Identity Politics of Difference: The Mixed-Race American Indian Experience

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In Identity Politics of Difference, author Michelle R. Montgomery uses a multidisciplinary approach to examine questions of identity construction and multi-racialism through the experiences of mixed-race Native American students at a tribal school in New Mexico. She explores the multiple ways in which these students navigate, experience, and understand their racial status and how this status affects their educational success and social interactions.

Identity Politics of Difference includes an arsenal of policy implications for advancing equity and social justice in tribal colleges and beyond and actively engages readers to reflect on how they have experienced the identity politics of race throughout their own lives. The book will be a valuable resource to scholars, policy makers, teachers, and school administrators, as well as to students and their families. Review by Anita: “What are you?” Is a question most multiracial people have been asked. I found this book interesting because I am both Native American and French while my five grandsons are both Native American and African American. My daughters are mostly Native American and while they were growing up, people have always asked them, “Are you adopted?” This was because I looked different than my daughters. This book is an in depth study of and perspective on students who are Native/White, Native/Black, Native/ and Latino. The daily routines of school actively construct racial hierarchy, with multiracial students playing a key role. A mixed-race student’s choice of identity in formal and informal learning environments is made for practical purposes. A student’s racial identity choices are based on how they perceive themselves and how they want others to perceive them. The writer felt the need to examine the ways in which college students identified their race and if that changed over time. This research challenges us to think about what it means to identify as mixed race while paying attention to historical and contextual influences and the role schools and society play in racial identity. Michelle R Montgomery has more than ten years of cultural and traditional value-based experience teaching, administration, and developing educational programs.


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