Date of Award

1982

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Community Planning

First Advisor

Marcia Marker Feld

Abstract

The focus of this project is on recent American Indian history and its exemplification of constantly emerging ways of dealing with and adapting to the new legislative thrusts of the United States; namely, the self-determination policy of the 1970's.

The approach which is taken in this research project relies on the method of social indicator analysis to establish the organizational framework for the study. Its application to Indian Affairs represents a new trial for policy analysis. The lack of a coherent information system on a group which depends on the Federal government for much of its financial assistance to deal with social problems on reservations has slowed the development of a complex, analytical evaluation of policy decisions in this area.

The research attempts to quantify the social conditions on the country's largest Indian reservation and the effect self-determination has had on improving these conditions. The role of the study group (the Navajo) is not intended to be the main focus of the research. It is more an evaluation of the method of social indicator analysis and its application to policy decisions. Questions which are critiqued by this project are:

Does the data base adequately measure social change? Can indicator analysis be used to formulate policies and evaluate previous decisions?

These questions are intended to raise the issue of using indicators to measure social changes and social conditions.

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