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HASKELL INDIAN NATIONS UNIVERSITY R.E.D. CENTER SERIES. Research Summit on the Urban Indian Experience Lawrence, Kansas April 11, 2008. The Contemporary American Indian In The Urban Setting: I See You, But Do You See Me?. Dr. Joseph Bohanon, Ph.D. Northeastern State University Tahlequah, OK.

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haskell indian nations university r e d center series

HASKELL INDIAN NATIONS UNIVERSITYR.E.D. CENTER SERIES

Research Summit on the Urban Indian Experience

Lawrence, Kansas

April 11, 2008

the contemporary american indian in the urban setting i see you but do you see me

The Contemporary American Indian In The Urban Setting: I See You, But Do You See Me?

Dr. Joseph Bohanon, Ph.D.

Northeastern State University

Tahlequah, OK

introduction
INTRODUCTION
  • Study involved 42 American Indian respondents
  • Urban & non-urban settings
  • Separate interviews
  • Used the same questionnaire to examine education, tribal language, physical & mental health, spirituality and employment.
literature review
LITERATURE REVIEW
  • BIA relocation
  • Urban life
  • Differences between American Indians in urban vs. non-urban settings?
research design
RESEARCH DESIGN
  • Qualitative
  • Grounded theory
  • Questionnaire development
  • Interviews
statistical findings
STATISTICAL FINDINGS
  • 57 % of respondents live in small towns or rural areas.
  • 43% of respondents live in urban areas.
small town rural age group 13 17 years
SMALL TOWN/RURAL AGE GROUP 13-17 YEARS
  • 50% female
  • 50% male
  • Education: 9.33 years (median)
  • Health (physical): 100% rated @ 5
  • Health (mental): 67% rated 4 & 33% @ 2
  • Spiritual: 17% rated 0, 1, 4 & 5 each and 32% @ 2
  • Employment: 67% rated # 1, 17% @ 2, & 17% N/A.

This group consisted of students ranging from middle school to high school. I was not surprised to find that this young group rated themselves at the highest level of physical health. Mental health ratings, however, came down somewhat. The majority of respondents rated their spirituality at the lowest level. The students gave employment the lowest rating which would be understandable.

small town rural age group 19 29 years
SMALL TOWN/RURAL AGE GROUP 19-29 YEARS
  • 88% female
  • 12% male
  • Education: 15 years (median)
  • Health (physical): 38% rated @ 4 & 63% @ 5
  • Health (mental): 13% rated 4 & 88% @ 5
  • Spiritual: 38% @ 3, 25% 4 & 38% @ 5
  • Employment: 67% rated # 1, 17% @ 2, & 17% N/A.

The majority of this group consisted of college students. They rated both their physical and mental health at the highest levels. The responses for their spiritual ratings ranged from the middle to highest levels. Ratings for employment were balanced across the scale.

small town rural age group 33 54 years
SMALL TOWN/RURAL AGE GROUP 33-54 YEARS
  • 56% female
  • 44% male
  • Education: 13.78 years (median)
  • Health (physical): 44% rated @ 3 & 33% @ 4 & 22% @ 5
  • Health (mental): 11% @ 1, 33% @ 3, 22% @ 4 each & 44% @ 5
  • Spiritual: 11% @ 1, 22% 3 & 4 each and 44% @ 5
  • Employment: 11% rated @ 2, 44% @ 4, 22% @ 5 & 22% N/A.

This group consisted of middle age respondents, which some were college graduates. Physical health ratings ranged from the mid to high level. Mental health ratings were low with a majority ranging from mid to high levels. Ratings for Spiritual and Employment were balanced across the scale.

urban age group 11 16 years
URBAN AGE GROUP 11-16 YEARS
  • 75% female
  • 25% male
  • Education: 8.5 years (median)
  • Health (physical): 75% @ 4 & 25% @ 5
  • Health (mental): 25% @ 3 & 4 each and 50% @ 5
  • Spiritual: 50 % rated @ 3 & 5 each
  • Employment: 25% rated @ 0, 50% @ 2, & 25% @ 5.

This group consisted of adolescents ranging from middle school to high school. Based on their responses for Physical health ratings, the majority of students rated themselves at the next to highest level. Half of the respondents for Mental health chose the highest level. In the Spiritual category, half of the students ranged from mid level to half choosing the highest level. This group had 75% employment.

urban age group 21 25 years
URBAN AGE GROUP 21-25 YEARS
  • 25% female
  • 75% male
  • Education: 15 years (median)
  • Health (physical): 25% @ 1, 50% @ 4, & 25% @ 5
  • Health (mental): 25% @ 4 & 75% @ 5
  • Spiritual: 25 % rated @ 4 & 75% @ 5
  • Employment: 25% rated @ 1, 50% @ 3, & 25% @ 4.

The majority of this group consisted of college students. The physical and mental health ratings selected by the respondents were mainly from the mid to highest level. 75% of this group chose the highest level of ratings for the spiritual category. Employment ratings balanced throughout the scale.

urban age group 33 53 years
URBAN AGE GROUP 33-53 YEARS
  • 50% female
  • 50% male
  • Education: 14.5 years (median)
  • Health (physical): 40% rated @ 3, 50% @ 4 & 10% @ 5
  • Health (mental): 10% rated @ 3, 40% @ 4, & 50% @ 5
  • Spiritual: 30 % rated @ 3, 40% @ 4 & 30% @ 5
  • Employment: 10% rated @ 1 & 2 each, 20% @ 4, & 60% @ 5.

This middle age group had some college graduates. Physical health ratings were from mid to the next highest level. The majority of ratings were in the high level for their mental health. Spiritual ratings ranged from mid to the highest level. Over half of the subjects were employed.

conclusion
CONCLUSION
  • Majority have a sense of pride in ancestry
  • Overwhelming number do not know how to speak their tribal language
  • Strong beliefs in education & pursuit of higher education for a better life
  • Importance of family & community
  • Lifestyle and pace with settings was different
  • This research needs a long term study, evaluation, and larger sample.
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