"The Best Possible Education": Federal Indian Educational Policy in the Public Schools, 1969-1980
MetadataShow full item record
The scholarship regarding the education of American Indians has focused primarily on the trials and atrocities of the period between 1870 and 1930. This thesis expands this analysis and explores the shifts in Indian educational policy that occurred in the mid to late twentieth century. Whereas federally controlled institutions had served as the primary means of educating Indian students prior to the 1930s, between the 1940s and 1960s, the federal government began shifting Indian children into state-controlled public schools. Unbeknownst to federal policymakers, this shift effectively limited federal control of Indian education by putting this control largely in the hands of local white communities whose goals for Indian education often differed greatly from those of the federal government. This limiting of federal power was most clearly demonstrated in the 1970s, when federal policymakers attempted to create a policy of self-determination for Indian education that was applied in only a limited fashion by state public schools.