . . . . . .

Assumptions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ........

Definitions .

Limitations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


. . . ix x xi









2. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Belief System Regarding the Education of

Indian Students . .

. . . . . . . . . . 9

Personal Motivation for Educating Indian

Students . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Preparation for Educating American Indian

Children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21.

Local Participation in the Decision-Making

Process for Educating American Indian

Children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Recent Changes in the Direction of Educating

American Indian Children . . . . . ........ . . 30

Goals for Educating American Indian Students . . . 34

Summary 40

3. METHODOLOGY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

The Population Investigated in This Study ....... 41

A Model for Developing, Conducting, and


. .



The Design of the Interview Instrument .

. . 45

. ' . . . 47

Treatment of the Data .

. . . ..... 48

Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 v



c;,V ' Page



Administrators’ Belief Systems Regarding

. . . . . .



- Belief. Systems Based on No Knowledge: of Indians . .


. . . . ...

Belief Systems Based on the‘Idea that

. . . . 5


the Indian Is Poor . . . .



. .. . .. .



Belief Systems Based on Limited, Non-


Specific Knowledge of Tribal Group(s) . . . . 63


Belief Systems Based on Some Specific


Belief Systems Based on Close Contact


Section Summary .

. .

. . . . . . . . . 68

: Schools Serving. Indian Children: 2 . . . . . ...





Status Improvement . . .


Motivation That of a Civil Service

Position With a Gradual Shift to

School Administration 1 .

. .71

Motivation That of a Preference for a

....... . . . . . . . .


Motivation to Serve Indians, But Vague


Motivation to Serve Indians With Some

Specific Ideas of What This. Involved . . . . . 73

Motivation as an Indian to Serve Indians .



' 75

Training Necessary for Indian Education: 3 . . . 76

Perceptions Not Mentioning Training

Requirements , . . .

. . .

„ .



Perceptions Suggesting Need to Change

Training But With No Specific Ideas . . . . . 77

Perceptions Suggesting Need to Contact

Indians During; Training ...... .

. . . . . 78


of Innovation, in Indian Education .

v .

. . . • 78

.. . . . . . ; I . .




Administratorsr Perceptions as Related to

Perceptions of Indian Participation in

Their Own Education With Control by the Federal Government . „ „ . » „ „ „ .

Perceptions of Indian Participation, in

Their Own Education Under the Control of the Federal Government With a

Tribal Advisory Board .

Perceptions of Indian Participation in

„ . . .

Their Own Education With Control by the State Government . . . .

. . . . .

Perceptions Encouraging Indian Partici­ pation in Education With the Control of the State Government Favored . .


Perceptions Strongly Encouraging Indian

Participation in Education With Local

Indian Control Favored . . . . . .


Perceptions of Indian Participation

Through Tribal Council Operating the

Local Schools Favored ... .

. . . . .

... .

. . .

. . .


Administratorsf Perceptions as Related to

Program Changes in Indian Education:.

. .

Response of.No Suggestion for Change in

Perceptions of Need to Offer Bilingual

Perceptions of.Need to Include Indian

Cultural Materials in Indian Education . .

Perceptions of Need to Involve Indians in Process of Educating Indian. Children . .

Training in .Indian Education . . . . . . .

Perceptions of Need for Indian Students to Improve Self-Image .

Perceptions of Other Kinds of Changes

Needed in Indian Education . . . . .- . .

Section Summary ... . .




. . .


-.. . .


Assimilation as a Goal of Indian

. .

. ... . .


Complying With State Standards as a Goal of Indian Education . . . .



82 •

82 .

















95 .



Preparation of the Indian for the Anglo

Community as a Goal of Indian Education . .

Preparation of the Indian to Choose

Between Indian and Non-Indian Societies


Preparation of the Indian to Live in Both


„ . .

Preparation of the Indian for Cultural

Pluralism as a Goal , . . . . . . . . , . . .

Preparation of the. Indian to Live in

Local Community Whatever the Culture . . . .

Section Summary . . .


. . . . . . . . .

Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .








Design-of the Study ........... 103

Results of the Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105

Conclusions . . . . .

... . . . . . . . . . . .


Recommendations . „ . . . . . . . . . .

. . . .



SAMPLE . , . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . 109


. Ill




. . . . . . . . . . . 115



Figure- .


Perceptions Regarding Indian Education



Indians .....................

Serving Indians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69

4. Administrators’ Perceptions Related to Training

Necessary for Indian Education . . . . . . . . . 76

5. Administrators' Perceptions Related to Indian

Participation in Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . 81

Indian Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87

7. Administrators' Perceptions of Goals of Indian

Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94

56 ix


Table Page

1. Administrators Participating in Study . . . . . . . . 42

2. Total Responses With Percentages . . . . . . . . . . 53 x


This investigation was concerned with the problem of determining how administrators in schools serving American Indian children perceived their role and the role of their school in ed­ ucating these children „ The problem arose out of (1) the recog­ nition that the school administrator occupies a crucial position in determining educational policy and (2) a clear need to provide quality education to all American Indian youth. The latter of these two goals appears not to have been reached, since the national average.

The problem was subdivided into a series of six related questions. These included: (1) What was the belief system of administrators concerning the nature of American. Indians ?

(2) What motivated the administrators to want to administer in .

schools serving American Indians? (3) Did the professional prep­ aration of school administrators affect their perception of. (4). How much opportunity did school adminis­ trators provide for Indian participation in school decisions?

(5) What changes in school programs serving Indian children did school administrators feel were necessary? and (6) What did the school administrators feel the goal of American Indian education to be?



The investigation was conducted during the'academic year

1968-69 and involved fifty-two administrators of schools serving.

American Indians in eight states. The instrument used in gath­ ering the data was an open-ended interview schedule of twenty- ■ three questions„ The content of the schedule was derived from the six .subquestions of the problem and was administered person­ ally by the interviewers. A model was constructed, based on the six subquestions in order to better organize the interview sched­ ule and to make an analysis of the data from these interviews

This model was useful in organizing and demonstrating the inter­

The belief systems of a significant majority of the ad­ ministrators of schools serving American Indians were grounded

,on very■limited specific knowledge of. Indian tribal groups. The study indicated that the prime motivation of administrators in these schools was .to improve their economic and professional status rather than to serve American Indians.

'Nearly one-third of the:administrators did not perceive

Indian participation as being significant; however, the other two-thirds felt that it was significant and suggested plans for participation.

The majority of the administrators perceived the need for some changes in American Indian- education, such as vocational training, Indian involvement, bilingual and Indian cultural image .

Approximately 54 percent of the administrators perceived the goal of American Indian education as assimilation within the dominant society, while 46 percent tended toward some type of cross-cultural training. Only 12 percent of the administrators indicated that the goal should be cultural pluralism.

Recommendations of the study included the following:

(1) colleges and universities which prepare administrators to work in schools.serving American Indian students should offer a program of training in the specific culture, language, and cus­ toms of those Indians and should recruit, encourage, and finally assist in the placement of promising candidates, (2) school sys­ tems should recruit and select administrators who have been edu­ cated in the culture, language, and customs of the Indians to be served and who display attitudes of concern and sensitivity for these people, (3) administrators of schools serving American

Indian students should develop skills in consulting with local

Indian populations about their educational goals, and (4) admin­ istrators of schools serving American Indian students should strive to develop programs which strongly emphasize fundamentals of human relationships basic to improving the self-image of the

Indian students.



The American Indians, descendants of the original inhabi­ tants of this continent, comprise one of the significant ethnic groups in the country. It is estimated that about 600,000 Ameri­ cans identify themselves as Indians and that of these about

400,000 live on or near federal lands (reservations) set aside by Congressional Act, Executive Orders, and/or treaties with the

Federal G o v e r n m e n t O f the original three hundred languages once spoken by American Indians, 175 still survive, an indication that ethnic identity is still very strong in spite of three hun­ dred years of attempted enforced acculturation--forcing on Indian youngsters the white man’s concept of human nature and values «

Prior to the 1800 ’s , Indian education was primarily pro­ vided by missionaries under the provision of a national policy

(Peace Policy) which in part provided for Christianization of at Havana, Cuba, for Indian children who lived within the


Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States,.

Lyndon B. Johnson 1968-69, Vol. 1 (Washington, D.C.: U. S.

Government Printing Office, 1970), p. 335.


boundaries of what is presently the United States „2 it was not

2 until the late 1800's that the Federal Government began educating the Indians under provisions of treaties between the tribes and the United States „ Under many of these treaties the establish­ ment of schools for Indian children was specifically provided.

It was not for another one hundred years that individual states negotiated contracts with the Federal Government to educate Indian children within the public schools.

Between the years 1900 and 1962 the enrollment of Indian children in public schools increased .from 246 to 69,651 This was due in part to the enactment and revision of Public Law

81-874 (1950) which provides funds' to local school districts for partial general operating expenses paid in lieu of local taxes.

Public Law 81-815 (1950), providing for school construction in districts where there are federally-connected non-Indian and In­ dian children, also figured in this increase in enrollment. The federal and state responsibility of educating Indians .was further affirmed by enactment in 1934 of the Johnson-0’Malley Act which provided for aid to the various states for implementing their .


3 ’

Norman Greenberg and Gilda Greenberg, Education of the

American Indian in Today’s World (Dubuque:- William C .

Brown Co.,

Inc., 196.4), p. 27.

4Ibid ., p. 28.

educational programs to Indians on or near reservationsAlso,

3 the enactment of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act policy and priority that all disadvantaged youth in this country should receive an education,operated to reinforce the idea that the Federal Government was supportive of Indian educationc

Thus, the responsibility of providing quality education to Indian children is vested with both the federal and state governments„

In the fiscal year 1969, there were 178,476 Indian students in public, private, mission, and federal schools

,7 of those en­ rolled in school, 66.7 percent attended public schools, 27.3 per­ cent attended federal schools, and 6.0 percent attended mission and other schools.8 Annual statistics on Indian education indi­ cated a pronounced trend for Indian students to attend public fairs has a policy of encouraging Indian students to enroll in public school when they have acquired some facility in the use of the English language.^

Sgtate Advisory Commissions on Indian Affairs, ."A

Johnson-0 ’Malley Educational Program for California Indians,"

Printing Office, 1969), p. 497.

^Lloyd New, "The Failure of National Policy: An Histori­

Government Printing Office, 1969), p. 178.

7U . S'. Bepartment of Interior, op. cit., p. 1.

8Ibid., p. 1.

9Ibid., p. 5. '

In spite of the fact that nine out of ten Indian.children are enrolled in school today, the problem of providing quality level is half that of the national average; and the Indian child falls farther and farther behind, the longer he is in school.

Many elementary and secondary teachers of Indian children, by their own admissions, do not care to teach Indians .-*-0

To date, little or no attention has been given to the training of school administrators in schools serving Indian stu- .

dents. Even though studies have been made on cultural problems of American Indians with specific recommendations as to the im­ vestigations seem not to have been incorporated into professional training programs for school, administrators.

Statement of the Problem

Precisely how did administrators in schools serving Amer­ ican Indian children perceive their role and the role of their .

schools in educating these children?

In studying this problem a number of .related questions were raised: ,

-^Senator Edward Kennedy, statement made during hearings before Special Subcommittee on Indian Education in Indian Educa­ fice, 1969), p. 5.

1. What was the "belief system" of school administrators with respect to the nature of American Indians?

2. What motivated the administrators to want to adminis­ ter schools serving Indian children?

3 „ Did the professional preparation of school adminis­ trators affect their perception of Indian education?

4„ How much opportunity did school administrators pro­ vide for Indian participation in school decisions and programs?

Why did they feel Indian participation was (was not) important?

5. What changes in school programs serving Indian chil­ dren did school administrators feel were necessary? Were these .

changes directed toward assimilating the Indian child or main­ taining his identity as an Indian?

6. What did school administrators, as a group, feel the goal of. Indian education should be?

Significance of the Problem

The knowledge which school administrators possess about the conditions of American Indian life occupies a crucial posi- tion in determining educational policy and formulating sound, constructive programs„. The action they pursue in meeting the needs of Indian children should be examined„ Grieder and Rosen-'

Stengel stated, "The basic philosophy of a school system is cer­ tainly influenced by the administrator and his basic concepts of

• ' ' what he is trying to accomplish through the program of the


The perception of the school administrator with respect to his and the school’s role in educating American Indian chil­ dren, therefore, can be viewed as a major determinant in develop­ ing successful programs for educating Indian youth. There is a definite need for school administrators specifically trained to .

assist in alleviating the many urgent problems faced by Indians who seek an education.

The results of this study should contribute to the devel^ opment of specific training programs designed for school adminis­ trators in schools serving Indian students. The results can help in determining the content and direction which such programs take, as well as the selection of school administrators for training.


Administrators in schools serving American Indian youth can: (1) make explicit their belief systems regarding educating

Indian students, (2) state their motivation for becoming adminis-: trators in schools serving Indians, (3) indicate their prepara.- tion to administer these schools, (4) give their views' regarding

Indian participation in their own schools, (5) detail the changes

^Calvin Grieder and W. E. Rosenstengel, Public; School

Administration (New York: The Ronald Press, 1954), p. 167.

■ " ■ • ■ • in curriculum they believe' are needed for these schools, and


Definitions intricate American Indian family organization, language, cultural behavior, economics, religion, and values„ superintendent, principal, or supervisor within a .school system.

judgment of ideas, behavior, or social role.

within the Department of Interior whose responsibility it is to provide opportunity for education to American Indians and Alaska natives by making available sufficient federal funds, school fa­ cilities, and personnel.

of America who lived on the continent of North America before the


1. The study was limited by the scarcity of published materials dealing specifically with administrators of schools serving American Indian students.

2. The study was limited to a selection of administra­ tors serving the Indian children in eight different states It was impossible to interview all those administrators who adminis­ ter Schools serving Indian youth.


In. this chapter the problem was identified as being that .

of how administrators in schools serving American Indian children posed to give direction and order to the investigation. These tems, (2) motivations to administer in these schools, (3) pro­ fessional preparation, (4) perceptions concerning Indian

.participation in schools, (5) views on needed changes in Indian education, and (6) perspectives on the goals of Indian education.

Additionally, a set of assumptions, definitions, and limitations' were provided. In the next chapter, the review of related liter­ ature will be presented.

•^Alaska, Arizona, Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, North

Carolina, North Dakota, and South Dakota.



Belief System Regarding the Education of Indian Students

As with other educators,■those who teach or administer in schools serving American Indian students would tend to agree with Bryde who asserted:

Among all the philosophies of education practically all educators will agree that, basically, the overall purpose of education is to turn out happy and socially.

contributing human beings. This means that, as a re­ sult of his education, the student feels that he is on top of his environment, is contributing to its develop­ ment, and has a joyful sense of achievement according to his ability.^

Teachers and administrators of schools serving Indian

■ i students, like most educators, tend to behave in ways which are different from the ceremonial expressions of school philosophy which they state in public. Many teachers tend to see their job of teacher as that of enacting specific types of role behavior.

This behavior is, in many ways, presumed to be quite different fr'om the behavior appropriate to other social situations in dian Education, Part 1 (Washington, D.C.: U. S. Government

Printing Office, 1969), pp. 27-28.

stating, "It is quite customary for teachers rather consciously.

