Like many Indigenous nations, the Navajo Nation has worked to develop its human and economic potential. It has provided scholarships and other supports to enable its members to pursue post-secondary education. However, relatively few of these college-educated members return to the reservation to contribute directly to its development. This phenomenon has been termed a brain drain. This study explored the experiences of 28 college-educated Navajos who, while raised on the reservation, were living off the reservation after completing their post-secondary education. Participants indicated a number of factors that went into their decision to live off the reservation. These included:
- Ké’: Relationships/Connections to Family, Culture, Homeland, People;
- Iiná: Lifestyle/Lifeway, Desirable Setting, Learned Work Ethic, Social Atmosphere, Togetherness (Diné) vs. Individualism (Mainstream);
- Bee ach’į’ na’hwii’ná: Resources and Roadblocks to Making a Life, Infrastructure, Services, The “System”;
- Bee ajit’9: Opportunity, Prosperity and Personal Improvement, Education, Extracurricular, Job Availability, Work Experience.
Funding for this research was provided by the McKay School of Education at Brigham Young University.
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Jackson, A. P.
Smith, S. A.
Crotty, A. K.
Bah'lgai Eldridge, D.
Career Dilemmas among Diné (Navajo) College Graduates: An Exploration of the Dinétah (Navajo Nation) Brain Drain. The International Indigenous Policy Journal, 4(4)
. Retrieved from: https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/iipj/vol4/iss4/5