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In the United States of America, an analysis of enrollment statistics to institutions of higher education, those pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields, as well as those pursuing medical education show a paralleled ethnic stratification. Based upon such stratification, Native Americans consistently rank amongst the lowest demographic groups to enroll in and pursue higher education, STEM or medical education. A perturbed history of the First Nations people in the establishment of the United States of America laid the foundation for a multitude of factors contributing to current trends in health, living, and academic pursuits amongst First Nation’s people. This paper aims to explore the factors underlying the lack of Native American enrollment in higher education, careers in STEM and medicine. An investigation was conducted following a broad literature review relevant to the topic, and articles were critically appraised using the Search, Appraisal, Synthesis of Analysis (SALSA) framework as well as the Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research (SRQR). Findings from such studies indicate that the Native American communities face a unique set of social circumstances rooted in a historical context, with several unmet basic needs of living required for integration, access, and pursuit of higher education.


Originally published in societies.



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