In the latter half of the twentieth century, tens of thousands of Native American families moved to cities across the United States, some via the government relocation program and some on their own. In the cities, they encountered new forms of work, entertainment, housing, and education. In this study, Stephen Kent Amerman focuses on the educational experiences of Native students in urban schools in Phoenix, Arizona, a city with one of the largest urban Indian communities in the nation. The educational experiences of Native students in Phoenix varied over time and even in different parts of the city, but interactions with other ethnic groups and the experience of being a minority for the first time presented distinctive challenges and opportunities for Native students. Using oral histories as well as written records, Amerman examines how Phoenix schools tried to educate and assimilate Native students alongside Hispanic, Asian, black, and white students and how Native children, their parents, and the Indian community at large responded to this new urban education and the question of their cultural identity. Reconciling these pressures was a struggle, but many found resourceful responses, charting paths that enabled them to acquire an urban education while still remaining Indian.
Stephen Kent Amerman is an associate professor of history at Southern Connecticut State University. His articles have appeared in American Indian Culture and Research Journal, American Indian Quarterly, and Journal of Arizona History.
List of Illustrations Acknowledgments List of Abbreviations Introduction: Beyond the Boarding Schools 1. The City 2. The Schools 3. The Students 4. The Fight 5. The Aftermath Conclusion: Indian Education in the City Appendix A: A Note on the Interviews Appendix B: Interview Questions Notes Bibliography Index