Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies ETDs

Publication Date



This phenomenological study examines the relationship between education and Native American participation in the military from 2001-2009. The study is based on both phenomenological and Indigenous methodology. The theoretical framework is structured by primarily by Tribal Critical Race Theory and Decolonization. Eighteen participants were interviewed, one participant engaged in a presentation on the topic, and three participants contributed surveys alone. There were twenty-two participants overall and ten were identified as primary participants who experienced the phenomenon of entering or re-enlisting in the military since September 11, 2009. The majority of the participants represented Native tribes of the southwest. The major finding was that education, inside and outside of schooling, was a motivating force for Native veterans in all aspects of their experience. They either considered military service as a component of their education and/or utilized the benefits earned in the military to complete college degrees. Most of the participants recommended higher education as a first option after high school completion and entrance as an officer if the military was a desired destination.


United States--Armed Forces--Indians--Attitudes, Indian soldiers--United states--Attitudes, Indians of North America--Education (Higher), Veterans--Education--United States

Document Type




Degree Name

Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies

First Committee Member (Chair)

Cajete, Gregory

Second Committee Member

Allen, Ricky

Third Committee Member

Lee, Tiffany

Fourth Committee Member

Yellow Bird, Michael