The Art of Looping Linear: Perspectives from Tribal College Students and Faculty

Document Type



My research entitled "The Art of Looping Linear" is a metaphorical depiction of the tension that has long existed between a dominant Westernized educational process and American Indian people. The significance of the circle (loop) is the perpetuating premise for American Indian traditions, culture, and knowledge. This circular concept encompasses the belief that every element in our world has a direct relationship to each other and that the balance of these relationships impacts the survival of American Indian people. This case study illustrates the angst and the discourse associated with American Indian students as they travel the road of higher education. The relationship of American Indian culture, "Indianness," and self- identity within this educational realm highlights the hegemonic systems in a Westernized college environment. However, this same cultural affiliation provides enhancement to self-identity and educational attainment when associated within a Tribal College environment. Tribal College students and faculty strive to find balance between the circular borders of academia and American Indian culture.


Group identity; Identity (Psychology); Indian universities and colleges; Indians of North America – Education


Community-Based Research | Education | Indigenous Studies | Inequality and Stratification | Medicine and Health


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