American Indian Education: A History

May 15th, 2006 | By | Category: 17-4: Reforming Our Schools, Native Style, Media Reviews

AMERICAN INDIAN EDUCATION COVERby Jon Reyhner and Jeanne Eder
University of Oklahoma Press (2004)
370 pages, 20 black-and-white illustrations, 3 line drawings, 1 map
ISBN 0-8061-3593-X – $29.95

Review by Michael W. Simpson

History should be readable. This book is an easy read with a story that flows, but it is not simplistic. It starts right off noting the connection of land speculation to United States education policy toward American Indians.

The authors integrate the voices of Native peoples, too often ignored by history. The book includes pre-contact education methods of diverse cultures, contrasting them with white education, and shows how the “vanishing Americans” adapted, adopted, and survived the onslaught of colonization disguised as schooling.

The authors include very recent developments and educational issues of the future. They show appreciation for the role of tribal colleges. This book should be part of the library and instruction at all tribal colleges.

Michael W. Simpson, J.D., M.Ed., is a lawyer, educator, mediator, and social activist studying education policy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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