The Urban Review

, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 425–446 | Cite as

Toward a Tribal Critical Race Theory in Education

  • Bryan McKinley Jones BrayboyEmail author
Special Issue: Race and Schooling: Theories and Ethnographies


In this article, I outline the central tenets of an emerging theory that I call Tribal Critical Race Theory (TribalCrit) to more completely address the issues of Indigenous Peoples in the United States. TribalCrit has it roots in Critical Race Theory, Anthropology, Political/Legal Theory, Political Science, American Indian Literatures, Education, and American Indian Studies. This theoretical framework provides a way to address the complicated relationship between American Indians and the United States federal government and begin to make sense of American Indians’ liminality as both racial and legal/political groups and individuals.


higher education American Indians Critical Race Theory 



I am grateful for comments of prior drafts from: Dolores Delgado Bernal, Donna Deyhle, Perry Gilmore, Tsianina Lomawaima, Emma Mecham, Michael Olivas, Laurence Parker, Richard Reddick, Katherine Schultz, Kristin Searle, William Smith, Daniel Solorzano, Octavio Villalpando, Sofia Villenas, Doris Warriner, Tara Yosso, and Ofelia Zepeda. Without the research and editorial assistance of Emma Mecham and Kristin Searle, this article might not have happened. I am indebted to the Center for the Study of Empowered Students of Color and the University of Utah’s American Indian Teacher Training Program for research and financial support. Additionally, I want to thank University of Utah Vice Presidents Karen Dace and David Pershing for their support of my work. Finally, I am grateful for the generous and insightful feedback from Lesley Bartlett and anonymous reviewers. All mistakes are my own.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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