Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Arts in Political Science


Political Science

Major Advisor

Brian Wampler, Ph.D.


Vanessa Anthony-Stevens, Ph.D.


Stephen Utych, Ph.D.


American Indigenous populations are underrepresented in American political science discourse. There is a lack of knowledge on public perception of political trust within Indigenous communities. I argue that contemporary discourses on data and political participation of American Indigenous people are incomplete without framing that data within the context of ongoing settler colonialism. National data shows that nearly 71% of all American Indigenous people live in urban settings. Framing American Indigenous political participation requires an in depth examination of the role of American Settler colonialism. Studies need to account for the impact of Federal government use of authority has had on Indigenous recognition and citizenship over time. Public participation must be understood in the context of policies that have led to American Indian urbanization. The creation of urban Indian Institutions is a result of navigating and overcoming challenges to living within ongoing settler-colonialism. This project is a mixed methods inquiry to learn if ‘practical authority’ is present to claim recognition and citizenship. I used Decolonizing and Indigenous Methodologies and methods to story the creation of an Urban American Indian Organization called The Native American Coalition of Boise (NACOB). I also used these methods to carry out qualitative interviews. I also used political science survey methods for quantitative data with the purpose of capturing summary statistics and public perception of trust in the community.