Identity Politics: the Mixed-race American Indian Experience

Identity Politics: the Mixed-race American Indian Experience

Journal of Critical Race Inquiry
Volume 2, Number 1 (2012)
25 pages

Michelle R. Montgomery
University of Washington

This paper builds a Critical Race Theory approach to consider how mixed-race American Indian college students conform to, or resist, dominant black/non-black ideology. Current research on multiracials in the U.S. lacks the perspectives of mixed-race American Indians on the heightened disputes of “Indianness,” tribal enrollment, and tribal self-determination. Also under-explored is how mixed-race American Indian persons perceive themselves in racial terms, how they wish to be perceived, and how economic and historical perspectives inform their choices about racial self-identification. This paper provides an overview of the identity politics of mixed-race American Indians at a tribal college and highlights the need for tribal colleges to embrace a growing mixed-race population through self-determination education policies.

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