10 to put on the mask, the role, the facade, of being a teacher, and to wear this facade all day removing it only when they left the o school at night

. 11

Administrators ordinarily are recruited from the teacher ranks and tend to maintain this pattern.

Teachers, in thinking about themselves in their profes­ sional roles, tend to think in exclusive terms as though they were some type of "in-group" while the general public is some type of " o u t - groupLandes noted this when she stated, "Public to parents and to other citizens outside the profession as ’lay­ men .

naive and uninformed’ This pattern of thinking and acting creates a distinct isolation of educators from the. Indian people of the communities they serve.

Teachers and administrators in schools serving Indian students tend to approach the teaching-learning process with a set of stereotypes acquired in the educational institutions of the dominant culture. One such stereotype which seems to per­ sist through most educational settings where Indian students are found is that of continuous evaluation of the intelligence of the students with some marked tendency to question their innate capacities. Of this situation, Havighurst commented:

^Carl R. Rogers, Freedom to Learn (Columbus, Ohio:

^Ruth Landes, Culture in American Education (New York:


11 tists from the data on Indian cultures and Indian in­ telligence is that American Indians of today have about the same innate equipment for learning as have the which have preserved their traditional cultures to some extent, there, is a limited motivation of children for a high level performance in schools and colleges

Another stereotype which many teachers and school admin­ istrators of Indian children bring to their experiences in the school and classroom is what has been labeled "the big vacuum ideology." This ideology contends in its basic premise that In­ dian children are impoverished in their cultural experiences and have little to offer. It is therefore the task of the educator to fill this alleged vacuum with as many rich Anglo experiences position of administrators and school officials to support poli­ and the mind of the Indian child are meager, empty, or lacking in pattern.

Another stereotype seems to appear at many points; be­ cause a person is from another culture, he is somehow a worse person for this experience. Howe commented on this, stating:

Robert J. Havighurst, "Education Among American Indians:

Individual and Cultural Aspects," The Annals of the American

Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 311 (May 1958), p . 113.

"’Murray L. Wax, "Formal Education in an American Indian

Community," Social Problems, Society for the Study of Social

Problems Monograph, Vol. 2, No. 4 (Spring 1964), p. 67.

Perhaps the most important for bicultural programs tire history of discrimination is based on the prejudice

If we could teach all our children . . . that diversity is not to be feared or suspected, but enjoyed and val­ ued, we would be well on the way toward achieving the equality we have always proclaimed as a national charac­ teristic .6

Another stereotype, identified by Wax, is that of the

"incomplete" and "depraved" savage. Of this stereotypic image he stated:

. . . they have been confronting a teacher whose basic conception of his pupils is extremely negative: on the one hand he regards them as incomplete beings of

"meager experience," and on the other hand, he sees them as dirty and depraved because of "too much of the

12 not respect them, and as the children begin to realize this they lose respect for him.

. .. J

' At another point Wax alluded to the same stereotype' when he stated, " . . . scholastic achievement is low and dropout is high, the major loyalties of the children are to their peers, and the children are confronted by teachers who usually see them as inadequately prepared, uncultured offspring of an alien and ig­ norant folk."®

The belief systems of educators working in schools serv­ ing American Indian students tend to leave these professionals

^Harold Howe, "Cowboys, Indians, and American Educa­ tion," an address at the National Conference on Educational Op­ portunities for Mexican-Americans, April 25, 1968 (Washington,


Wax, op. cit., p. 8.

8Ibid., p. v.

unaware or insensitive to the multi-cultural nature of their school and community environments. Bass and Burger alluded to

13 toward ethnic groups:

The middle class of the United States is relatively homogeneous. It speaks essentially one language, Eng­ lish, and enjoys relatively a single policy, a federal government that has been reasonably stable for almost two hundred years . Middle class Americans--largely in­ cluding the educationists--may therefore tend to neglect the fact that the "Melting Pot" has by no means melted ethnic minorities and stratification may even be in­ creasing.^

Zintz suggested, " . . . teachers, in general, are not sensitive to socio-cultural differences of Indian, Spanish

*-1 Bryde, in a perceptive state­ ment, suggested that people, and especially educators who oper­ ate out of their own cultural bias, expect the cultural minority for whom the action is performed to be completely accepting:

All of the various agencies.or institutions involved in Indian education seem to have revealed their own cul­ tural biases. They appear to have assumed that by offer­ ing the American educational system with its culturally determined system of rewards and punishments lvalues] to the American Indian, that the American Indian student will respond and desire upward social mobility, or achievement in the American non-Indian sense. It would be well to recall that the system of rewards and punish­ ments in one culture does not necessarily motivate peo­ ple of another culture. The findings of modern social

^Willard P. Bass and Henry G. Burger, "American Indians and Educational Laboratories," Indian Education, Part 1 (Washing­ ton, B.C.: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1969), p. 125.


Miles V. Zintz, The Indian Research Study (Albuquerque:

U. S. Office of Education, Cooperative Research Branch, Univer­ sity of New Mexico, 1960), p. 106.

scientists would seem to indicate that it would have ments in the Indian culture £their values] to assist the Indian to adjust to the only area in which, he must adjust: the modern eight to five world that he must face .1-*-

.There is a pronounced tendency on the part of teachers and school administrators to ascribe hostilities to youngsters who experience an inability to grasp the unfamiliar content of the lessons to be learned in a foreign culture. Landes commented on this stating, child who does not learn from school work is felt by teachers to act unfairly toward them, almost by deliber- • ate intent.

Always, in social relationships, reference groups exist which function in some ways as external standards for judging and behaving which have very.little to do with the situation in which the behavior is occurring. Wayson made note of this thusly,

"Traditionally, school administrators are trained to tailor their priorities to what is acceptable to the profession, without too much concern for current social demands.

Such a state of af­ fairs undoubtedly could be projected into the classroom where the teacher operates' face to face with minority groups such as Americafi Indian, students .



Bryde, op. cit., p. 28.


Landes, op. cit., p. 21.

-^William Wayson, "A New Kind of Principal," National

Elementary Principal, Vol. 50, No. 4 (February 1971), p. 8.

Educators who teach and administer in schools serving


American Indian students have at their disposal a rich content from the local .native culture upon which to draw for classroom and community learning experiences. On the other hand, teachers generally tend not to know a great deal about the various worlds of the children whom they teach. Landes commented that, "Educa­ tors seldom'know of the myriad social factors that constitute a child’s world at home."^^ This lack of knowledge of the child’s world in turn contributes to the general insensitivity of the teacher with respect to each student in his or her classroom.

Bass and Burger referred to this, stating:

. . . the entire area of teacher sensitivity has barely been touched. It is one thing to draw up lesson plans which will aid the teacher in imparting specific skills and knowledges of certain items. It is a.more difficult task to make the teacher sensitive to the basic attitudes of life of the cultural minorities he

Greenberg, in talking of. the Navajo Indian, indicated that one of the.main challenges for a school administrator is that of informing himself concerning the Indian culture and then assisting his teachers and the students of these teachers to move across the cultural barriers in comfortable and challenging ways..

He stated:

Bridging the gap between cultures and minimizing the emotional conflict appears to be the greatest challenge the school system will meet.' The administrator and

14Landes, op. cit., p. 21.

-^Bass and Burger, op. cit., p. 145.

■ ' teacher's knowledge of the Navajo JIndianJ culture, and the specific use of each situation to develop security and worth in the school environment will account for the success or failure of the educational program.16


In considering the belief systems of teachers and admin­ istrators of schools serving Indian students, several points-have been emphasized: (1) the teachers and administrators in the presence of students tend to behave as though they had special masks on which required certain acts from themselves--and the students, (2) the stereotyped beliefs of teachers and administra­ tors concerning what Indian students should learn tend to blind these educators to the rich content of the local environment which could be brought into the classroom, and (3) local cultural material and local resource people are appropriate experiences in the school room.

Personal Motivation for Educating

Indian Students


variety of reasons which motivate educators to teach and administer in schools serving Indian students was considered.

Among, these reasons are the following: (1) economic, (2) success orientation, (3) prestige, (4) desire to convert the Indian to some religious faith, (5) zeal to help the "disadvantaged,"

(6) tourism, (7) study and research, and (8) concern with person­ al satisfaction.

-^Norman Charles Greenberg, "Administrative Problems Re­ published doctoral dissertation, University of Colorado, 1962), p. 96.


One writer suggested that Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs might well be employed in considering the motivation of educators who work in schools serving Indian children:

Maslow has suggested that the driving force which causes people to join an organization, stay in it, and

When the lowest order of needs in the hierarchy is satisfied, a higher-order need appears, and, since it has a greater potency at the time, this higher-order need causes the individual to attempt to satisfy it, motivated to join organizations, remain in them, and contribute to their objectives.-*-"^

High in the hierarchy of motivations to teach and admin­ ister, and this would include all types of schools including those serving Indian students, seems to be the continuing and pervasive need to achieve economic security.

Close by this mo­ tivation appears to be other important values in the hierarchy ' such as "success," "prestige," and "power." Zintz, in commenting on the Anglo concept of success, stated, "Everything is done to spur us toward success, which means that we must be not only as-


With regard to teachers, Wax^O suggested that the high proportion

(Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1970), pp. 29-

32 .

18Ibid., p. 32.

-*-^Zintz, op. cit., p. 288.

2^Wax, op. cit., p. 28.

18 of single or widowed middle-aged ladies who teach on the various reservations and other schools serving Indian students is ac­ counted for by the fact that relatively good salaries assure a certain degree of economic security while at the same time .pro­ viding satisfactory retirement benefits at the end of their teaching careers.

At the organizational level, Wax noted, "Some school of­ ficials see their careers and vocations in terms of the success­ ful operation of a particular school and . . . it emphasizes that in an important sense the school .is the administrator's Ad­ ditionally, as Burger stated, "The schools' unlimited power to modify the person, and thus the social order, is a belief pecu-


liar to democracies." ' •

Frequently, teachers and administrators have been moti­ vated to work in schools serving Indian students out of a desire to convert the "heathen savage" to the blessings of Christendom-- or a zeal to help the "poor, disadvantaged, and largely uncul­ tured" Indian. Wax stated the case quite successfully, saying:

From the time of the Spanish and French missionaries until the present day, the Whites have been concerned‘ with educating the Indians. Usually this implied simply lore, but also the transmutation of his culture and per­

^ I b i d ., p. 59.

ing Techniques (Albuquerque: Southwestern Cooperative Education­ al Laboratory, Inc., 1968), p. 280.

19 economic collectivist into an individualist, and, in the case of nomadic groups., from a hunter into a set­ tled and diligent

f a r m e r .


Wax alluded, furthermore, to the perception of school administra­ tors that Indians were not capable of handling their own educa­ tion when he observed,

As the tribes were forced to surrender most of their political independence, so too did they surrender any effective control over the formal education of their children. The White administrators did not merely re-, gard them as incompetent to operate schools, but also

•felt that contact between Indian parents and their chil­ dren would corrupt the latter into "Indianness."24

For some teachers and administrators, especially in high schools serving Indian students, the motive for being with In­ dians is simply, a desire to live and work in new and different surroundings serving a unique clientele— the tourism motive.

2 S

For a somewhat more limited group, the motive is to study specif­ ic cultural contexts as either neutral or participant obs.erv-

In some instances, where Indian children are a minute portion of the whole school population, the educator-Indian


Wax, op. cit., p. 1.

^^Ibid., p. 2.

^Sprank Miller and D. Douglas Caulkins, "Chippewa Adoles­ cents: A Changing Generation," Human Organization, Vol. 23,

No. 2 (1964), p. 152. -

An example of this is the experience of Norman and

Gilda Greenberg who taught in a trailer school on the Navajo

Reservation. Subsequently they published a book entitled Educa­

Brown Book Co., 1964).

20 student contact may be quite casual and by chance--often with no special motivation on the part of the teacher or administrator to tle motivation to have contact with Indian students, there has been a pronounced tendency on the part of both administrators and teachers to deal with such students more or less as "units" of production with a pronounced absence of humane concern and true human contact with students. Of this situation, Burger commented as follows: '

In the case of the United States, industrialism be- the factory to the school. Since the early 1900's edu­ cational establishments have been reconceptualized as


factories in which the raw products be shaped into conventional citizens. Students were t o - as is iron to steel .27

In considering the motivation of teachers and administra­ tors of schools serving American Indian students, certain factors were noted such as: economic security, success and prestige, conversion to a Christian religious faith, zeal to help the dis­ advantaged, tourism, study and research, and, finally, casual or chance contact with Indian students .

Whatever the motivation, there seems in most instances to be a conspicuous reticence on the part of administrators and

p *7

Burger, op. cit., p. 276.


teachers to make close human contact with those whom they are presumed to serve, Indian students „


Preparation for Educating

American Indian Children

The preparation of teachers and administrators for edu­ cating American Indian children has tended to be no more and no less than the preparation of educators for any school in American society. Burger^ noted that in teaching ethnic minorities there is not only the traditional problem of dealing with learning the­ ory at the psychological level, but also that of dealing with it face to face in the ”cultural change context.n Furthermore, and this applies to the schools catering to middle-class students as well as to schools containing students of ethnic minorities, and Burchell indicated, ’'I.ThereJ is the lack of relationship be­ tween modern concepts of, and knowledge about, the development of human characteristics and the application of this information to ' the curriculum in order to facilitate educational growth."


Henry, in an unusually frank, and as he put it, "non- objective" manner, commented on the American classroom stating:

^Burger, op. cit., p. 8.

^William Castetter and Helen Burchell, Educational Ad­ ministration and the Improvement of Instruction (Danville: In­ terstate Printers and Publishers, Inc., 1967), p. 6.

■; : - 7 : ^ - ; ; : - ' - ■■

School has no choice - it must train the children to

22 couraged to play among new cultural systems, values, and , cial studies teacher will perceive such a child as a poor student

Many teachers in American classrooms•feel that it is dan­ dently is as true of ethnic minorities as it is of the dominant

What naturally results from this state of affairs is a syndrome a prominent sociologist refers to as "the dead.

hand of competenceteachers who try to get by with as can parents take in a school over which they have no con­ trol, and in teachers who want to avoid involvement.-^ involvement in the day-to-day life of the children in the school and of the adults in the local community environment; ". .

while the day school exists in the community, it is really not of it; that while the teachers teach the children of the community, these children live, and they are little responsive to the needs

• "Z T

of the community at large." ./

House,. 1963), pp. 286-287.

•^Alfonso Ortiz, statement made during hearings, before the Special Subcommittee on Indian Education in Indian Education,

1969),. p. 64.

33Ibid., pp. 63-64.

The teachers and administrators of Indian students fre­

23 quently lack preparation in multi-cultural experiences which would permit them to relate effectively to Indian students and pressed authorative opinion attesting to the advantage of the school .administrator being trained in an interdisciplinary man­ ner--with emphasis on the social sciences.

In the preparation of teachers to work with Indian stu­ dents , it is well to keep in mind the impressions that some writ­ ers of Indian education have gathered concerning these Indian students themselves.

For example. Burger pointed out the special

Children who have to wake themselves in the morning, dress themselves, get their own breakfast or go hungry, dodge adult cruelty frequently, learn to cope with adult neglect or even rejection as very small children; such children have learned•to concentrate on immediate prob­ which are abstract, such as ideas, thoughtful opinions, concepts, generalized statements, theories; those things

Such a statement as the above may seem quite unrealistic to the well-fed, suitably housed Anglo teacher or administrator.

