We evaluated how ambitions, community ties, monetary sufficiency, employment, and alcohol consumption related to whether young American Indian adults had moved from their Northern Plains reservation. Of 518 Northern Plains reservation residents in 1993, we located 472 in 2003–2005 and found that 89 lived more than a four-hour drive from the reservation. Coding the 472 as to whether they had stayed on/near the reservation or moved away, we ran logistic regressions on data they reported in 1996 to determine which demographic and attitudinal variables were associated with having moved. We found ambitions and goals were more associated with moving away than were ties to the community, which in turn were more related than monetary and personal characteristics that promote independence and prosperity. The more importance they placed on getting a good education or carrying on the tribe’s traditions, the more likely they were to have moved away. We found too that the odds of moving away decreased with greater alcohol consumption. Tribal council members and college administrators therefore may wish to promote policies that increase opportunities for young adults to achieve higher education goals while remaining on reservation to carry on tribal traditions. Benefits may also come from encouraging and assisting reservation members studying off-reservation to return after completing their education. These findings would argue too for greater investment in alcohol services for reservation-dwelling populations.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 6, 2009
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