ERIC Number: ED348202
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
The Current Condition of Native Americans. ERIC Digest.
This digest provides an overview of Native American demography, education, employment, and health conditions. In the 1990 census, 1.9 million Americans claimed American Indian status and over 5 million indicated Indian descent. About 637,000 lived on reservations or trust lands, while over 250,000 lived in cities. Half of Native Americans lived in 6 states and belonged to 10 of the over 500 U.S. tribes and bands. The Navajo reservation, by far the largest, had 143,000 residents. American Indians were about 7 years younger and had a fertility rate about twice the U.S. average (but the birthrate is not increasing). Infant mortality has decreased drastically in recent years, resulting in a large increase of young Natives. The Native death rate from alcohol-related causes was three times higher than in the general population. Native Americans on reservations and in rural areas have high unemployment and poverty rates, but many are starting new businesses. Tribal control or influence over elementary and secondary education of Indian children is increasing, and some public schools are becoming more responsive to the special needs of Indian students. There has been a major increase in Native American college attendance; attendance reached 103,000 in 1990, and the 24 tribal colleges have rapidly increasing enrollments. Native American world views differ markedly from European-based beliefs but seem to be moving into the mainstream. The current generation of Native youth must choose between traditional Native and mainstream American lifestyles, or struggle to balance productive elements of both. (SV)
Descriptors: Alaska Natives, American Indian Education, American Indians, Census Figures, Demography, Elementary Secondary Education, Employment, Health, Higher Education, Population Trends
ERIC/CRESS, Appalachia Educational Laboratory, P.O. Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325 (free).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Charleston, WV.