It is interesting to note, however, that at least one writer on

Indian education found that there are some very real, although perhaps not completely observable, types of barriers which tend

-ZA ..........

Donald E. Tope (ed.), A Forward Look--The Preparation

Bureau of Educational Research, 1960).


Burger, op. cit., p. 225.





; to keep many teachers and administrators from becoming well ac­

24 quainted' with the circumstances in which their students and the ■ parents of these students are to be found„ Regarding certain

Bureau of Indian Affairs schools, Ortiz noted, ” . . . there is a policy solidly built into the structure of the Bureau of trans­

Indian people realize that activism and genuine concern on the part of a teacher is a reliable sign of early departure.

The preparation of teachers and administrators for edu­ cating Indian students may require a new emphasis on understand­ ing cultures--with special attention being given to their core values . As Bryde indicated, virtually all our needs excluding those of the basic biological ones and the needs for self ful­ stated:

The need you have to wear a pressed suit and have your shoes shined, those are needs that you learned within your culture. . . . All our needs are cultur­ ally induced, learned. If you fulfill the needs of children as one of the ends of education, you have to consider these culturally learned needs that you have to fulfill.37

In commenting on the effective functioning of administra­ tors in the Navajo Indian schools, Greenberg observed:

A knowledge of Navajo’s values may serve several purposes. First, it the administrator re­ evaluate his own values and assist in making them

3^0rtiz, op. cit., p. 64.

37Bryde, op. cit., p. 1.

25 him in deciding beforehand how to find the necessary compromise between Navajo and Anglo values when both groups are in the same classroom. Thirdly, it will create an awareness of the possible emotional con­ flicts which might arise should'improper emphasis be placed upon various reasons for

l e a r n i n g .


Since the administrator does exercise significant influ­ ence over the philosophy of the school system, it seems important to emphasize a thorough going knowledge of his basic concepts and goals in administering the school. As Phillips and Gibson-^ pointed out, personal values determine the way individuals oper­ ate in constructing: (1) ships, or (3) solutions to problems. Recognizing this, then, it would seem important for the administrator to be keenly aware of his personal values, of the fundamental conceptual system which comprises his philosophy, and to have a rather firm and thorough background of social science and anthropological training from which to draw in administering his school.

Local Participation in the Decision-Making Process for Educating American lh9Tan Children "~

The participation of Indians in decisions regarding the education of their children has been virtually non-existent in the near past, except for the brief Navajo orientation the BIA

■^Greenberg, op. cit., p. 22 .

Personality (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1957), p. 24.

26 and'Indian community tend to be 'mutual avoidance societies

He indicated that, in the Nineteenth Century, the Indian had at least to a limited extent some say regarding his own education.

.He did indicate, however, that in the latter part of the Nine­ teenth Century this modicum of control was ” . transformed from a process over which the Indian had had some control . . .

into an instrument of the superordinate White directed punitively

43 at the sense of Indian identity.", Wax further stated that the control tended to assume the form of a "tripartite education con-

42 figuration" in which educational control resided in important socio-economic individuals.

the configuration, as he perceived it, was organized of educational administrators and teachers, largely recruited from middle-class socio-economic little influence over the decision-making processes regarding education in the local community, completed the configuration.

Writers on educational administration have consistently emphasized the point that people should be fully involved in de­ cisions about their own schools. Wiles, in his book on supervi­ regularly consulted before action affecting them and their

40Wax, op. cit., p. 88.

41Ibid ., p. 2.

children is taken, they recognize the good faith of the school

27 staff, and cooperative responsibility results .

That individuals who are influenced by a program or pol­ icy should be involved in decisions regarding that program or policy was emphasized by Morphet, Johns, and Reller, in their

"The .people, rather than educators or government officials, are ultimately responsible for all basic policies relating to educa-


tion." These authors made clear their concern for involving each person in the decision-making process when they stated, will be of greatest use to the nation.

Morphet et al. spoke directly to the educational adminis­ trator in the school regarding the inclusion of pupils in the decision-making process and took:note of the action with which administrators must be intimately concerned if they are to oper­ ate their schools democratically:

^Kimball Wiles, Supervision for Better Schools (New

York: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1950), p. 201.

^Edgar C. Morphet, Roe L. Johns, and Theodore L. Reller,

Educational Organization and Administration (Englewood Cliffs,

N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1959), p. 17.

45Ibid ., p. 8.

of administration and organization, that commitment must include pupils.

The. administrator who,insists on democracy for him­ self and is an autocrat with his pupils is a strangely experiences in democratic

l i v i n g .



28 to function . . . it must be practiced at every opportunity, es­ pecially in public instruction.'’^7

Contemporary writers on Indian education have pointed to education of Indians, stated:

Perhaps the most important matter in regard to educa­ tion is the lack of control and involvement on the part of Indians. The schools on reservations are a part of

the Bureau hierarchy. All school personnel are subject to the bureaucracy, not to the local community being dom show concern over what goes on in the schools', al­ though they place a great value on education and have much pride in their children’s graduation.48

Schusky contended that the parents.should be involved in

.decisions concerning school programs which are designed for them.

He commented: .


46Ibid., p. 347. .


Reeder, The Fundamentals of Public School Ad­ ministration (New-York: The Macmillan Co., 1951), p. 11.

^Ernest Schusky, ’’The Right to Be Indian,” Indian Educa­ fice, 1969), p. 460.


The parents of youngsters attending schools must be allowed to participate- in the formulation of school pro­ grams . Wherever parent-teacher groups have not been formed, they should be established as rapidly as pos­ sible. When parents understand what the schools are trying to accomplish, they are more likely to give

' t o the educational effort than when they

At another point Schusky touched on the problem of "equal educational opportunity" and the powerlessness of the Indians in determining the direction of their own schools--and frequently, their own lives. He stated:

If Indian education is to be made a vital part of community life, and if Indian parents are to comprehend and take interest in their schools, then they must be given some authority and responsibility over education.

The major problem is not a question of segregated.class­ rooms .

The Indian is denied-an "equal education" be­ cause community members are powerless in determining any matters in their schools .50.

It seems clear that there is a wide discrepancy between what educational administration writers have said regarding citi­ zen participation in local school matters on one hand and the re­ ports of writers on. Indian education concerning the involvement of Indians in education at the local level. As Ortiz succinctly ' summarized this situation, " . . . any educational facility which purports to serve the Indian people should have their participa­ tion in administration, policymaking, and curriculum design. It

49Ibid ., p. 461.

"ibid., p. 479.


is not enough that a school be located on a reservation and that

Indian students attend it.”^^-

Recent Changes' in the Direction of Educating

American Indian Children

The fundamental, question facing teachers and administra­ tors of Indian students is whether to: (1) educate for complete cultural assimilation within the dominant.culture, (2) educate for complete separation, or (3) educate by learning the best from the two cultures and being able to choose and function in either dian resistance.

To date, most of the forces of Indian education have been directed toward, assimilation. Some authorities contend that this status is the only realistic policy--even today. Ortiz, in a particularly engaging/description of three teachers who came to his San Juan Pueblo, highlighted the general paucity of teachers of Indian students who are willing to become engaged with and committed to the lives- of the students and the. members of the community where the school is located. He stated:

This preference for the Day School by an overwhelm­ ing number of San Juan families resulted largely through

Juan in 1937 and she immediately began to learn about ■ the community by being a part of it. She visited Pueblo

She left San Juan just before the close of World War II, but she is still fondly remembered as the best teacher ever there. The other two, a couple who came

31 after the War, followed her example and went beyond.

They founded- the■San Juan PTA and brought the parents ings into an auditorium, raised funds to provide sented programs for the whole community. These three teachers taught the people of San Juan to identify with their Day School. The other two schools, conversely> have long been in San Juan, but not of San Juan. They happen only to be located there.52

Bryde, in commenting on the results of his study of the which characterized the;plight of the Indian student when he is .

.unable to identify with his Indian heritage and at the same time is incapable of relating in a satisfactory manner to the dominant

The findings of this study clearly point to a: new approach to Indian education.

The study sought to iden­ tify the psychological causes of the breakdown of scho­ lastic achievement and general performance of Indian youth. Having identified the central pattern--aliena­ tion and anomie, with resultant feelings of rejection, depression, and anxiety— it was seen that the Indian effectively identified with his Indian heritage, nor can he identify with the hostile, white world facing him.

"nothing." He has an extremely crippling negative self image. He has no' direction to his life and is lost .53

Wax took note of the situation in many Indian communities where teachers and other school employees live and work in rela­ these tend further to alienate the youth and their parents from

52Ibid ., p. 111.

53Bryde, op. cit., p . 31.

the educational process and, in fact, from themselves„ Wax ob­

32 served that: -

• . . the very modernity of the school deepens the a good thing, as it enlarged the horizon of the children


beyond the Reservation and builds: an appetite for modern


"living."54 ing local educational control. As Bryde expressed it:

The motivation for overcoming value conflict should seem to come only from onefs own culture values--and dian race, as the American Heritage Book of Indians

.points: out, is the longest lived race on the face of the four hundred years of being surrounded and pressed by

•the dominant culture, the Indian personality constella­ tion remains the same, relatively untouched, through all levels of acculturation. Since a culture is only as order to ascertain what makes the Indian so culturally durable. They are discovering a world rich in its an­ cient wisdom and comfortable and supporting in its human change world of today.55 ■ ■' .

At Rough Rock Demonstration School an experiment has been underway for several years fully involving the local community in the organization and operation of the school system. Fuchs re­ marked : ■ ■

56Bryde, op. cit.,. p. 28.

At first glance, an isolated tract of dusty washland in northeastern Arizona hardly seems the likely place at Rough Rock, in the heart of the Navajo Reservation, several of the most basic questions confronting American instance, a relatively uneducated, unsophisticated pov­ erty group successfully assume control over the formal education of their children and that of the total com­ munity? And secondly, can a truly pluralistic education people and instills pride in their traditional cultural heritage successfully prepare children for the demands of life in the Twentieth-Century

A m e r i c a ? 3 6

Greenberg, writing on the role of the administrator in

33 leadership, suggested that, "Administrative leadership is neces­ sary to provide the impetus for effective curriculum adjustments and in-service growth programs relating to Indian education.

Burger makes a strong point for examining the school and the pro­ fessionals therein rather than trying to change the student. He stated, "Perhaps the school rather than the student should change He further suggested that members of ethnic minori­ ties may never be able to fully acculturate to Anglo society and, therefore, should seek to understand their own culture thoroughly while at the same time inspecting the alien culture for those values and practices which they find of worth to them. He pre­ sented the case thusly:

n >2

Estelle.Fuchs, "Innovation at Rough Rock; Learning to

Be Navajo-Americans," Saturday Review (September 16, 1967), in

Indian Education, Part 1 (Washington, B.C.: U. S. Government

Printing Office, 1969), p. 21.

-^Greenberg, op. cit., p. 95.


Burger, op. cit., p. 267.

We believe that time will convince more members of each ethnic minority that they cannot fully attain the core of. the Anglo "style of life" (including all of its material benefits). Instead, they should proudly elab­ orate their own ethnic heritage, not a reactionary "back- to-the-blanket" retreat but a syncretism that enables their specialities to interweave with the complex mid-

20th Century life .59


Goals for Educating American

Indian Students

Historically, there have been numerous goals announced for the education of American Indian youth. Young chronicled one of the earlier efforts to establish goals for the education of

American Indians. He stated:

In 1869, under the leadership of President U . S.

Grant, a new national policy was inaugurated in the field of Indian affairs known as the "Peace Policy." In part, it was designed to expedite the Christianization of In­ dians on the reservations and, under the authority of the thorizing the existing Board of Indian Commissioners to submit recommendations to the Department of Indian Af­ fairs for the promotion of Indian welfare. The board subsequently recommended the allotment of religious and educational work to the various religious denominations.

With the stimulus of federal funds, the missionaries set about establishing schools aimed at both sacred and secular goals. Burger commented thusly, "The missionaries established schools and so operated them as to attempt to transform American

Indians into diligent, thrifty, individualistic farmers. They

59Ibid., p. 101.

Robert W. Young, The Navajo Yearbook, Report No..8

(Window Rock, Ariz., 1961), pp. 7-8.

35 were going to be transformed into the missionary’s notion of what a good and proper Indian should be."^1

These goals of the early missionaries were quite consist­ ent with goals in American society generally during that period of time„ Wax noted:

Traditionally5 formal education has had modest or specialized goals, such as furnishing the populace with the rudiments of literacy so that they could read Holy

Scriptures or giving them the simple intellectual skills basic to the common manual arts; only an elite was given prolonged intensive training of an abstract sort .62

The boarding schools represented another approach, one in which students were uprooted from home and family and subjected periences of the boarding school, stating:

Children were taken to boarding schools long dis­ tances from home, given limited visiting privileges, and subjected to teachers and curricula that denied their heritage. Often they were crowded into dismal barrack­ like dormitories, sternly disciplined, and.emerged fit .

only for marginal economic life in the white world, and unfit for life on the

r e s e r v a t i o n


The dislocation and cultural shock of uprooting the students from family, friends, and familiar surroundings was great. Wax took

' Most Americans have, come to take for granted and to education that physically separates child from parents for most of the hours of the day and most of the days of

^Burger, op. cit., pp. 221-222 .

6^Wax, op. cit., p. 5.

^Fuchs, op. cit., p. 23.

the year .

.it is plain that its introduction into

Indian society is thoroughly disruptive of traditional patterns of socialization, social control, and familial labor.64

Berry spoke of the off-reservation boarding school and its philosophy of assimilation:

The off-reservation boarding school, exemplified at -

Carlisle, dominated the approach to Indian education for fifty years. Its philosophy included the removal of the students from their homes, strict military discipline, a work and study program, an "outing system," and emphasis on industrial arts.65


The day and public schools were created to conduct the assimilation process without some of the objectionable separation, aries, another type is designated as the public school and is funded by the state and federal governments, while the third kind is maintained by federal funds through the Bureau of Indian Af­ fairs . These day schools have the specific function of bringing the school close to the students it serves. The students can live at home and still attend school during the day. In spite of the fact that the teachers usually live nearby, it is often true that they never become well acquainted■with the people of the community which they serve. Wax talked of the isolation of teachers in the local communities from the parents and other k^Wax, op., cit., p. 6.

k^Brewton Berry, The Education of American Indians, A

Printing Office, 1969), p. 11.

37 matic antagonists contending for the souls of Indian children, as mutual avoidance societies--neither daring to behold the oth­

e r

."^6 As an instance of this, Ortiz made a comment with respect to Bureau of Indian Affairs operated day schools. He said:


in the Day School would probably agree with this state­ ment, made by a recent teacher; "My authority and my responsibility lie only within this fence (motioning to thing about what goes on in the community." This atti­ tude is more typical of BIA personnel and the various programs they have instituted in the community. They have done things for the Pueblo, and sometimes even to it, but only the three teachers mentioned earlier have ever done anything with the people of the community on a sustained basis.67

The locally controlled schools are beginning to provide a new direction in education. Wax commented on this, noting the task of socializing the students:

With the public education movement, the school has come to inherit the task of fully socializing children through adolescence along with the assimilation of chil­ dren of "deviant" ethnic backgrounds into the common

American mould as a corollary responsibility. . . v If some degree of control over the educational .process re­ mains with the parent group, the conflict may be melio­ rated. But when the locus of control is. elsewhere, then the schoolroom may become the focal point of all manner of tensions, thus complicating the simple transmission of knowledge.68

The problem of assimilation persists. Still unresolved .

is the question of what degree of inculcation into Anglo culture k^Wax, op. cit., p. 88.

