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This study reviews student's perspectives of an American Indian and Alaska Native Indian Studies center in a Master of Social Work degree (MSW) program from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. The article describes the Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies many contributions over the years and how it continues to grow in innovative ways. This article begins by considering the social, economic, and historical circumstances that make Native-focused training in social work critical to the future of Indian Country. The article then discusses the founding of the center, the curriculum, program offerings and the effectiveness of the center's services. Additionally, results of the evidence indicates that financial assistance and support programs are strong factors in recruitment, student motivation to pursue a degree, and persistence to completion of a Master of Social Work credential. Lastly, the paper offers recommendations for recruiting, retaining and graduating American Indian and Alaska Native graduate students.

Document Type


Original Citation

Tovar, M., Thompson, K., Billiot, S., (2020). Training American Indian and Alaska Native social workers for Indian Country., Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, 17:1, 75-89, DOI: 10.1080/26408066.2019.1629557



Social work; American Indian; Alaska Native; curriculum; American Indian studies program; higher education; research evidence