ERIC Number: ED335716
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr-12
Reference Count: N/A
The American Indian Experience in Communication Classrooms.
Perhaps responding to a new awareness of the problems of American Indians, South Dakota Governor George Mickelson issued an executive proclamation declaring 1990 the "Year of Reconciliation." Dakota Wesleyan University responded to this proclamation by participating with the Mitchell Area Vocational-Technical in establishing a "Sister Community" relationship with Lower Brule, a community about 2 hours from Mitchell. Teacher and student exchanges have already occurred at the secondary level, and programs have been implemented at Dakota Wesleyan. Some observations of the situation of American Indian students both on campus at Dakota Wesleyan and at the off campus site in Wagner include: (1) American Indian enrollment is now 9% of the student body; (2) enrollments have been impacted by college recruitment practices, increased tuition, decreased funding by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the emergence of reservation colleges; (3) American Indian students are now interested in careers other than American Indian Studies; (4) while from 1885-1985 Dakota Wesleyan graduated only 26 Native American students, from 1985 to the present the college has graduated 51 students; and (5) American Indian students (with notable exceptions) still tend to be apprehensive of oral assignments in the communication classroom. American Indian students enhance the experience of all students in communication classes. As a small, private, liberal arts college, Dakota Wesleyan has the potential to serve the needs of these minority students in the future. Recognizing cultural differences and being sensitive to the needs of American Indian students will result in more effective teaching and learning at the university and more specifically in communication classes. (PRA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Dakota Wesleyan University SD; South dakota
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Communication Association (Chicago, IL, April 11-14, 1991).