®8Wax, op. cit., p. 56.

and norms, instead of deference to the local culture and tradi­

38 tions, is desirable. McCombs, Vogt, and Kluckhohn commented thusly on this issue:

But even when adequate school facilities are pro­ vided, a fundamental issue remains; what are the Navajo children to be taught. Do we attempt to inculcate our

American culture and value systems as rapidly and sys­

English, to do arithmetic and other basic, subjects, and allow them to work on their own basic patterns of social and religious life and value systems in their own way and at their own pace

Gaarder suggested an answer to the question posed above stating that, ,r. . . the only road of development of a people is that of; self development, including the right to make its own de­ cisions and its own mistakes, educate its own children in its own ways . . . in short, to be human in its own way and demand re­ spect for that

w a y

."^0 Wax. summarized this, situation simply when he stated:

The problem of Indian education requires a decision as to how we wish to live in this country, and what our inhabitants are going to require of each other in order to have a harmonious kind of coexistence. This is more than an issue of values; it is also a matter of power. . . .

successful and independent economically, . . . have

Leonard McCombs, Even Z. Vogt, and Clyde Kluckhohn,

Navajo Means People (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1951), pp. 14-15.

7^6. Gaarder, "Education of American Indian Children,"

Indian Education, Part 1 (Washington, B.C.: U. S. Government

Printing Office, 1969), p.. 70.

39 chosen--when they have been allowed to do so— to oper­ ate their own school systems.71

Whereas, in a study of education of the Black Muslim,'

Shalaby and Chilcott concluded, "The Black Muslim education sys­ tem provides a model for separatism, and is unique in that this model has rarely been permitted to exist


witness the attempts to challenge the Amish education system] in the history of American education."


Some tribes of American Indians developed their own for­ mal schools at quite early dates, "By 1852 the Cherokees had a flourishing school system of twenty-one schools, two academies, and an enrollment of 1,100. The Choctaws were only a little be­ hind the Cherokees, and these were soon followed by Creeks,

Chickasaws , and Seminoles •

In reviewing the goals for educating. Indian students, the following have been highlighted: (1) mission schoolsr efforts to

Christianize and assimilate the students, (2) boarding schools1 tendency to isolate and assimilate students in stockade-like sur­ roundings , and remove children from the influence of their par­ ents, (3) day schools' objective of assimilating the students while residing in their own communities, (4) local tribal schools

71wax, op. cit., pp. 68-69.


Ibrahim Shalaby and John Chilcott, The Education of a

^Berry, op. cit., p. 12.

physical environment, and (5) schools which educate Indians to live in both Indian and Anglo communities„



In this chapter certain literature related to the educa­ tion of American Indians was reviewed with special emphasis on the teachers and administrators of schools serving these Indians.

The literature failed to make clear the views of these educators with respect to needed changes in the direction of education for

American Indian youth« In subsequent chapters this concern for directions of change is examined together with certain other data gathered from a selected population of administrators „ The fol­ lowing subjects are explored: (1) the belief systems of adminis­ trators about American Indians,. (2) the motivations of educators to become administrators in schools serving Indian youth, (3) the preparation of these administrators for administering "Indian" schools, (4) the perceptions regarding Indian participation in

'local education, and (5) the perceptions of these administrators concerning the goals of Indian education.



This chapter describes' the procedures followed in the study, including: (1) selecting the population to be studied,

(2) developing a model to assist in organizing the investigation,

(3) designing an interview instrument, (4) administering the in­ terviews, and (5) treating the data.

The Population Investigated in This Study

The population of this study consisted of fifty-two school administrators selected from among schools serving Ameri­ can Indian students in an eight-state area: (1) Alaska, (2) Ari­ zona, (3) Illinois, (4).Montana, (5) New Mexico, (6) North

Carolina, (7) North Dakota, and (8) South Dakota. Among the'ma­ jor tribes represented were the following: Lumbee, Cherokee,

Tlingit, Athabascan, Sioux, Mandan, Crow, Blackfeet, Laguna,

Acoma, Papago, Pima, San Carlos Apache, White Mountain Apache,

Hopi, and Navajo.

The study included a sample which was narrowed to a spe­ cific type of schools. The sample was chosen ". . . so as to get a reasonably good geographic spread and to include the four types of schools for Indian youth--public day schools, BIA day schools,



BIA boarding schools, and mission schools.”1 These schools also represented a variety of geographical locations, such as in the interior of the Indian reservations, on the edges of Indian res­ ervations , and in urban centers.

Table 1 below indicates the various types of administra­ tors of elementary and high schools in public, Bureau of Indian

Affairs, and mission schools who participated in the study (com­ plete demographic data can be found in Appendix A).

Table 1. Administrators Participating in Study

Type of










































A Model for Developing, Conducting, and Reporting the Study

For purposes of illustrating the relationships among the various administrator perceptions sought in this study, a model

Havighurst, "Education of American Indians,1

National Study of American Indian Education Research Reports,

Vol. 2, No. 1 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970), p. 8.

43 was developed .

This model was based on the six questions related to the statement of the problem specified in this s t u d y i t is presented in Figure 1 below


with the administrators’ ceptions sought related to their belief systems concerning the base of the model„ The writer believed that most perceptions of these school administrators concerning American Indian educa­ tion would be based on their belief systems.

The model in Figure 1 also demonstrated how administra­ tors perceived their (


) motivation to become administrators of schools serving American I n d i a n s , (3) preparation to become ad­ ministrators of these special schools, (4) desire for community ulum changes, and, finally, (


) goals of Indian education.

The administrators' perceptions concerning their motiva­ tion to administer in schools serving American Indians (2) was believed to be linked to their ideas of useful administrative preparation (3). Their perceptions of the desirable extent to which Indians should participate in Indian education (4) ap­ peared to be quite closely related to their views on needed cur­ riculum changes in Indian education (5). Flowing from the administrative belief system on which the model is based (



^See pages 4-5 for the statement of the problem and the six related questions.

"^Numbering is that shown in the model.





























a somewhat consistent and cohesive set of perceptions was be­ lieved to occur which tied together the administrators



45 tions, preparation, views on Indian participation, and ideas on curriculum changes in Indian education— and brought them to focus on the perceived goals of Indian education (


). All the catego­ ries in the model, therefore, are mutually interacting variables whose content is closely, linked with an administrative perception of the nature of American Indians. For example, if an adminis­ trator has very little knowledge of American Indians, it would follow that he would not be inclined to include a knowledge of

American Indians in the curriculum, administrator training, his motivation for assuming his position, or the goals of educating

American Indian youth. If, on the other hand, he.possessed some knowledge of American Indians (his belief system with regard to

American Indians), he would permit this information to affect his perception of administrator training, curriculum development, In­ dian participation, and so forth.

The Design of the Interview Instrument

The personal interview instrument, called the "Guide for

Interviewing Administrators," was developed at The University of

Arizona for field testing at the various Field Centers connected with the National Study of American Indian Education.

It was believed that personal interviews provided dis­ tinct advantages over a questionnaire as they helped to create warm personal feelings on the part of the respondents, and they,

46 therefore, felt somewhat more free to offer pertinent informa­ tion. The face-to-face interviews eliminated for the administrator-respondents the drudgery and remoteness of long drawn-out written questionnaires received by mail, and they also tended to demonstrate the importance and sincereness of intent of the investigator. John Best aptly reviewed the factors which make an interview useful in investigations:

The interview, in a sense, is an oral type of ques­ tionnaire. Instead of writing the response, the subject or interviewee gives the needed information verbally in a face-to-face relationship.

With a skillful interviewer, the interview is often superior to other data-gathering devices . One reason is that people are usually more willing to talk than to write. After the interviewer gains rapport or estab­ lishes a friendly, secure relationship with the subject, certain types of confidential information may be ob­ tained that an individual might be reluctant to put in writing. The interviewer can explain the purpose of his investigation, and can explain more clearly just what information he wants. If the subject misinterprets the question, the interviewer may follow it with a clarify­ ing question. At the same time he may evaluate the sincerity and insight of the interviewee. It is also possible to seek the same information, in several ways, at various stages of the interview, thus providing a check of the truthfulness of the response.4

Questions were developed for the following categories, which sought the perceptions of the administrator population, consistent with the model in Figure 1: (1) administrator belief systems regarding Indians, (2) administrator motivations to ad­ minister schools serving Indians, (3) administrator preparation

N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1959), pp. 167-168.

47 to administer schools serving Indians, (4) administrator percep­ tions regarding the extent of Indian participation in local school matters, (5) administrator perceptions concerning needed curriculum changes in schools serving Indian youth, and (


) ad­ ministrator perceptions of the goals of Indian education. The categories mentioned above were developed into the model pre­ sented in Figure 1 which provided direction in collecting, ana­ lyzing, and presenting the data.

The interview instrument questions were open-ended, thus piermitting the. interviewer to probe any line of interviewee re­ various Field Centers, the instrument was modified at The Univer­ sity of Arizona and the final form was prepared for administra­ tion (see Appendix B for a copy of the final interview .


The Administration of the Instrument

The interview instrument was distributed through the of­ fice of the director of the National Study of American Indian

Education in Chicago to interviewers in the seven Field Centers connected with the National Study. These Field Centers were lo­ cated at The University of Arizona, The University of Colorado,

San Francisco State College, The University of Minnesota, North

Carolina State University, and Oklahoma State University.

The interviewers at the various Field Centers contacted each administrator participant personally and presented the

48 interview instrument to him, reading each question while he or she read the question from the interview instrument provided.

The responses of the participant were tape recorded „ The respon­ dent was encouraged to talk about the general subject suggested tape recordings typed scripts were prepared and collected, at the

Field Center at The University of Arizona.

The writer was a research assistant and a team member of

The University of Arizona Field Center of the National Study of

American Indian Education. Among other duties he assisted in in­ terviewing teachers, students, parents, and community leaders.

On the Arizona field team it was the sole responsibility population of fifty-two administrators, the investigator inter­ viewed twenty-five or 47 percent of them. For the purpose of this investigation the writer analyzed all fifty-two interviews in the National Study.of American Indian Education.

Treatment of the Data

The information from the typed scripts of the administra­ tor interviews was coded, using a "Rating Sheet for Administrator

Interviews" (Appendix C).

The rating scale (Appendix D ) had six scales to analyze dealt with a dimension or variable, such as:


' 1. R*s Perception o f .Indian Community

2. R ’s Motivation.for Administering Schools

With Indian Children

3„ R ’s Perception of Innovations or. Changes in

Education— Administrator Training .

4. .R’s Perception of Who Should Control the

School .



. R ’s Perception of the Goal of Education .

A range.of six or seven points was defined for each di­ mension. These points covered the possible universe of responses to the questions on the administrators’ interview schedule which were .relevant to particular dimensions' being scales or rated.

Thus, for each dimension, a range of six or seven points was defined in the following manner:.




(Questions a, 9 abc)

This dimension deals with the reasons the administrators gave, for administering a school with predominantly Indian chil­ dren .

1. The fact that this school included Indian children was not a in improving his status both economically and professionally by acquiring a job as an administrator with better pay, r " • -

See Appendix D for a copy of the Rating Scales for


2i The respondent joined the BIA for Civil Service status, bet­ istrator status„ He had never given any thought to working with Indians .

3. The respondent prefers teaching in a rural setting. He likes

”country folk" but still has no special motivation to work with Indians „

4„ The respondent became interested in Indians for religious

(Christian) purposes ,

5. The respondent wants to help educate Indians but is vague as to what this involves .

6 specific ideas as to what this involves .

7. The respondent is himself an Indian and has dedicated his life to helping Indian people .

These points covered the relevant responses to the questions on

Numbers were used at the top of each rating scale to ini dicate which questions on the interview schedule would probably be most relevant to consider in rating that dimension. Each suc­ cessive point for 1-7 indicates a greater or higher degree of whatever is being rated„ For example, in Scale B .1. "The fact / that this school includes . . . a bigger school system, etc." a rating of


describes an administrator whose motivation was to gain economic status rather than to improve the educational pro­ gram for the Indian students; a rating of 7 describes the admin­ istrator as being himself an Indian who has dedicated his life to helping Indians; and points 2 through


covered the range in- between .

■ The above process was repeated for each of the scales and variables until all the interviews were scaled or rated. From these. ..coded data, graphs-were prepared providing quantified re­ sults of the administratorsT perceptions regarding the. six main categories of the study. The typed scripts were then re-studied to locate comments which would best illustrate the perceptions of the administrators regarding the various parts of each of the six main categories. These comments were then included in the study as quotations along with the graphs with which they were related.

It was anticipated that some of the scales might be dif­ ficult or impossible to rate from the available data. There were cases where there were insufficient data to make an accurate rat­ ing. Consequently, a 3-point scale entitled "Adequacy of Data," similar to that used by the National Study of American Indian

Education: (1) none, (2) inconclusive, and (3) adequate, was formulated.

The writer was able to make one of three decisions con­ cerning the adequacy of the data when he rated the administra­ tors responses:

1. He decided that there were no responses in the admin­ ticular dimension, the dimension was not rated, and a score of



was put on the "Adequacy of Data" scale.

2. A score of 2 indicated that it was possible to rate, but that the rating was inconclusive because:


a. The administrator gave contradictory responses

52 tion was asked in a different phrase elsewhere .

b. There were inadequate data for. making a conclu­ sive rating, as the interviewer did not probe for a meaningful response or for clarity of the response given. .

In either of the above two cases the writer rated the administra­ tor on the rating scale and scored the ’’Adequacy of Data” scale with a



3. It was decided that the data were adequate for making a rating. There were sufficient and specific data in the inter­ view for rating. Where the data were adequate, the writer rated the administrator on the rating scale and scored the ’’Adequacy of

Data" scale with a 3.

For purposes of analysis, when a scale was noted with a 1 for its "Adequacy of Data" it was discarded. A rating of 2 was included in the analysis if the investigator felt that there was sufficient evidence to include it. All scales which were rated 3 were included in the analysis. Table 2 indicates the results of this rating or scaling procedure.

Table 2. Total Responses With Percentages


4 5


1 2





1 0

/ 4/



2 2







A 4








4 /


13/ 7/

3 /


A 3


1 8 /




1 8 /



A 1

/ 3 5





3 /

/ 6

4 /



/ 1 4

6 /

A 1


A 2

4 /



13/ 21


2 /

/25 /39


1 5 /

1 3 /


3 /

/28 /26

A 3 / 6



A 5

1 2 /






1 1 /

A 3

/ 2 1

2 /


4 /


7 Total

5 2 /




5 2 /




5 2 /


5 2 /






4 /


3 0 /


1 /

/ 2


A 3

1 /

/ 2

Adequacy of Data*'

Incon­ clusive Adequate

2 3




A 2










5 2 /







1 2 /




1 6 /

/ 3 1


/ 6 5

3 3 /









/ 1 0 0


/ 1 0 0

ator of each fraction represents the number of administrator rated responses while the denominator indicates the percentage of the administrators in that rating.

