Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Helen Rothschild Ewald


A new social climate in American society is allowing more American Indians to pursue higher education, and an increase is being seen in the number of Indians attaining graduate degrees and participating in the academy as professors and researchers and authors. But distinct differences between approaches taken by the European-based academy and ways of thinking shared by many American Indian peoples create unique challenges for the Indian person who seeks to be an academic. This dissertation looks into the issues facing the Indian Academic, and argues that the Indian person must pursue multiple avenues of thought and argument to find success in an academic pursuit. The multiple threads I discuss include a cross-cultural approach to study and research, a cross-disciplinary effort within the academic perimeter, multimodal and cross-genre writing in the academic reporting practice, the acknowledgement of a multivocality that is already going on and should go on openly in the university setting, the embracing of multimedia technologies and other alternative formats of expression (such as the hypertextualization made possible by computer-based mediums), and finally, on the Indian front, a welcoming and openness to intertribal collaborations;The author of the dissertation is an enrolled member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi nation, and the dissertation is comprised of four essays written as I worked to achieve the academy's highest degree, doctor of Philosophy; The essays range from personal and autobiographical to the fully developed line of argument necessary for publication in an academic disciplinary journal. I both write for and critique the discipline of American Indian studies. The essays included are ordered chronologically, and thus represent the process of research and writing itself.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Smokey McKinney



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

161 pages