Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Education, Counseling

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Mark Pope, Ph.D.


Brian Hutchison, Ph.D.


Mathew Davis, Ph.D.

Wendy Saul, Ph.D.


Native American Nations have been subjected to colonialism for centuries the impact of which led to further traumatic events and disparities. Although recent scholarship has investigated possible relationships between traumas experienced in education and issues such as depression, substance use, poor academic achievement, and suicide, there remained a need for qualitative studies exploring the phenomenon from the voice of the experiencer. The purpose of this study was to investigate the phenomenon of cultural identity silencing of Native American identity in education. Eight young adult self-identified Native American/Alaskan college students between the ages of 18-25 who experienced cultural identity silencing in education were interviewed using Seidman’s three-part model. Each participant took part in three individual 60- 90 minute long Skype interviews each at least a week apart. The following questions were investigated in this study: How is cultural identity silencing of Native American/Alaskan Native identity experienced by young adult Native American/Alaskan Natives in education? What is the psychological meaning of cultural identity silencing of Native American identity? A descriptive phenomenological psychological methodology using Giorgian analysis and researcher epoché was then used to create descriptions of the essential structure of cultural identity silencing phenomenon as it was reconstructed by the participants. Seven essential constituents were described by participants that form the structural description of the phenomenon. These results contribute to a greater understanding and consciousness of the lived experiences of American Indians in education.

OCLC Number