Horse’s Perspective on American Indian Identity Development 

Brief Overview

Perry Horse’s Perspective on American Indian Identity Development is grounded in the a term he coined based on individual and group consciousness. This term explains the unique and collective experiences of American Indians.

Printable Summary (PDF)

Previous cohorts of FSU students have developed these printable summaries and used them to prepare for test and papers.  We hope they’ll be of help to you too.

Stages, Levels, Phases, and Components of the Theory
  • Centered around the idea of consciousness
    • Individual’s knowledge of language a culture, emphasizes the assumed identity
    • Individual’s consciousness is increased by the awareness and comprehension of the tribe’s history
    • Adoption of worldview that is consistent with traditions and culture of his or her heritage
    • Lastly, the amount of emphasis and individual places on his or her American Indian heritage
Application of Theory to Practice

This section is designed to provide student affairs professionals, staff, and faculty members with tips and tools to apply theory to practice.

Annotations of Associated Literature
Original Citation

Horse, P. G.  (2001). Reflections on  American Indian identity. In C. L. Wijeyesinghe & B. W. Jackson III (Eds.), New perspectives on racial identity development: A theoretical and practical anthology (pp. 67-90). New York: New York University Press.

Additional Resources

The following Prezi reviews Cross and Fhagen-Smith’s Model of Black Identity Development, Helms’s Model of White Identity Development, Ferdman And Gallegos’s Model of Latino Identity Development, Kim’s Asian American Identity Development Model, and Horse’s Perspective on American Indian Identity Development. The prezi includes critiques, application, and an activity. The prezi also includes a short preview of the movie Crash (2004) which displays many examples of racial identity development, though the prezi does not state them explicitly. The activity includes an extension of the video, which asks students to identify a fictional or a real character who portrays racial identity development. This is useful in providing alternate, tangible understandings of the various theories.

A presentation of the theory and how it can be used and applied to students in higher education settings.                                             Link:

Information submitted by Hollie Daniels

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