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Photo: Indian DancersNative Teen Voices:  Feelings about Indian Culture
Nearly all of the teens reported feeling good about being American Indian and, if given a choice, would not change their cultural heritage.  A strong sense of cultural identity was reflected in answers concerning participation in Native cultural and spiritual activities.

 

Feelings about Indian Culture
-   Feeling good about being
      American Indian
-  Embarrassed by the way
      Indian people talk
-  If they could, would they
      choose to be an American
      Indian
Usually talk like other Indian
      people
Like to do the same things as
       other Indian people
Belief that Indian people do not
       know how to act

Importance of Cultural
    Activities

Praying/giving thanks
Using ceremonial tobacco
Going to a sweat lodge
Asking an elder for advice
     before making a decision
Programs that teach about
     Indian traditions or
     culture
Attendance at Cultural
    activities

Native ceremonies
Community events like
      feasts or powwows
Native dancing or
      drumming
Programs that teach about
       traditions or culture
Ask an adult or elder for
       advice
Talk with adult or elder
       about tribal history
Ceremonial tobacco

The Native team members of the project created the following survey items which were thought to reflect common statements concerning how American Indians may feel about themselves or their culture

Feeling good about being American Indian
All youth were asked to report how strongly they agreed with the statement, “I feel good about being American Indian.” 
Respondents were asked to rate agreement using a four-point scale that ranged from strongly disagree to strongly agree. 

  • 98.6% of all respondents reported either agreement or strong agreement about the statement that they felt good about being an Indian
  • No females reported either disagreement or strong disagreement with the statement
  • Only 2.6% of males ages 13-15 and reported strong disagreement

Graph: Feel good about being an Indian

Embarrassed by the way Indian people talk
All youth were asked to report how strongly they agreed with the statement, “Sometimes I am embarrassed by the way Indian people talk.” 
Respondents were asked to rate agreement using a four-point scale that ranged from strongly disagree to strongly agree. 

  • 79.7% of all respondents either strongly disagreed or disagreed with the statement that they were embarrassed by how Indians talk
  • Females aged 16-18 were the group most likely to report agreement (19.4%)
  • Males aged 13-15 were the group most likely to report strong agreement (10.5%) with the statement that they were embarrassed by how Indians talk

Graph: Embarrassed by the way American Indians talk

If they could, would they choose to be an American Indian
All youth were asked to report how strongly they agreed with the statement, If I could choose my culture, I would still choose to be American Indian.” 
Respondents were asked to rate agreement using a four-point scale that ranged from strongly disagree to strongly agree.  Two people did not answer this question.

  • 97.9% of those who answered reported agreement or strong agreement that they would choose to be an American Indian
  • Of all groups, females aged 16-18 were most likely to report strong agreement
  • No females aged 16-18 or males aged 13-15 reported either strong disagreement or disagreement

Graph: Would choose to be American Indian if could 

Usually talk like other Indian people
All youth were asked to report how strongly they agreed with the statement, “I usually talk like other Indian people.” 
Respondents were asked to rate agreement using a four-point scale that ranged from strongly disagree to strongly agree.  One person did not answer this question.

  • 63.9% of those who responded reported agreement or strong agreement that they usually talked like other Indian people
  • Males aged 16-18 were the group most likely to report strong agreement (33.3%)
  • Females aged 13-15 were the group most likely to report strong disagreement

Graph: Usually talk like other Indian People

Like to do the same things as other Indian people
All youth were asked to report how strongly they agreed with the statement, “I like to do the same things other Indian people like to do.” 
Respondents were asked to rate agreement using a four-point scale that ranged from strongly disagree to strongly agree.  One person did not answer this question.

  • 76.2% of all who answered reported either agreement or strong agreement that they liked to do the same things other Indian people like to do
  • Females aged 13-15 were the group most likely to report strong agreement (23.8%)
  • Females aged 13-15 were the group most likely to report strong disagreement

Graph: Like to do the same thing as other Indian People


Belief that Indian people do not know how to act
All youth were asked to report how strongly they agreed with the statement, “Indian people do not know how to act.” 
Respondents were asked to rate agreement using a four-point scale that ranged from strongly disagree to strongly agree.  Two people did not answer this question.

  • 91.1% of those who responded reported either strong disagreement or disagreement that Indian people did not know how to act
  • Females aged 16-18 were the group most likely to report strong disagreement (61.3%)
  • Females aged 13-15 were the groups most likely to report agreement (14.3%)

Graph: Belief that Indian people do not know how to act

Importance of Cultural Activities
All youth (n=148) were asked to report the importance of certain activities, from a list prepared by the researchers.  Respondents were given a choice of 3 possible answers for each activity: not important, somewhat important, and very important.

