August 7, 2015 / Modified aug 8, 2015 6:42 a.m.

METRO WEEK: Native American Youth Desire Ties to Homeland

Plus: Some Indian charter schools struggling, new UA American Indian Studies degree.

Arizona has 21 American Indian tribes, and 5.3 percent of the state population reports tribal membership to the U.S. Census Bureau. Metro Week explores Native American culture and education.

On the program:

  • The Native Nations Institute, a research unit at the University of Arizona, surveyed young Native Americans to find out how connected they want to be to their tribes. The short answer: they desire a affiliation with their heritage when they do not live on a reservation.

  • Andrew Martinez is a UA student and member of two tribes. He says it is his responsibility to be in touch with his tribes, and wants to work in tribal government after he graduates.

  • Some charter schools on reservations, or that feature American Indian culture, have come under academic scrutiny. AZPM reporter Mariana Dale explains.

  • The UA American Indian Studies Department is the first in the state to offer a bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree. We find out about the demand for the new bachelor's degree with professor Franci Washburn, who helped create the program.

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