Date of Award

January 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Sherryl Houdek


Historically Native American women have experienced barriers in their rise to Pk-12 educational leadership positions. There is limited research available on Native American women in educational leadership. Therefore, the purpose for this survey study was to discover what inspired current Pk-12 Native American women educational leaders to choose and accept these positions, common leadership attributes they share, and any barriers they may have encountered.

Currently in North Dakota, there are 42 licensed Native American administrators, 22 male and 20 female. Ten of the 20 females are employed as Native American superintendents, assistant superintendents, principals, and assistant principals in North Dakota Pk-12 public schools. Presently .0010% of licensed female educational leaders in North Dakota are Native American.

A survey was used in the study to explore perceptions of 9 Native American female educational leaders. There were five major themes that emerged from the data: (a) Barriers-there were no substantial barriers identified, (b) Support-conventional support included family, husband, school district, parents, and college professors, (c) Leadership style-two were identified: participatory and collaborative, (d) Personal attributes-included visionary, perseverance, intuitiveness, and collaboration, and (e) Personal motivation characteristics were identified as hard worker, good listener, caring, compassionate, honesty, and organized.

The survey study identified an understanding of the perceptions on successful Native American women in Pk-12 educational leadership positions in North Dakota public schools.

(Native American Women, Native Women in Educational Leadership Positions)