Lynn Huffman

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Ripley, David B.

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership and Educational Policy Studies


Indians of North America--Women; Indians of North America--Education; Women--Education (Higher)--United States; Indians of North America--Government relations


This thesis includes a somewhat limited study of United States Indian policy and its effect upon the involvement of Native American women in higher education. Erroneous misconceptions and inaccurate stereotypes of Indian women are discussed, as well as various factors, possibly independent of U.S. Indian policy, which also influenced educational attainment. Such factors centered around economic deprivation, and cultural and linguistic differences. A historical walk-through of U .S. Indian policy is included in detail. Ihe census reports from 1790 to 1980 are searched for enrollment figures on Native American women in higher education. Lack of sex-specific data, ambiguous data when it does exist, and inconsistent measuring techniques of the various censuses prevented a firm conclusion to be drawn of a parallel relationship between U.S. Indian policy and Native American women in higher education. (The data, and lack of data, published in the census reports, though, suggested the national attitudes towards the "Indian problem" of the various decades.) Therefore, a relationship can only be inferred. However, the census reports of the past twenty years provided more substantial evidence to support the relationship between U.S. Indian policy and Native American women in higher education. It is hoped future research will draw a firmer conclusion.


Bibliography: pages 85-90.


90 pages




Northern Illinois University

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