**The fractions on the right of this table represent the adequacy of data for each of the six scales, with each numerator standing for a part of the total administrator population and its associated denominator representing the percentage of the whole.


As can be seen in Table 2, all the scales with the ex­ ception of Scale 3, ’’Administrator’s Perception of Innovations or Changes in Education— Administrator Training," were considered adequate for analysis . It may be speculated that the lack of adequacy of data in this variable was due to the fact that there are no programs with an Indian emphasis for school administra­ tors .


To corroborate the ratings of the investigator, Miss

Robin Linda Stirling, a Research Analyst employed by the South­ west Center of the National Study of American Indian Education, also rated the interviews „ Whenever any discrepancies occurred

V ' ■ \ between the two raters, they discussed their reasons for their ratings and decided on a compromise rating„ There were very few discrepancies in the ratings, probably because the scaling cri­ teria were in themselves good selectors.


In this chapter a description of the selection of the population was provided. A model to assist in illustrating re­

The designing, modifying, and field testing of the interview schedule was explained„ The procedure for administering the open-ended interview schedule to the administrators was also de­ scribed. Finally, the plan for treating the data was detailed.

In the next chapter the data are presented.


PRESENTATION OF THE DATA ministrators included in the study are presented together with illustrations- in the form of excerpts from the responses to the der the six main headings introduced in Chapter 2: (1) Adminis­

Motivation to Work in Schools Serving Indian Children, (3) Admin­ istrators' Perceptions of the Training Necessary for Educating

American Indians, (4) Administrators’ Perceptions of Indian Par­

Program Changes in Indian Education, and (


) Administrators’ ceptions as Related to the Goals of Indian Education.

Regarding American Indians: 1 ■

The administrators in this study indicated that their knowledge of American Indians was based on a variety of sources ranging from no knowledge of Indians to close personal contact with Indians. As indicated in Category #1 (Figure 2), 18 percent of the population, or ten individuals, stated that they had no knowledge of Indians. In other words, nearly one-fifth of the

administrators indicated literally no knowledge of the culture

56 groups whom they were serving as educational leaders .


« tZT





Category 3T" 2 3 4 5 6

Category #2 of Figure 2 above suggests that some adminis­ trators possessed a belief system based on the idea that the dian is poor.

category contained


percent of the administrator population, or four individuals. Thus a small per­ centage of the administrators classified American Indians as lower class Americans. Category #3 contained 14 percent of the population, or seven individuals, whose belief system was based on a simple stereotype of Indians. By stereotyping, these ad­ ministrators classified all Indian tribal groups into a single category useful to them in dealing with Indian students . Cate­ gory #4 was the modal category which included 36 percent of the population, or nineteen individuals. In this category, the ad­ ministrators claimed to possess a knowledge of American Indians, but their knowledge was very limited and not specific to any tribal group.


Both Category #5, a belief system based on some specific knowledge, and Category #


, a belief system based on close social contact with Indians, had 12 percent, of the population, or six individuals each. •

Belief Systems Based on

No Knowledge of Indians

Although nearly one-fifth (18 percent) of the administra­ tors in the study indicated that they operated out of a belief system which was formed without any knowledge of Indians, this fact is given more importance when the words of these individuals are considered„ Some of the direct quotations which follow in­ dicate that the persons speaking feel they are not informed about the Indian students in their schools „ Other statements are not as explicit, but still show a nearly.complete lack of knowledge about the Indians with whom they work.

An Indian school department head in an Arizona city indi- cated that he and his fellow teachers really knew little about the Indians they serve and did not see a chance to change this condition very soon. He said:

We donTt understand enough of their background, and •

I ’m quite sure that it’s not because we don’t want it-- it’s a question of time. And again we go back to the money part of it. This is where the extra help would assist us--people who could go out and find out the backgrounds of these children. -

The head of the Indian school mentioned above talked about a lack of understanding and interpretation of the behavior of the Indian students in his school:


We have a lot of students here who do not see things as we see them. We have a different interpretation that is altogether different than the Indian. We have not yet learned the key to their way of understanding and interpreting . . . we must try to find a way to under­ stand and to give them what they want.

A Chicago,.Illinois, principal felt that the staff of that metropolitan school had to deal with so many different sub­ groups that the Indian students there were provided for only as a matter of course. He said, "With us, the composition of our school, cosmopolitan, makes us provide naturally for sub-groups.

We try to serve the needs of any child."

A Montana high school principal believed that general ed­ ucation.for an Indian shouldn’t be different from that of any other person: "What should be the role of any school in general in educating Indian children? I don’t think it should be any different than it is for any children."

Belief Systems Based on the

Idea that the Indian Is Poor

A few of the administrators, four out of the population

. i of fifty-two for an


percent total, indicated that their belief systems were based on the idea that Indians were poor, or lower class. Phrases such as "poor homes," "welfare rolls," "general economic deprivation," and "poverty" appear in the comments of these respondents.

A South Dakota educator in an Indian school commented that, "most of these .kids come from poor homes." A North Caro­ lina elementary school principal saw welfare to Indians as having

59 negative effects on the children, "If these kids are to get any­ where . . . do anything but live on welfare rolls, they are going to have to get off the reservation. . . From South Dakota another principal noted that the problem he saw in reaching the

Indian was associated with the. problem of economics: "All through the .Indian population there is a general reticence, or possibly unwillingness to accept White man's ways. Distance really makes it difficult to communicate with parents of the stu­

A Montana high school principal reflected on the economic situation in the. dominant culture and how it tends to affect the thinking toward those who do not have much in material goods:

"Economic background plays a part in achievement in any world.

It is not the sole factor of course. . . . We're so much hepped on,the idea that if your're poor, then you have to be a failure."

Belief Systems Based on

Stereotyping of the

American Indian


that their belief systems were based on simple stereotypes of In­ dians . Comments from various respondents suggested stereotyped viewpoints ranging from the Indian as a strange being, a TV cre­ ated image, to the Indian student as a quiet, docile, and timid , individual who would prefer to visit his relatives or hunt than attend school.

An Arizona Indian school administrator spoke about the influence of TV on people regarding the Indian, "Most of it is some idea that Indians are a certain way because of the TV and

60 have the same problems that White children have." A Montana ad­ ministrator noted the lack of background of the Indians he dealt with, Stating, "These Indians are just like Ukranian peasants„

They don't comprehend many types of things so you have to simpli­ fy things to just black and white— then the understanding is cleare"

In Montana, an elementary school principal commented on the frustrations of dealing with children from certain types of homes and making them into acceptable people: "They do have ma­ jor background problems--the poverty, broken families, and the drinking too „ Some families don't seem to care that we're trying to make their kids into decent, respectable children."

In Arizona, a principal took note of the seeming inabil­ ity of a number of Indian students to adjust to the social con­ ditions in schools and pointed to the especially difficult task of some students who seemed not to receive encouragement from home. He remarked:

We do have quite a few students who can’t make so­ cial adjustments in public schools which we have here now. A lot of them couldn't make this adjustment, and we have that group to work with and also here on this reservation we have those who have no one to support them, to help them to stay in school . . . so they be­ come drunks and they stay out of school.


A Chicago school principal pointed to the emotional and discipline problems of Indian students in his school, mentioning blow-ups, truancy, and passivity: "Occasionally, an Indian child be truant or passive, but not active behavior problems, except for the blow-up . Teachers may never forgive a pupil for'this."

Getting the Indian students into school and keeping them there was a major problem to a principal in a Montana high school. He commented on their motivation for not being in school, suggesting that hunting was an important activity as was visiting relatives:

One problem is getting them interested in school, in education. Another is getting them to school. You have to keep working with them. Get them to attend school and become interested in taking an active part in things . . . hunting season comes along--and hunting’s a lot more important to the Indian than school is. And of course getting some meat for the table at home is quite important to them when they don’t have everything.

I ’ll tell you, an awful lot of your Indian students you don’t get the whole week. They’re gone Friday afternoon, then they’re gone Monday morning. And it’s awfully hard to give them the idea that it’s important not to miss any some relatives, some place and come back late than it is to come to school.

Using grades as a threat to try and keep Indian students in school was discussed by a high school administrator in a cen­ tral Arizona location: •

My major concern right now is absenteeism from school. To find out why they stay home from school and to discuss this with their parents is a much needed thing. We grade them a five for the day he has missed if his excuse is inexcusable. If he has a doctor’s appointment or a dentist’s appointment he is excused.

• '


The observation of a South Dakota high school principal regarding the talkativeness of Indian honor students and the quietness of other Indian students he felt were in trouble was useful, ?

„ „ .as far as these children go, the ones that we have students who are having trouble, you very seldom get an answer from them--real quiet in class.^

In a North Dakota Indian boarding school, a high school principal saw some students as just not able to measure up to the standards of education, "Regardless what type community or na­ tionality you go to, there are students who cannot be educated up to that level. They refuse education." This administrator also saw the Indians as "too prejudiced" to realize what is best for their children and too used to expecting things rather than work­ ing for them. He further observed;

I feel the tribal people are sometimes much too prej­ udiced to know and fully realize what is best for their children. They feel that their children are not getting as much as Uncle Sam promised them. They want to lean very heavily on things being given to them instead of working for them.

From a Bureau of Indian Affairs school in South Dakota, an administrator talked of the passive type Indian children he had: "Indian children are much easier to work with. They are docile and have a fear of fighting."


Belief Systems Based on

Limited, Non-Specific

Knowledge of Tribal Group(S) •

: Nineteen individuals in the population, 36 percent, indi­ cated that their belief systems were based on limited, non­ specific knowledge of Indians. The comments of the respondents in this category ranged from one concerning the poor concept the

Indian has of himself to one which suggested that the Indian would have to shift from a dependent role through his own reali­ zation of what he must do.

Speaking of the Indian student’s difficulty in deciding what he wants from life, an Arizona Indian school superintendent said, "I think the major problem in dealing with the Indian stu- ■ dent right now is that he is frustrated. He wants something, but he can’t decide what it is. He’s not satisfied with the way things are, but yet he doesn’t want to give up some things that he has.n

An administrator from South Dakota spoke of their need for recognition, saying, "They need social recognition and ac­ ceptance . They have a tremendous inferiority feeling and the ranchers know them as gut-eaters and for their w a r - w h o o p s A superintendent of schools in central Arizona noted the problem of a negative self-image when he said, "The basic thing that is missing, and I ’m sure the students will agree, is this self-image thing, a negative self-image. I feel this starts very early in -

64 the school career. The main question now is how this thing can be overcome."

A recognition of the differences in belief systems is pointed out by a New Mexico Indian high school principal:

We no longer think of the Indians as having war­ paint and feathers on them. We still feel the Indian youngsters come from a home which is highly ritualistic,

We feel we must recognize the fact that they have deep embedded beliefs and are different from those of the non-Indian. We no longer think of the Indians as you see in the movies.

Dakota discussed the socio-economic and cultural situations of the Indians:

We now realize that you have to try and take these people and children just where they are. You know, with no preconceived curriculum for example or educational program you have to take them right where they are--and adapt the curriculum and the methods to them where they are--and in doing that you have to consider both the cultural situation and their socio-economic situation.

They perhaps come from various underprivileged circum­ stances. „

In a South Dakota elementary school, a principal ex- .

pressed the belief that the school must provide Anglo, middle- class training for the Indian students to fit them for life in the dominant culture:

I think we have to present the so-called middle- class culture because this is one of the roles of the school--to prepare these children so they can go out and make a living for themselves and maybe break the ■ yoke of the reservation system that we have had for years . In order to make a living for themselves they must at least know how to fit into it. .



Another South Dakota administrator expressed concern for the Indians regarding their dependence on the government and .sug­ gested that they would finally have to solve their problems by doing for themselves: '

The Indian people here have been dependent upon the government, and this dependency is passed on to the chil­ dren. Many children come to school figuring that the outside community owes them a living. Some of them are very reluctant to realize this is not the case. When they do, they're very successful . . . once they realize that what they get is going to be what they themselves

'do and what they themselves can get out of life.

Belief Systems Based on

Some Specific Knowledge of Tribal Group(s)

Six individuals, 12 percent of the population, indicated specific knowledge of Indians upon which they seemed to have based their belief systems. Out of their somewhat greater knowl­ edge of one or more tribes, they expressed their concerns for the problems of Indians and the prospects for education helping toward a changing future.

From Montana, a school administrator drew on his knowl­ edge of two tribes to compare what has happened to the two groups: .

I think the advantage was the actual culture contact the Navajo enjoyed over such a long period of time that they were able to assimilate what they wanted and were able to retain what they wished. With the Blackfeet on the other hand, there wasn't any military defeat. It was a definite cultural defeat the minute the buffalo was shot. . . . The Blackfeet are one of the few tribes that actually did their own killing of the buf­ falo. They never allowed Whites on the reservation un­ til way late— until the buffalo were almost gone. ■


Concerning the assimilation process, a Montana high school principal commented on the Cheyennes and what an education might do for them: "Now you take the Cheyennes . . . if they go and get an education they're more apt to go out and use it. Of course, they've never had a treaty, they're not dependent on the government like the others. They've made their own way and they have big farms and ranches now." .

In North Carolina an elementary grade school principal analyzed his-Indian students' problems in terms of socio-economic matters: inadequate self-image, probably suffering from inadequa­ cies in the home and related environmental circumstances.

Self-image problems which could be characterized as mi­ nority identification problems seem to appear with the third or fourth grade, but this seems more a matter of socio-economic class than of ethnic identification.

The language problem was mentioned by an Arizona elemen­ tary principal as one of the major culture difficulties of his

Indian students, "The biggest problem our students have is lan­ guage. I think the difficulty is that in English we use more words than in Apache. A good many of our students are brought up with the Apache language first, and it is rather difficult to try and learn English afterward."

A South Dakota administrator talked about how students begin to notice what schooling can do for them:

A lot of kinds can look around and see graduates from high school and the drop-outs from high school.

The graduates might have jobs. The others ride around in old automobiles, live in old houses. These people

67 don’t have the things that our students may want for themselves„ And so it comes back to education „ The students realize that maybe through education they can achieve these things for themselves„

Belief Systems Based on

Close Contact with

Specific Tribal Group(s)

Six of the population, 12 percent, indicated that they had close cultural contact with Indians and that their belief systems were rooted in these contacts „

The principal of an elementary school serving Pima and

Maricopa Indians said, :,I have a great deal more knowledge about these people than I do of the children in my public school class because I live here and I know the parents. My children play with the Indian children here and I feel I know more about them."

Another administrator in Arizona talked of his contact with Papago Indians and gave his idea of how to determine what education is appropriate for these people:

I relate .mostly to the Papago people „ As you know,

I have two Papago children myself„ . . . . Concerning the role of the school I will say, "What is the school to do?" This answer will be found through the Indian peo­ ple themselves„ I do not think you can go onto the

Papago reservation and say you’ve got the education

A principal from another Arizona school serving Indians • talked of his contact with Navajo Indians, "I am an Indian my­ self. . . . I try to help all the children that I possibly can-- that’s why I was interested in getting this position. I. wanted to help Navajo children."

