Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Counseling and Human Development

First Advisor

Ruth Harper


aspiring ally identity development, higher education, Native student populations


Previous literature on ally identity development for higher education professionals has been focused mostly on White identity development, with little to no suggestions for those working with American Indian student populations (Broido, 2000; Edwards, 2006; Evans & Wall, 1991; Reason, Millar, A, & Scales, 2005). A conceptual model written by Keith E. Edwards (2006) focused on three stages of aspiring ally identity development with each identity attached to frequently experienced behaviors and viewpoints. This relatable model created a way to offer autoethnographical examples of an aspiring ally’s development to suggest adaptations for non-Native student affairs professionals working with Native student populations. With added investigator triangulation of a Native student affairs professional’s interpretation, the considerations for aspiring allies working with Native populations include: thorough self-education focused on historical oppression perpetuated through contemporary incidents; cultural understanding of self-determination, future generations, and communication styles; the unique political status of tribal groups with the U.S. government as sovereign nations. Suggestions from Native higher education professionals and application are discussed, concluding with limitations and resources for further reading.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Student affairs administrators -- Training of.

Indian college students.

Indians of North America -- Education (Higher)

Identity (Psychology)

Social psychology.

Social justice.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 45-48)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright