Dartmouth's Daily Blog
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American Indians Go Ivy
Nowhere is the Ivy Ivory Tower more detached from the real world than in its use of the term Native American to describe the peoples who inhabited America before 1492. This little orthodoxy took root at the College many years ago, and heaven, earth and the truth aren’t going to displace it any time soon. A search on The D’s hobbled website shows the term appearing an order of magnitude more often than the name actually recognized and used by America’s native peoples: American Indian. See also the Native American House and the Native American Studies Program.
That’s a shame, for the College assiduously fills its responsibility to recruit students from America’s many native tribes, as they themselves recognize:
American Indians Go Ivy League
Tanya H. Lee (12/30/13)
American Indians are underrepresented at most Ivy League schools. The percentage of American Indian and Alaska Native undergraduates at the Ivy Leagues hovers around 0.5 percent, with the notable exceptions of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, where 175 American Indian undergrads account for four percent of the student body, and on the other end of the spectrum, Princeton University in New Jersey, which has the lowest percentage of AI/AN undergrads.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that in 2012 American Indians and Alaska Natives comprised 1.2 percent of the population. The question of why this underrepresentation persists could lie in some assumptions about Ivy League schools that deserve scrutiny…
Dartmouth is serious about recruiting and retaining American Indian students. Its efforts, says Paul Sunde, director of admissions, involves visiting schools and tribal communities and participating in the National Indian Education Association’s conference and the College Horizons programs. Then there is Dartmouth’s unique Native American Fly-In program, which brings 50 students interested in the Native community and/or Native American Studies to campus to find out what Dartmouth offers, meet professors, administrators and other students and learn about the application process and financial aid. Dartmouth pays airfare and provides room and board for participants.
Started in 1972, two years after Dartmouth recommitted to its founding purpose, “the education and instruction of Youth of the Indian Tribes in the Land in reading, writing & all parts of Learning which shall appear necessary and expedient,” its interdisciplinary Native American Studies program offers a major and a minor course of study, says NAS Chairman N. Bruce Duthu, United Houma Nation of Louisiana. NAS has eight faculty and 25 courses on offer at any one time. Dartmouth also funds internships for students who want to do research in Native communities for a 10-week stretch and offers a predoctoral fellowship to bring a grad student to the college to write his or her thesis. The Gordon W. Russell Visiting Professorship in Native American Studies brings an American Indian senior scholar to teach for a semester. A Native American residence offers students the option of living with other AI/AN students. “We offer a strong support network,” says Sunde, “with the goal of helping students not just to stay in school and do well but to excel beyond their own and others’ expectations.”
Regrettably, once admitted, the College’s American Indians don’t receive the support that should be part of Dartmouth’s committment. Their graduation rate is the lowest among the diverse groups making up the student body.
Addendum: Lest you doubt the above assertion concerning nomenclature, a visit to the National Museum of the American Indian on the mall in Washington, D.C. will dispel your concerns.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…