Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Work

Document Type



This study shows the existence of Black Indians in Louisiana and investigates whether differences exist between Black Indians who are members of officially recognized tribes and those who do not have any type of recognition. The study examined if a relationship exist between tribal recognition and ethnic identity, subjective well-being, and social support. A cross-sectional survey design was used. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to obtain qualitative data. The sample consisted of 60 participants. 30 were from recognized tribal groups and 30 were from non-recognized tribal communities. The study specifically examined variables related to the perceptions of Black Indians in Louisiana to see if this group perceives themselves to be Black, Indian, or both. The independent variable included demographic characteristics and tribal designation. The dependent variables were ethnic identity, subjective well-being and social support. Results showed that Black Indians in recognized groups had higher levels of Native American identity when compared to their levels of African American identity (p< .01). There were no significant differences in the levels of Native American identity when compared with the African American identity among the non-recognized samples (p< .342). Differences did emerge with respect to income, age, and tribal designation. Results indicated that those Black Indians in recognized tribes were significantly more likely to be younger with higher annual incomes than those Black Indians in non-recognized groups (p < .01). There were no significant differences between the two groups for the variables social support and subjective well-being. Findings imply that “race”, as a social construct, is designed by arbitrary categories that are inconsistent with ethnic heritage or cultural identity development.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Brij Mohan



Included in

Social Work Commons