Section Summary

A number of the administrators in the study indicated that their belief systems concerning Indians did not come from knowledge about Indians or contact with Indians. Fifty percent of the population stated that their belief systems came from either simple stereotypes of Indians or from limited knowledge„

Nearly one-fourth of the administrators indicated that their be­ lief systems came from some specific knowledge about Indians or from some contact with specific Indian tribal group(.s). The overall picture is one in which a.significant majority of the ad­ ministrators in charge of schools serving Indians reported having belief systems which were grounded either in no knowledge or at best slight general knowledge of Indians„ Those who possessed information about American Indians based on personal contact and specific knowledge tended to view their Indian students in a more positive fashion, while the other administrators were more nega­ tive about Indian students.



Motivation to Work in

Schools Serving Indian Children: 2

The administrators included in this study indicated dif­ fering reasons for administering schools serving Indians ranging from economics and status to a desire as an Indian to serve In­ dians „ Category #1 of Figure 3 represents the major motivations of economics and status„ This category included 42 percent of the population; thus nearly half of the administrators

69 interviewed did not view working with American Indian children as a factor in job selection. Category #2 included


percent of the individuals. These administrators indicated that a motivation to serve Indians was the primary reason for seeking a job in schools serving Indian youth, but they gradually shifted toward adminis­

#3, representing


percent of the sample, indicated a preference for administration in a rural setting.

Category #4, representing 25 percent, was composed of those administrators who expressed a desire to serve Indians but who were vague as to what "serving Indians" involved. In Cate­ gory #5, which included seven individuals or 13 percent, the mo­ tivation was to serve Indians along with a knowledge of some of the specifics which were involved. Finally, in Category #


, which included three individuals or


percent, the motivation was that of an Indian who wished to serve Indians.




O b


Category 1 2

Serving Indians

3 4 5


/ Motivation Mainly That of •/

Economics and Status


' -



Forty-two percentnearly one-half of the administrators in the population, were economic and status consid­

As a Montana superintendent put it, "My reason for accepting this position was basically that it was an advancement, financially

An Arizona school administrator from a school serving both Anglos and Indians stated that, "I think more or less every­ one likes to achieve in his role .... I think administration is position you may be able to make some changes or help make some changes that will be a great advantage to students ."

A high school principal in .South Dakota reported his feelings on working in a school serving Indian children:

Salary wise, it1s beginning to be worthwhile--career advancement, I ’ve got five years in and I started with seven— and I ’m up four grades already. We were to get a fifteen percent compatibility raise to start with, and I think we have received ten percent of this now. So we have another one coming July 1, and it’s supposed to make up the compatibility gap between government service

From an administrator in a junior high school in North

Carolina, the following statement was recorded, "My career ob­ jectives are being realized ■. . . 'a principal’s status in this community is high. . . ." .


Motivation That of a Civil

Service Position With a Gradual

Shift to School Administration

Only three individuals, 6 percent of the population, in­ dicated that they had served in Civil Service as Bureau of Indian

Affairs school teachers and that they gradually shifted into school administration rather than making it a direct career ob­ jective. There seemed to be no particular indication that a de­ sire to better serve Indian children in schools was the motivation. This is illustrated by the comment of an administra­ tor in a metropolitan Indian school who said, "My education is in guidance and counseling, and I was with students in the dormito­ ries for all these years. The position just kind of grew into this."

A high school principal in South Dakota spoke of how he became an administrator: "I was coaching and teaching here.

Somebody left and the job was open. We have a move-up in the system, someone was promoted and there was a vacancy--they picked from within the. staff and I became an administrator."

Motivation That of a

Preference for a Rural Setting

Four individuals, 8 percent of the population, indicated that their motivation for administering in Indian schools was that of living in a rural setting. As an elementary school prin­ cipal in Montana stated, "I grew up here and my family has prop­ erty here." Another Montana administrator of a school serving

Indian children gave more ideas about why he lived in a rural

72 fish., I have cattle so this location seemed logical to get what

I wanted. In my spare time I can go out and work."

Motivation to Serve Indians, But

Vague as to What This Involved

Thirteen administrators, 25 percent of the population, said they were interested in serving Indians, but gave indica­ tions that,they were vague as to what this really involved. As a principal of a city Indian school in Arizona said, "Like anyone else, I have my personal goals which I would like to achieve, and also I ’d like to be in a position to help the Indians more."

A superintendent of an Indian school system in Central

Arizona summed up his feelings on personal motivation when he n said: "I like to work with them and I like the people. It’s very interesting. I don’t understand everything, but I try to help. I ’m just real interested in this type work. It’s very challenging."

Another Arizona administrator talked of his motivation to serve in Indian schools: "I’ve always liked to work with Indians.

I have been in the Indian service for the last twenty-eight years. I ’ve worked in Sioux country and in Oklahoma before com­ ing to Arizona. When a position opened here, I accepted the op­


A New Mexico high school principal, who said that he found a challenge in the job of administering a school serving

Indians and that he enjoyed the experience, remarked, "It’s chal­ lenging and I find it very interesting to work with these kinds ; of students. I enjoy it very much and ara delighted to be here."

Another Arizona school superintendent discussed his plea­ sure and dedication to be doing the sort of school work he was in: "The word dedication looks trite today, but it certainly wasn’t the money part of it that brought me here„ . . . I like the job, the challenge, and the work. There is a great field it. I feel very worthy."

Motivation to Serve Indians

With Some Specific Ideas of

What This Involved

A few of the administrators in the study, seven individu­ als or 13 percent of the population, indicated a motivation to serve Indians and possessed some specific knowledge of what was involved in "serving Indians." The principal of a Central Ari­ zona day school discussed his feelings of closeness to Indians and his interest in them: "I feel that most of my working years have been involved with Indian education, and I was interested in them even as a child. I wanted to learn more about them, and I happen to be married'to an Indian. I feel my home is really with

Indians." .


Another Arizona administrator stated that he had been born and raised near the school where he now worked and that he .

knew Indian education very well since he had gone to school with

Indians: "I was born and raised here and went to school with the

Indian students „ „ „ „ I do have name-type relations down there on the reservation . . . I want to try and give them better things in life ."

Motivation as an Indian to Serve Indians

Six percent of the population, three people, stated that they were Indians and were motivated to serve Indians. The In­ dian superintendent of a Central Arizona reservation school sys­ tem spoke of his experiences as a teacher and how he wanted to change what was happening to the Indian students: that I was very unhappy with the program I had to work under when I was a teacher, and I made up my mind I that all of the teachers were going to be consulted on these things.„ I feel the school should belong to the people«

Another Indian administrator commented on his own experi­ ences as a student and what he decided to do when he was an edu­ cator:

When I was in Haskell Institute, I had a class which was in English and we had a teacher who would come in into Indian education, which I was striving for at the

Section Summary

This section was concerned with the administrator respon­

Nearly half of the population indicated that their motive for ad­ ministering in such schools was not to serve Indians. Approxi­ mately one-seventh of the population gave specifics as to why they chose to serve as administrators in such schools, but these were not especially concerned with serving Indians. Still an­ other fourth of the population stated they wished to serve In­ dians, but were vague as to what was involved. Only about one-eighth of the administrators desired to serve Indians and had some knowledge of what was involved while slightly more than one- twentieth were Indians serving Indians. Thus, 60 percent of the population indicated that they were motivated to administer in these schools for reasons other than serving Indians.' Only 20 percent of the administrators appeared to be motivated on the basis of knowledge of what was involved.

This examination of the motivations of school administra­ tors serving schools with American Indian children suggested that their primary motivations for accepting their positions were not specifically related to improving American Indian education. The only administrators who were concerned with Indian education were themselves Indian.


Necessary for Indian Education: 3

The following conclusions were based on only 31 percent of the administrators, as the majority, 70 percent, did not re­ spond adequately to these questions during their interviews (see

Table 2, page 53). Some administrators did not mention training as an important step in preparation to serve and administer in schools serving Indians while others felt intimate knowledge of the culture and the people of the tribe was necessary as prepara­ tion to serve in schools with them.


Category 1 2 3 4

Necessary for Indian Education

In Category #1 of Figure 4, 35 percent of the population made no mention of any particular preparation which administra­ tors might need in preparing to administer schools serving Indian tor preparation needed changing, but were not specific with sug­ gestions as to what the changes should be. In Category #3, 35 percent of the population indicated that administrator prepara­ tion should include some contact with Indians. In Category #4,


19 percent of the population- indicated some knowledge of innova­ tion in Indian education.

Perceptions Not Mentioning

Training Requirements

Thirty-five percent of the population, eighteen individ­ uals , did not mention any particular training which would fit ad­ ministrators to work in schools serving Indian children„

Perceptions Suggesting Need to Change Training But With

No Specific Ideas

Six administrators in the population, 11 percent, saw a need for change in administrator preparation for working with in stating what changes should be made„ An elementary school principal in South Dakota said, "I think there should be some type of course offered to prospective teachers and administrators to give them an idea of the problems that are faced in an econom­ ically deprived area such as. the reservation system."

From Arizona, another elementary school principal talked about teacher and administrator preparation suitable for the dom­ inant Anglo culture, but not very helpful in Indian schools:

Our universities are geared to the big city school districts with the many problems of such districts. I do. not feel. I was prepared for this type of school work, administering an Indian school . . . . I do not feel we have a place to go where we can really learn what we need to work with a child in a sub-culture.

Perceptions Suggesting Need to

Another 35 percent of the administrator population, eigh­ teen individuals, suggested that there was a need in administra­ tive preparation to provide contact with Indians. This idea was stated by a principal of an Indian school in Arizona: "I defi­ nitely feel that a school administrator should not be appointed unless he has lived on the reservation and has an understanding of the people. Many of■our problems in administration are not the same as. in public schools ." .

need to understand the people whose children the educator will work with and what kind of training might help in this:

We've always said that they should have a knowledge of the background of students, and there's no better way of getting this knowledge . . .than going to the reservation itself or to the community that these chil­ dren live in to see the types of homes they come from.

I think, it, is important to see how these people are living, and they should have some.idea of what values the Indians have, what the cultural background is. I think workshops that are well planned could provide

Perceptions Possessing Some.

Knowledge of Innovations in

Indian Education

Three people suggested that training in the language of learn the language of the Indians where she was, ''I took two se­ mesters of Papago linguistics to become acquainted with some of

mechanics of their language so- we could help them in our schools.

I do believe we should have more training in linguistics."

Four people perceived the need for teachers and adminis­ trators to be trained in the culture of the Indians with which they worked. As an educator from New Mexico said, "The teachers who become successful here are the ones who understand what makes them tick the way they do." A North Carolina elementary school principal stated, "I think those working with Indians should be exposed to Indian customs. I think there should be some kind of orientation."

.The principal of a Northern Arizona school commented thusly on the need for educators working with Indians to receive special cultural training: "Educators should certainly have some courses in anthropology . . . I definitely think there is a need to understand the cultural background of the students better.

This is one of the troubles the BIA has is not being able to get enough Indian trained people."

A high school principal from Alaska also talked about the need for training in cultural anthropology when he said, "I think they should have anthropological training of some kind dealing with cultures--any kind of work or experience in a village com­ munity, including- sociological principles."

A Central Arizona, high school principal discussed a spe­ cial administrator training program, "I feel that much has been done in the past few summers when we had a workshop. It prepares

80 school administrators .for working with Indians„ This has been a real step, forward ."

Three administrators indicated that they perceived a need to receive training in getting to. know Indian resource people„ A

South Dakota elementary principal commented on this: ple. We have a lot of people on the reservation who have so much to offer to the school. I think just by bringing these people into staff meetings, into the classrooms, this would be one of the best in-service helps for the teacher that we could do. . . .

Section. Summary

In this section data regarding the perceptions of the population as related to training for Indian education was pre­ sented. Nearly one-half of the group either made no mention of the need for change in preparing administrators or felt changes were needed, but failed to indicate what these should be. About

' .

one-third suggested preparation should include contact with In­ dians . Approximately one-fifth of the population suggested fa­ miliarity with: (1) bilingual material, (2) Indian culture, and

(3) Indian resource people, all of which are necessary for the improvement of American Indian education.

Indian Participation in School Matters: 4

Administrators in the population studied reported a range of views from the few who saw Indian participation in determining school policy as non-existent and agreed that the federal

81 government is the best agency to educate Indians to the few who felt that Indians could best administer and operate their own schools .



<D _____


£ -----

S --






1 2 4

Participation in Schools

In Category #1 of Figure 5, three people, 6 percent of the population, saw Indian participation in the education of their own children as non-existent and indicated that this educa­ tion was best done by the federal government. Fourteen percent in Category #2 saw Indian participation as non-existent and be­ lieved that this was best conducted by the federal government working with an Indian advisory board. Category #3 included six people, 12 percent of the population, who saw Indian participa­ tion as non-existent and believed that the state should continue to control education. In Category #4 there were thirteen admin­ istrators, 25 percent, who indicated that Indian participation in their own education was important but that the state should re­ main in control. Thirty-nine percent of the population, twenty- one individuals in Category #5, believed that Indian

82 participation in their own education matters was best with local

.population, believed in Indian participation in local education with the tribal council best suited to conduct the education.

Perceptions of Indian Participation in Their Own Education With Control by the Federal Government

Three administrators recognized that there currently was little or no Indian participation in educational decision making.

They would have liked to have some Indian participation, but felt that the federal government should continue to have control. One noted, "We make our own decisions through area education people and the director of education. We have consultation between our principals and our contacts in Washington."

Perceptions of Indian Participation in Their Own Education Under the ;

Control of the Federal Government

With a Tribal Advisory Board

The seven people, 14 percent, who suggested that Indian participation in their own education was non-existent, recom­ mended that the federal government continue to control education using an Indian advisory board to guide them in this task. An

Arizona dormitory principal said, " . . . the BIA is probably most influential in Indian education . . . 1 really feel it has prob­ ably had the most influence in trying to work out different pro­ grams." A Montana principal, in commenting on Indian participation in the education of their children, said, "We don1t

feel that lay people can actually administer a school. We cer­

83 tainly can’t turn the school over to unqualified people.”

A South Dakota superintendent talked about local school boards, saying, "The advisory school boards are primarily in out­ lying areas, but we need to contact and work with isolated groups." From North Carolina a junior high school administrator discussed the use of a local advisory committee, "There is a lo­ cal advisory committee of five citizens appointed by the board of education that has met with me a number of times this year. I hope this will help the school to relate to the community."

Perceptions of Indian Participation in Their Own Education With Control by the State Government

Six people, 12 percent of the population, saw Indian par­ ticipation in the education of their children as non-existent and stated that state government should control it. A North Carolina administrator took this view when he said, "The existing frame­ work of state and county guidelines for curriculum constitutes the proper setup and provides the necessary and proper direction to operate situationally in dealing with curriculum content. De­ cisions of this sort should be professional."

Concerning Indian participation in education of their children, a Chicago administrator observed, "Too many people .

without background are demanding a say about education. I would be content if Indian parents just took an interest in the school as it is."