Praying/giving thanks
Two people did not answer this question

  • Females aged 16-18 were most likely to rate praying/ giving thanks as very important
  • Males aged 13-15 were most likely to rate paying/ giving thanks as not important
  • Females aged 16-18 were the only group in which no one rated prayer/ giving thanks as not important

Graph: prayer/giving thanks

Using ceremonial tobacco
Three people did not answer this question.

  • Females aged 13-15 were the group most likely to rate ceremonial tobacco as very important (52.4%)
  • Males aged 13-15 were most likely to rate ceremonial tobacco as not important (27.8%)

Graph: Ceremonial tobacco

Going to a sweat lodge  
Three people did not answer this question.

  • Females aged 13-15 were the group most likely to rate the sweat lodge as very important (42.9%)
  • Males aged 13-15 were the group most likely to rate the sweat lodge as not important (33.3%)

Graph: going to a sweat lodge


Asking an elder for advice before making a decision
Four people did not answer this question.

  • Males aged 16-18 were the most likely to rate asking elders for advice as very important (57.1%)
  • Males aged 13-15 were the most likely to rate asking an elder for advice as not important (19.4%)

Graph: asking an elder for advise

Programs that teach about Indian traditions or culture 
Three people did not answer this question

  • Females aged 13-15 were the groups most likely to rate programs that teach about tradition and culture as very important (64.3%)
  • Males aged 13-15 were the group most likely to rate programs that teach about tradition and culture as not important (5.6%)

Graph: teach about traditions

Cultural activities during the past 12 months

All youth (n=148) were asked to report how often they engaged in certain activities during the past year.  Respondents were given a choice of 4 possible answers: never, at least one time a year, at least one time a month, and at least one time a week.

Native ceremonies  
Respondents were asked to report how often they attended native ceremonies in the past 12 months.  One person did not answer this question.

  • 86.4% of those who responded reported attending native ceremonies 1 or more times per year
  • Males aged 16-18 were the groups that was most likely to report never attending native ceremonies (16.2%)

Graph: Attendance at Ceremonies

Community events like, feasts or powwows 
Respondents were asked to report how often they attended community events like feasts or powwows. 

  • 95.3% of all respondents reported attending a community event like a feast or powwow 1 or more times per year
  • Females aged 13-15 were the group most likely to report attending community events at least once per month (59.5%)
  • Males aged 16-18 were the group most likely to report never attending community events (8.1%)

Graph: Attendance feasts and pow wows

Native dancing or drumming
Respondents were asked to report how often they participated in native dancing or drumming.

  • 64.9% of respondents reported participating in dancing/ drumming 1 or more times per year
  • Females 13-15 were most likely to report participating in dancing/ drumming at least 1 time per year (42.9%)
  • Males age 16-18 were most likely to report never participating in dancing/ drumming (48.7%)

 Graph: how often participate in native dancing

Sweat lodge 
Respondents were asked to report how often they go to a sweat lodge.  Three people did not answer this question.

  • 48.96% of those who responded reported going to a sweat lodge 1 or more times per year
  • Males and females in both groups were most likely to report never going to a sweat lodge

Graph: participate in sweat lodge

Programs that teach about traditions or culture
Respondents were asked to report how often they attend programs that teach about Indian traditions or culture.  Three people did not answer this question.

  • 82.8% of those who responded, reported attending programs that teach about traditions or culture 1 or more times per year
  • Males aged 16-18 were most likely to report attending programs at least 1 time per year (48.7%)
  • Females aged 13-15 were the group most likely to report attending programs at least 1 time per week (30%)

Graph: attendance in programs in traditions

Ask an adult or elder for advice
Respondents were asked to report how often they asked an adult or elder for advice before making a decision.  Two people did not answer this question.

  • 77.4% of those who responded reported asking an adult or elder for advice before making an decision
  • Females aged 13-15 were the group most likely to report asking an adult/ elder for advice at least 1 time per week (26.2%)
  • Males aged 16-18 were most likely to report never asking an adult or elder for advice (35.1%)

Graph: often ask adult for advice

Talk with adult or elder about tribal history  
Respondents were asked to report how often they asked an adult or elder about tribal history.  One person did not answer this question.

  • 79.6% of those who responded reported talking to an adult/ elder about tribal history 1 or more times per year
  • Females ages 13-15 were the group most likely to report talking to an adult/ elder at least 1 time per week (30.95%)
  • Males aged 16-18 were most likely to report never talking to an adult or elder about tribal history (29.7%)
Graph: talk with adult about tribal history

Ceremonial tobacco  
Respondents were asked to report how often they used ceremonial tobacco.  Two people did not answer this question.

  • 69.2% of those who responded reported using ceremonial tobacco 1 or more times per year
  • Males aged 16-18 were most likely to report never using ceremonial tobacco (35.1%)
  • Females aged 16-18 were most likely to report using ceremonial tobacco at least 1 time per year (36.7%)

Graph: use of ceremonial tobacco

 

 

 

 
 
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