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Honors Thesis/Project Advisor for this Particular Submission:

Kathleen A. Brown-Perez

UMass Amherst


American Indian education is expansive and different within each school system and school type. Many forms of American Indian education however include some type of forced assimilation of the students into Anglo-American society. This assimilation is greatly responsible for the very low retention rate of American Indian students in school. This thesis analyzes past research in the areas of assimilation and retention and uses this research to create a solution that removes assimilation from the various school systems and therefore increases retention rates of American Indian students. Possible solutions found include incorporating American Indian culture in the curriculum, providing the students with resources to help them deal with non-academic issues, such as family issues or depression, and to provide the students with academic assistance that they can relate to. By riding the school systems of forced assimilation, this paper demonstrates how the retention rates will increase, and also how important it is that this happens.