Another administrator from North Carolina saw education as presently organized in his state as satisfactory:

The present institutional setup is competent to determine the curriculum, but county and local respon­ sible officials should endeavor to assure that teachers and school principals have an influence in the inter­ pretation of state guidelines, selection of materials, and organizing specific local details„

Perceptions Encouraging Indian Partic­ ipation in Education With Control of the State Government Favored

Thirteen administrators, 25 percent of the population, believed in Indian participation in local education and felt that the state was in the best position to provide this education„ An

Arizona superintendent commented on his local school board's par­ ticipation in the school, "I had a real good relationship with the board I was working with. I could never bring myself to hide or pretend to the board. We got the board to act like a board and make decisions. The board now knows they run the school as any state allows."

An elementary principal in Arizona also felt the local board system provided within the state's legal framework had been quite successful: "I have met with the finest cooperation with the board and the school system. I feel the relationship in the community and with the school board and the school administration has been fine ."


Perceptions Strongly Encouraging

Indian Participation in Education

With Local Indian Control Favored

Twenty-one of the participants, 39 percent, thought that

Indian participation and local educational control were .very de­ sirable .. In North Carolina a principal said, "The local school’s

Mexico administrator stated, "We believe the school belongs to the community and should be utilized by the general public."

An Arizona Indian school administrator talked about how the school should serve the people and how they should partici­ pate in its working:

The role of the school is to develop a curriculum to fit the community and by that I mean the community should have a lot to say about what's going on in the school. We. developed a school board and they are doing think the school is theirs . I .think the school has to be run according to the community.

Perceptions of Indian Participation

Through Tribal Council Operating the Local Schools Favored

Two of the administrators, 4 percent, in the population favored local control of the schools by tribal direction. One of these talked of Indian participation in his reservation school:

Mr. Billy Kane is the chairman of the education com­ mittee here and it is very active. The council has ap­ pointed him. We relate very closely with this group and have a.meeting once a month and then we have special meetings whenever we feel it’s necessary. We talk over all of the school problems. We have an education

coordinator which works out very fine. He is right in my office, and he works for the tribal chairman and has with me.

Section Summary

86 ceptions of the extent to which Indians participated in local school.matters„ Nearly one-third of the administrators perceived

Indian participation as non-existent, with most of these favoring either federal or state government control. One-fourth of the administrators saw Indian participation as desirable with the state having ultimate control„ Still another group of adminis­ trators , numbering somewhat over one-third of the population, perceived Indian participation and local Indian control as desir­ able. Lastly, two members of the administrator group favored In­ dian participation in local education with the tribal council in control. While approximately one-third of the administrators did not perceive Indian 'participation in local education as being significant, the other two-thirds, felt that it was significant and suggested various plans for this participation and control.


Program Changes in Indian Education: 5

The administrators in this study indicated rather clearly that some important changes in the direction of Indian education were in order. Only 7 percent of the population stated that they had no suggestions for change. Eleven percent noted that there

to include a significant amount of Indian culture materials in the curriculum as a change was perceived by 9 percent.


Indian Education

Twenty-eight percent of the administrator population per­ ceived the need for change in Indian education through the in­ training was indicated as a direction of needed change by 26 per­ cent of the population. Thirteen percent noted a need to change final 6 percent were included in a category labeled "Other” or miscellaneous changes.

Response of No Suggestion for

Change in Indian Education

Seven percent, four people, indicated that they had no suggestions for change and failed to comment on the perceptions they had of the present programs to educate Indian youth.


Perceptions of Need to

Offer Bilingual Education

Six administrators, 11 percent of the population, identi­ fied a need to change of Indians by offering bilin­ gual training.


a Montana administrator said, "I think it would be a wonderful thing if we had some people who could actu­ ally teach Blackfoot Indian language„” Another Montana adminis­ trator felt the same way about teaching the local tribal language in the schools• "I think what’s going to happen, gradually they are goint to forget the Blackfoot language and all they’ll have left will be just the English language and it’ll be too bad if

The problem, as stated by one Arizona administrator, was different on one reservation where English was the second lan­ guage for most all of the students: "The major problem is that freely in Hopi, but there is a little difficulty in saying what

Perceptions of Need to Include

Indian Cultural Materials in

Indian Education .

Four administrators, approximately 9 percent, saw the need to include much more cultural material from the local tribes sizing the local cultural materials, ”T like to think I'm a cata­

' ' 89 cookery, marine biology, and Eskimo culture." From the state of

Washington, an elementary principal mentioned that his school was introducing new programs, . . Indian culture including Indian dance groups, story telling, and Indian crafts, and materials of the Quinault tribe."

Perceptions of Need to Involve

Indians in Process of Educating

Indian Children

The largest number of the administrators picked this cat­ egory as a direction for change in Indian education„ Fifteen of them, 28 percent, felt that Indians should be involved somehow.

An Arizona administrator felt that, the school should go to the

‘find out by asking these people what they need and then possibly having a. folow-up program to find out the effectiveness of what we are now doing.”

Another administrator in a quite large Arizona Indian school said about the same thing:

The attitudes and goals are wh'at we really need to tives are. Once we find out what the Indians want, I think from there we can help them get what they want.

I know we don't know enough right now. We hope to get it with an Indian advisory board.

From another city high school in Arizona, an assistant principal said, . take the education to the reservation. In other words, build the school there. Let the Indian people come involved in the construction, the teaching, the end product:

90 : the student, and all the way around we would educate all of the

Several administrators saw the process of involving In­ dians as first providing adult education to them. The high of all the adult education is to primarily bring the adults of the group up to date on what is taking place today in our public schools and what their children are learning and what it’s about."

Another administrator from South Dakota saw adult educa­ tion as an important, direction. He said, "Adult basic education is coming in--it is a must."

■ I

Perceptions of Need to Improve

Vocational Training in

Indian Education

Thirteen of the fifty-two administrators, 26 percent, saw vocational training of Indian students as an important area to work. on. A South Dakota administrator talked of what was happen­ ing in that school:

I don’t think we’re ever going to leave the college oriented curriculum, but we're going to expand the voca­ tional curriculum. We’ve expanded the home economics area. We’ve expanded the shop area. We’re now expand­ think this is going to.continue to develop. We’re going .

get some basic ground school work and maybe some mechan­ ical work.

A Central Arizona Indian school superintendent told what he and his high school were doing in vocational areas, "We've

91 have use of dictating machines to improve their talking."

Another Arizona administrator talked of the courses he and his school had added in vocational areas: "We are giving have started home economics for both boys and girls . .


Perceptions of Need for Indian

Students to Improve Self-Image

Seven administrators, 13 percent of the population, felt there was a need in the schools to help Indian students with finding and maintaining self-identity to pride in heritage and strong self-image.

An Arizona superintendent of Indian schools talked about the Indian maintaining his self-identity, the Indian has to maintain an identity. Of course I rm speaking of this reserva­ tion and I have so much good cooperation from the tribal coun­ else could he become a person? We've got to make him be an In­ dian."

A large city school administrator from Illinois talked of the Indians' need for status, "Anytime you can bring in human get Indian resource people in to work with us, we should to this."

to preserve their heritage by developing pride in it, "I would like these people to be proud of their heritage and to preserve it . . . . The Blackfoot Nation will be gone in a few years."

And an Arizona principal was interested in identity and self- respect. He said, up their self-respect--develop their culture and some of the

White man’s culture and use what they can”of both cultures."

Perceptions of Other Kinds of

Changes Needed in Indian



Among the three individuals, 6 percent of the population, who talked about other kinds of change, one, an Arizona superin­ tendent, talked of teacher aides and guidance people in the dor­ mitory, "Last year we got 89-10 money to hire about thirty teacher aides in our school and guidance aides, in the dormitory."

He also talked about special counselors, teachers, and social workers, "We have a pupil personnel program where we have a con­ tract with Arizona State University to provide services with counselors, special teachers, school social workers, and testing programs."

A South Dakota parochial school administrator talked of moving in more and more into the small group approach and indi­ where they are."


An Arizona administrator spoke of a need for new instruc­ tion in the classroom;

I think if there was some group or some university that could sponsor a group workshop or something for these Indian students it would be a good idea. I think we have to" develop an entirely new concept of education.

I don't think we can go on with the traditional lecture type, note-taking sort of things . I think we have to work so that the student becomes involved in some type

Section Summary .

y -

ceptions regarding needed program changes in Indian education.

Although four administrators indicated no need for change in pro­ grams for Indian education, the balance perceived different kinds of needed changes. Slightly over one-fourth saw a need for voca­ tional training, another one-fourth saw the need for Indian in­ volvement in program revisions, and one-fifth perceived the need for either bilingual education or the inclusion of Indian cul­ tural the program. A final one-eighth saw the need for curriculum changes, which would help improve the Indians' self-image. Thus a majority of the administrators did recognize a need for some kind of a change in the education being offered

American Indian youth.

Administrators' Perceptions as Related to the Goals of Indian Education; 6

The fifty-two administrators in the study did not agree as to the goals of. Indian education. Eight people, 15 percent,

94 in Category #1 saw the goal as assimilating Indians into the dom­ felt that the goal of Indian education was to comply with state educational objectives. Eight administrators, 15 percent, saw

Indian education as preparing Indians to live in an Anglo commu­ nity without losing their Indian identity. The administrators who picked Category #4, seven of them or 13 percent, thought In­ dian education should prepare Indians for a choice between Indian and non-Indian societies. In Category #5, eleven administrators,

21 percent, indicated that Indian educationTs goal was that of preparing Indians to live within both Indian and non-Indian so­ cieties. Two administrators, 4 percent, in Category #6, indi­ cated that the goal of Indian education was to create cultural pluralism. In Category #7 four administrators, 8 percent, indi­ cated that the goal of Indian education was to live in the local community whatever the culture.


Assimilation as a Goal of Indian Education

Eight administrators,15 percent of the population, thought Indian education had the goal of assimilating Indians into the dominant culture . An Arizona dormitory principal stated

"I think they need to be assimilated enough so they can go any­ where they want to.” An elementary principal from Montana also believed in assimilation, "What we need is more teachers with exactly the same training that they're getting now if we're ever going to assimilate all these Indians into American society.”

A Montana high school principal talked of the Indian stu­ dents in his school: "When they come to the high school, they are assimilated completely into our culture. They go to our dances, they have boy-girl relationships, they.are interested in our sports, they are completely shut off from their culture so to speak,”

A high school principal in Arizona made a statement indi­ cating that he thought schools were directed at assimilating In­ dians, "I would say they are for assimilation rather than to help them with their identity.”

Complying With State Standards as a Goal of Indian Education

Twenty-four percent of the population, twelve people, saw the goal of.Indian education as that of complying with state standards. An Indian school principal in Arizona said, "The state has basically the same objectives in educating students as

96 we do--for them to achieve their goals in life and to be good citizens."


principal in a metropolitan elementary school sug­ gested a basic education was good for Indian students like it was for others, "I don’t think we should differentiate educational goals for these children. Age levels we have require that they get basic education which is what all children need to get into



high school.”

A South Dakota elementary school principal stated the goal of Indian education as follows:

I would like to see our role just what it is in any school situation, the academic education of the child's thing. I would like to see us get out of the total ed­ ucation of the child, the changing of his moral values, his whole moral conduct and so on.

Preparation of the Indian for the Anglo Community as a Goal of Indian Education


Eight people, 15 percent, of the population, saw the goal

Of Indian education as that of preparing Indian students to live

"in Anglo communities without losing their cultural identity. An

Arizona school principal said this clearly, ”1 believe most ad­ ministrators feel that Indians should work toward getting into the main stream in society but still be Indians in jobs and in living standards, and I think this is what they all believe in and believe that this should be an ultimate goal.”

A North Carolina principal talked of teaching the Indians the white man’s way, ”1 feel pretty strongly that these kids have

" ■ ' 97 all the White man’s customs we can„ We should teach them first the White man’s way.” '

An obvious goal of assimilating the Indian into Anglo communities was stated by a Montana administrator, ”W e ’d like to see them as Indians and compete and be successful in the stands.r-d civilized world, the standard culture--so they can get out and make an honest living and be able to compete in normal society„

I ’d like to see them live in a normal, community in the State of


Preparation of the Indian to

Choose Between Indian and Non-

Indian Societies as a Goal of

Indian Education

Seven people, 13 percent of the administrators, saw In­ dian education as directed to the goal of preparing the Indian to choose between cultures „ A Montana principal spoke of the need for the Indian to have a choice about where he will live:

. . . I think the goal is this idea of equal oppor­ up either to live on or leave the reservation and this choice means first of all that they.have to realize that there is such an alternative and also they must have

'the necessary knowledge to be able to get skills which would make it feasible for them to.choose.

An Arizona Indian school principal talked of preparing

Indian students for what they wanted to do--not what the school wants for them:


I think the role of the school . „ , is one of an educational program in which we would hope to prepare, boys and girls for what they want and not for what we would like to see them be or do--prepare them for a good position and to be a good citizen on the reserva­ tion off the reservation, in town and out of town.

An Arizona school superintendent made the same point when he talked about Indians deciding for themselves: ”1 think this should be left up to the Indians, and I think the change in edu­ cation has to help the Indian to the point where he can make the decisions himself

A high school department head in an Arizona Indian school stated what his school was doing to help Indian students to have experiences in choosing:

Over the years we have led our student through they couldn't do and what type of decisions they could come up with. Now we have left that path and are hop­ ing to let the students, make decisions for themselves .

We are allowing them much more freedom to get out and do and learn what they .can and try to correct their own mistakes.

Preparation of the Indian to

Live in Both Cultures as a

Goal of Indian Education

Twenty-one percent, eleven respondents, saw the goal of

Indian education as preparing Indians to live within the Indian and non-Indian cultures. An Indian elementary school principal stated it as follows:

Indian children have to be educated to meet the needs of their times. Not that they should overlook their cul­ ture or put it aside or forget it, but they are living in a culture that is not the same as theirs and they should be prepared to meet the circumstances in that it will

99 help them carry on in their own culturebut also live in another culture„ The Indians have two cultures to live in, it is our job to prepare them for it.

From a high school serving Indians in Central Arizona, a principal said, "I think the Indian should keep the best of his heritage and at the same time keep the best of the Anglo heri­ tage And an administrator from South Dakota talked about In­ dian students learning about the values of their parents and also all they can of the Anglo culture: "I think our obligation is to say you learn everything you can about your family’s values and you learn everything you can about this dominant culture--and then with this knowledge that, you have learned, make the best use of it possible.”

Another administrator talked of using some of both cul­ tures. She said, ". ... let them.keep their identity and build up their self-respect--develop an understanding of their culture and the White man’s culture and use what they can of both cul­ tures ." And an administrator from a metropolitan high school in

Arizona serving Indians stated:. ”1 suppose it should be our pur­ necessarily economically and socially successful, but give them the knowledge they would like to acquire so that they come and go off the reservation and not have any problems."

Preparation of the Indian for

Cultural Pluralism as a Goal

Two administrators, 4 percent of the population, felt that the goal of Indian education should be that of cultural plu­ ralism.


high school principal in Central Arizona commented on the Indian student's need to preserve what he finds good and per­ haps incorporate what appeals to him from the Anglo world of the school, "I think we should have the Indian keep what is good--and then if we could add anything, fine and dandy In An elementary school principal from Arizona seemed to agree with this state­ also want some of what we have."

