Vine Deloria, “Higher Education and Self-Determination,” from Power and Place: Indian Education in America. Fulcrum Publishing 2001.
“Indians have found even the most sophisticated academic disciplines and professional schools woefully inadequate. This is because the fragmentation of knowledge that is represented by today’s modern university does not allow for a complete understanding of a problem or of a phenomenon.” 125
“…whatever information is obtained in higher education must, in the Indian context, have some direct bearing on human individual and communal experience.” 126
“…much of American education is really just training and indoctrination into the Western view of the world. Basically this view is held together by the sincerity of its followers. It does not have an internal consistency of its own except in general methodological patterns whereby information is classified.” 133
“We can visualize the effects of education on Indians as follows. Non-Indian’s live within a worldview that separates and isolates and mistakes labeling and identification for knowledge. Indians were presumed to be within this condition except they were slower on the uptake and not nearly as bright as non-Indians. In truth Indians were completely outside the system and within their own worldview. Initiating an accelerated education system for Indians was intended to bring Indians up to the parity of middle-class non-Indians. In fact, this system has pulled Indians into the Western worldview, and some of the brighter ones are now emerging on the other side, having transversed the Western body of knowledge completely. Once this path has been established, it is almost a certainty that the rest of the Indian community will walk right on through the Western worldview and emerge on the other side… And it is imperative that we do so. Only in that way can we transcended the half millennium of culture shock brought about by the confrontation with Western civilization. When we leave the culture shock behind we will be masters of our own fate again and able to determine for ourselves what kind of lives we will lead.” 133