Native American educators occupy a significant place within their respective communities. In this article I report findings from a qualitative investigation on the various ways Native educators define their roles to their students, schools, and communities. Using personal interviews in conjunction with combined snowball and purposive sampling techniques, I documented the perceptions and experiences of 21 Native American educators on their roles as professionals serving reservation schools in the Northern Great Plains. Reflecting the complexities of reservation life, the educators played a myriad of intertwined roles. Analysis of the data led me to identify two types of educators. One I refer to as affinitive educators and the other facilitative educators. Moreover, upon closer examination, I also discovered that the participants articulated two types of roles they perform, definitional roles and foundational roles. In this article I present the two types of educators and the associated roles expressed by the participants.
Originally published in Great Plains Research, (2016), 26(1), 21-34