Essay Native American Youth

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Native American Youth
The United States educational system faces a major challenge in addressing the disenfranchisement of youth due to poverty and racism in the schools. The U.S. Census Bureau, 2006 found that “currently about one-quarter of Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans are living in poverty in the U.S. compared to less than 10% of Asian Americans or Whites.” (Hughes et al. 2010, p. 2) Hughes, Newkirk & Stenhjem (2010) identified the stressors children living in poverty faced caused young adolescents to suffer mental and physical health issues which resulted in anxiety, hypertension, fear and depression. Lack of health care, neighborhood crime levels, joblessness, prejudice, and inadequate housing are among the many
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The prejudice minority youth experience is likely to pervade many forms, such as outright blatant prejudicial statements and actions often experienced through peer interaction as well as subtle indirect prejudice which pervades contemporary society’s educational system that Native American youth participate in daily. Subtle prejudices are as simple as cultural misrepresentations of Native American culture in traditional educational literature. Although Native Americans are often underrepresented as role models in traditional educational curricula and children may experience prejudice through this lack of representation in the curriculum. Traditional American curricula are often criticized for alienating minority students by not including their cultural contributions or respecting their culture fairly or accurately.” (Morgan, 2010, p. 4) There are currently over 700 tribes registered on the national register of BIA (Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs) and it would be impossible to represent all these tribes within the context of the curricula, however, researchers often fail to adequately research the tribes that are portrayed within the text which can be conflicting for Native American youth when cultural stereotypes are perpetrated within the curricula for example: a picture that depicts the Lakota sun dance with Native Americans wearing Navajo traditional dress. These

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