Few activities have the power to bring people together as sports; victory is contagious, defeat unifies, and the concept of a team can create common goals and unbreakable bonds among teammates, communities, and even an entire nation. In a sense, sport has the power to change lives. The lessons that athletics can teach—preparation, competitiveness, overcoming obstacles, persistence, mental and physical health, problem solving, and setting life goals—seem particularly apt for American Indian youth today. Athletics can serve as a pathway to college for American Indian students who participate in individual or team sports. Access to higher education, in turn, offers the opportunity for larger income and greater economic opportunities. The American Indian students’ college experience, including statistics on enrollment, retention and drop-out rates, is prevalent in both quantitative and qualitative research. Moreover, research concerning the roles athletes and athletics have within higher education institutions is historically rich. The intersection of these two topics however, has received little to no attention. This dissertation will explore the impact of sports on American Indian collegiate athletes to determine the factors that both inspired and inhibited them from the pursuit of athletics in college. It will provide the first in-depth look at several American Indian collegiate athletes who can document how sports helped or failed to help them reach their educational aspirations.
|Advisor:||Parezo, Nancy J.|
|Commitee:||Begay, Manley, Joe, Jennie, Tippeconnic Fox, Mary Jo|
|School:||The University of Arizona|
|Department:||American Indian Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Native American studies, Higher education, Recreation|
|Keywords:||American Indian, College athlete, Higher education, Native American, Physical activity, Sports|
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