In this article, Deirdre Almeida presents an overview of Native American education since the Europeans' arrival in the Americas, with a focus on its effect on Native American women in the United States from 1878 to the present. Until recently the history of Native American women has only been touched upon, but over the past decade, Native American women scholars have emerged to present their perspectives on the influence of both traditional learning and formal Western-based educational programs on Native women. Almeida examines the educational experiences of Native American women resulting from U.S. government policies, focusing in particular on the off-reservation boarding school program of 1878–1928. Throughout her study, Almeida demonstrates how education was, and still is, connected to the political power of Native American women. Traditional learning has been the means by which Native American women have established and maintained their voices and empowered themselves through gender roles. However, Western-based education, under government control, has been used as an instrument to destroy the traditional power of Native American women, through the shifting of these roles. The voices of the Native American women presented in this study illustrate their resistance to the breakdown of traditional political standing and the use of education to reclaim and protect it.

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