Preparation of the. Indian to

Live in Local Community

Whatever the Culture

Four administrators, 8 percent of the population, felt that Indian education should have as its goal the preparing of

Indians to live'in the local community, whatever the culture. An elementary school principal in Arizona talked of the Indian main­ taining his identity and fitting into his own community, "I think to have successful communities, and have their people assimilate into their own culture„"

A South Dakota superintendent of schools serving Indians talked of personality training which would help Indian students

101 personality training, helping them to learn to fit into society s and become self-respecting persons and respectable members of the community, no matter where they are."

Section Summary ceptions regarding the goals of Indian education. Approximately one-fourth of the administrators perceived the goal of Indian ed­ ucation as being that of complying with state standards while another group, slightly less than one-third of the population,.

felt either that the Indians should be assimilated or prepared to live in an Anglo community. Of the remaining 46 percent of the administrators, slightly over one-fifth of these felt Indians should be prepared to live within cultures while the remaining one-fourth felt that the goal should be to prepare Indians for a choice between cultures, for cultural pluralism, or to live in the local community whatever the culture. Fifty-four percent of the population tended to perceive the goal of Indian education as some form of assimilation into the dominant society, while of the remaining 46 percent who tended toward some type of cross- cultural training, six individuals, 12 percent, indicated that the goal should be cultural pluralism.



In this chapter, the information gathered from the admin­ istrators in the study was presented, using the six-question framework introduced in Chapter 1. The data for each question were presented in graphic form with accompanying excerpts from the responses'to the interview schedule, illustrating the admin­ istrators* perceptions„ In the next chapter, the summary, con­




This final chapter contains the purpose, design, and re­ sults of the study, together with conclusions and recommendations drawn by the investigator. It was the purpose of this study to ascertain how administrators in schools .serving American Indian children perceived their role and the role of their schools in educating these children.

Design of the Study

This study was one part of a major field study conducted under the auspices of the National Study of American Indian Edu­ cation. The population of the study consisted of fifty-two school administrators selected from among schools serving Ameri­ can Indian students in an eight-state area.

A model was developed for illustrating the relationships among the various administrator perceptions sought in this study „

This model was based on the six questions related to the state­ ment of the problem. These were: (1) What was the "belief sys­ tem" of school administrators with respect to the nature of

American Indians? (2) What motivated the administrators to want to administer schools serving Indian children? (3) Did the

104 professional preparation of school administrators affect their perception of Indian education? (4) How much opportunity did school administrators provide for Indian participation in school decisions and programs ? Why did they feel Indian participation ' was (was not) important? (5) What changes in school programs serving Indian children did school administrators feel were nec­ essary? Were these changes directed toward assimilating the In­ dian child or maintaining his identity as an Indian? and

(6) What did school administrators, as a group, fedl the goal of Indian education should be?

An interview instrument based on the model mentioned above was constructed at The University of Arizona and field tested by it and the various other Field Centers associated with the National Study of American Indian Education. The instrument consisted of a series of open-ended questions probing the admin­ in Indian education.

The interview instrument was administered to the adminis­ trators in the population by interviewers from the various Field

Centers of the National Study of American Indian Education. The responses were tape recorded and later transcribed into typed scripts which were then made available to the investigator for study and analysis.

The information from the typed scripts was coded using a specially prepared rating sheet with a series of criteria

105 provided for each of the six questions related to the statement of the problem. Using the criteria for each question as a basis, the scripts were coded and adequacy of the data was established.

The data derived from the rating sheets mentioned above respondents most nearly illustrating the general reactions to. the various criteria of each question were presented in connection with the bar graphs to which they were related.

Results of the Study

Several significant patterns were, detected in the study.

Perhaps the most significant one was that a major portion of the administrators reported their belief systems were based on other than specific knowledge of American Indians, the special popula­ tion, they were serving. Another pattern was that more than half of the population indicated that they had not been motivated by a desire to serve Indians. Most of these stated that the economic factor was the motivator. A third pattern was that a large share of the administrator population had no special thoughts regarding ways to improve their preparation for administering schools serv­ ing Indians other than some general suggestions involving contact with Indians.

A fourth pattern was that the administrator population quite generally favored American Indian participation in their local schools. Only the two Indian administrators included in

106 the study, however, advocated complete local participation through tribal government.


fifth pattern was that of the ad­ ministrators generally failing to perceive the need for changes in programs which would aid Indian students to improve their self-images. In the sixth and final pattern, a majority of the administrators perceived the goal of American Indian education as some form of assimilation into the dominant society „


1. The belief system of the administrators in this study tended to be based on other than specific knowledge about Ameri­ can Indians. This condition imposes severe limits, in terms of stereotyped thought processes, in developing new approaches to

Indian education.

ing American Indians tended to be economics and status, while the motivation to serve Indians was at a minimum.

about American Indian education tended to limit the suggestions which they had concerning needed administrative preparation for their jobs.

port the idea of Indian participation in their own education, but such support appeared to be based not on full understanding of this concept but more as a matter of current popular thought.

American Indian educational programs tended to be relatively su­ perficial rather than focused on fundamental, human relationships which could improve the self image of the learner.

of American Indian education often reflected traditional ideas of assimilation, although a number of administrators seemed to favor some form of cross-cultural choicing--only a very few advocated cultural pluralism. A critical difficulty seems to be administra­ tor failure to consult with the Indians about their feelings as to the goals of American Indian education.


It is recommended that:

1. Colleges and universities which prepare administra­ tors to work in schools serving American Indian students:

(a), offer a program of training in the specific culture, lan­ guage, and customs of these Indians, (b) seek out and recruit, high potential individuals to take this training, (c) encourage


them to complete the program, and (d) assist them to secure suit­ able administrative positions.

2. School systems recruit and select school administra­ tors who have been educated in the culture, language, and customs of the particular American Indians they serve, and who display attitudes of concern and sensitivity for these people.


Administrators, of schools serving American Indian 3. students develop skill in consulting with the local Indian popu­ lations about their educational aims and goals„


4.. Administrators of schools serving American Indian students' strive to develop programs which strongly emphasize fun­ damentals of human relationships basic to improving the self- images of the Indian students„


Since the interviews were conducted by several research­ ers in different parts of the country, some of the demographic resents the data which were furnished.

The sample included forty-five (86%) males and seven thirty-five and fifty, seven (18%) over fifty years, and six

(15%) under fifty years of age.

Forty-one checked categories of educational background.

Of these, thirteen (32%) held the A.B. degree; eighteen (43%) the

M.A. degree; and ten (24%) the M.A. degree with additional gradu­ ate work. Thirty-seven of the population indicated the type of certificate they held: ten (27%) had no administrative certifi­ cate; nine (24%) possessed building principal certificates; and eighteen (48%) had general administration certificates.

Of the forty-eight responding concerning length of time in their present position, thirteen (27%) noted that it was the first year, twenty-four (50%) had been in their present positions for between two and five years, four (8%) had between six and ten years, and seven (15%) had more than ten years service.



Fifty-one indicates the type of position they held as follows:

110 thirty-four (67%) were .building principals, one (2%) was a coun­ selor, two (4%) were assistant principals, two (4%) were super­ visors, eight (15%) were superintendents; and four (8%) had other type positions than those listed.

Of the fifty who checked the type of school they were as­ sociated with, thirty-four (68%) were in public schools, four

(8%) were in BIA day schools, nine (18%) were in BIA boarding schools, one (2%) was in a mission, school, and two (4%) were in other types of. schools.

Only forty-six indicated their experience with Indian tribes. Nine (19%) of these had experience with one tribe in one area; fourteen (31%) had worked with two or more tribes in one area; eighteen (39%) had had experience with two or more tribes in other areas; and five (11%) indicated that they had no experi­ ence with Indian tribes.



The following topics should he kept in mind while inter­ viewing the school administrative staff: his length of time on the job, etc., is a. nature of position b „ length of time in this position c» reasons for accepting this position d. age, marital status, sex, education, work experience (location and comparison of previous position with current position) e . awarded an administrative certificate

2. Why is he administrating a school with Indians?

3. What

4. What educating Indian children? Does this agree with official objectives? ,

5. What

6 . .What new programs have been initiated in the school dur­ ing his administration?

7. What restrictions does he feel are placed on him by agen­ cies outside the school, within the school system, within chy in which he works? Is there a school board? His feelings and relationships with these?

8 . With whom does he relate outside the school system?

Within the school? With Indian individuals and/or groups? To whom does he go for advice?




9. Is he satisfied with his own career objectives? Income?

Professional status ?

10. What are his major concerns with respect to his job?

11. Who should determine the content of the school curricu­ lum? How?

12. Is the school being used by community groups? For what purpose? Who initiated the activity? How often?

13. Why are some teachers especially successful in working with Indian children? Do you have such a teacher on your staff?

14. What are the major problems in working with Indian chil-

15. What kind of training should teachers have who work with

Indian students?

•16. How do non-Indian students compare with Indian students ?

17. How do non-Indian parents compare with Indian parents?

18. What is he doing with respect to extra-curricular pro­ grams, dormitory, etc.? Attitude toward these?

19. Who does he feel are the most influential people in In­ dian education, locally, state, national?

20. What kind of teachers impede or encourage change? What kind of restraints are placed on the staff which impede changes in the school program? What is the role of fi­ nances here? '

21. What kind of research is needed in Indian education?

What do you feel that the National Study of American In­ dian Education for your school?

22. What is the financial structure under which the school operates? Are there any special programs using local, state, or national funds ?

23. If there could be an ideal school for educating American children, .what would it be like?




AdministratorTs Name


Date Other Information




R Ts Perception of Indian



R 1s Motivation for Adminis­ tering Schools with

Indian Children







3 I 4









R Ts Perception of Innovations or Changes in Education -

Administrator Training

R Ts Perception of Who Should

Control the School

R Ts Perception of Innovations

| or Changes in Education -



M i !

! i

I i i



! I

! 1

R Ts Perception of the Goal of


L i ! I i I i



These rating scales follow a pattern which coincides with pects of Indian education. The scale includes an Adequacy of

Data column as follows:

1. None

2. Inconclusive--Inadequate, but ratable

3. Adequate

Demographic Information About the

Respondent and His School

1. Sex







Under 35


35 - 50


Over 50



Less than A.B.




Fifth year




M.A. plus graduate work


Education Specialist


Ph .D .

Type of Administrator Certificate

4.1 No certificate

4.2 Building principal certificate

4.3 General administrator certificate

5. Length of Time at Present Position


First year


2 - 5 years


6 - 1 0 years


More than 10 years

Type of Position


Building principal


Guidance counselor


Assistant principal





6 .6

Asst. Superintendent


Reservation principal


Other (indicate)

Type of School




BIA day


BIA boarding




Other (indicate)

8 .2 Two or more tribes one area

8.3 Two or more tribes other areas

8.4 None (e.g., boarding or urban schools which do not serve a particular Indian community)





2 •





Rating Scales

Title of Scale

Respondent’s Perception of Indian

Motivation for Administering Schools

With Indian Children

Respondent's Perception of Innovations or Changes in Education--Administrator

Training 1

Respondent's Perception of Who Should

Control the School

Respondent's Perception of Innovations or Changes in Education--Curriculum

Respondent's Perception of the Goal of


Page No.

1. Respondent's Perception of Indian Community

(Questions 3, 5,"" 16, 17, 26)

1. The respondent has no knowledge of the Indian community and/or culture. He probably feels that Indians are no different than


2. The respondent feels that the major difference between Indians and Anglos is that.the Indians are poor. He makes no cul­ tural distinctions.

3. The respondent holds some simplistic stereotypes of Indians, e.g., "they are proud people" or "they are not interested in ■ education" but has no knowledge of Indian life.

4. The respondent has some knowledge of Indian culture but can­ not be specific about it.

5. The respondent has some knowledge of Indian culture and can be specific about it. He may know some of the language, a tribal leader, or something about the religion.

6 . The respondent has associated with Indians informally. This has been on Indian terms rather than his terms, e.g., the

Indians have invited him into their homes or have invited him to accompany them to a dance. They initiated the invi­ tation.


Motivation for administering-Schools

(Questions 2, 9 abe)

This dimension deals with the reasons the administrator provides for administering a school with predominantly Indian children.

1. The fact that, this school included Indian children was not a in improving his status both economically and professionally by acquiring a job as an administrator with better pay, and/or a bigger school system, etc.

2. The respondent joined the BIA for civil service status, bet­ ter working conditions, etc. and gradually assumed an admin­ istrator status „ He had never given any thought to working with Indians.

"country folk" but still has no special motivation to work.

with Indians„

4. The respondent became interested in Indians for religious

(Christian) purposes.

to what this involves . . .

6 . The respondent wants to help educate Indians and has some specific ideas as to what this involves.

7. The respondent is himself an Indian and has dedicated his life to helping Indian people.

• Respondent's Perception of Innovations or Changes in Education--Administrator Training

(Questions 6, 16, 18b, 20a, 2lab, 23, 25, 28, 29, 32)

More than one category may be checked.

1. The respondent says nothing about administrator training.

2. The respondent suggests that changes need to be made, e.g., mentions an in-service training program but provides no specific suggestions.

3. The respondent suggests that administrators should visit In­ dian homes, learn some of the language, tribal customs, etc.


4. The respondent suggests that administrators need help with language arts, English as a second language, etc.

5. The respondent suggests that administrators need help in developing Indian cultural materials for use in the class­ room.

6 . The respondent suggests that administrators need help in local community.

7. Other (specify)

4. Respondent's Perception of Who

Should Control the ScKodl■ .

(Questions 7abd, 8abc, 11,! 19, 2Ob, 22b, 30, 31)

1. The respondent feels that Indian youth are the responsibility of the federal government and therefore an agency in Washing­ ton should be responsible for their education.

2. The respondent feels essentially the same as #1 above but that the federal schools should have an advisory board of

Indian parents.

3. The respondent feels that education is a responsibility of the state and that the state department of public instruc­ tion should be responsible for running the schools (without

Indian involvement).

4. The respondent feels the same as #3 above but with Indian involvement„

5. The respondent feels that the school should be under the control of a local school board representing the local com­ munity .

6 . The respondent feels should be run by the tribal council. ■

7. Other (specify)


Respondent's Perception of Innovations or Changes in Education--Curriculum.

1. The respondent makes no suggestions for changes in the cur­ riculum.

2. The respondent suggests that there is a need for programs in bilingual education (includes language arts).

3. The respondent suggests that there is a need to include In­ dian cultural materials in the school program.

4. The respondent suggests that there is a need to involve vocational education for Indian.youth and has a specific suggestion in this regard.

6 . The respondent suggests that there is a need to improve the self-image of Indian youth. (He may not, however, have a specific suggestion as to how to do this.)

7. Other (specify) the Goal of Education

(Questions 4ab, 10, 12, 13ab, 2 7).

More.than one category may be checked

1. The respondent feels that the major goal of the school is to assimilate the Indian.

2. The respondent feels that the major goal of the school is to comply with state objectives for education.

3. The respondent feels that the. major goal of the school is to provide language and/or vocational skills, for the Anglo com­ munity.

4. The respondent feels that the major goal of the school is to educate the Indian to choose between his culture and the.

"Anglo way of life."



5> The respondent feels that the major goal of the school is to educate the Indian to live in' two worlds--the Indian and the

Anglo. z

S. The respondent feels that the major goal of the school is to educate for cultural pluralism--to be Indian but also to operate in the basic Anglo institutions, e.g., language, economic, political.

7. The respondent feels that the major goal of the school is to educate the Indian to live in the local community, whether

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