Community Resources and School Performance: The Northern Cheyenne Case


School performance, Northern Cheyenne Reservation, Reservation Studies, school attendance


This research investigates the school performance of Indian students on the Northern Cheyenne reservation using both quantitative and qualitative data. Understanding influences on school performance is important since previous research established its impact on dropout behavior. Statistical analyses assess the relative effects of students' residence in reservation communities, the type of schools students attend (public. Catholic, or tribal), gender, family characteristics, and school experience variables. Findings reveal the importance of students' community residence for explaining performance levels at the two Indian schools, the tribally controlled and Catholic schools, and school experiences for understanding performance of the non‐Indian public school students. Qualitative data on contextual factors for communities and schools help to explain how community characteristics such as population size, community access to the school, support for education, and traditional culture interact with the specific schools serving the community. This research suggests that contrary to conventional analyses of American Indian assimilation, the traditional culture, social resources, and interaction patterns of students' communities can have positive effects on students' schooling outcomes.

Original Publication Citation

Community Resources and School Performance: The Effects of Community and School Experiences in the Northern Cheyenne Case. Sociological Inquiry, 68, (1), 1998: 83-113.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Sociological Inquiry




Family, Home, and Social Sciences



University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor