Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


School of Education


International & Multicultural Education EdD


The main purpose of this study was to explore from the perspective of Pomo women, the sources of empowerment that enabled them to overcome oppressive experiences in their lives. Through the process of participatory research, the participants were asked to identify strategies or factors that enabled them to overcome those oppressive barriers in an empowering instead of selfdestructive manner. Participants were also asked to name existing problems young Native American women face today, utilizing Paulo Freire's (1994a) approach of problem posing and action.

The women then discussed what guidance they would offer to young Native Women struggling with issues like drug and alcohol abuse, or domestic violence, and what kinds of action or changes were needed to help young women in their community. It is hoped that the dialogue provided the participants with an experience of empowerment and that the collective recommendations for action in their communities will be beneficial to young Pomo women facing oppressive barriers in their lives today. This research adds to the limited literature that currently exists about Native American Pomo women leaders It presents the experiences and voices and guidance of strong Pomo women through the unique, dialogic, research methodology of participatory research.