This exploratory qualitative study examined individuals' self-identity and sense of belonging related to the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and the impacts of their tribal connection as enrolled tribal members. It was believed the greater the sense of belonging and connection, the stronger the identity and the greater the impact on the community as a whole. Eight individuals with Oneida ancestry were interviewed about their Native American ancestry and membership, participation in Oneida community, sense of connection and belonging to family and community, self-identity, and congruence with Oneida ancestry and tribal enrollment. Although participants generally did not participate in formal cultural or community activities, they reported connection and belonging to their families and ancestry and self-identified as Native American. They believed their self-identities influence their desires to give back to the community. Based on this study, the Oneida community is advised to: host tribal events related to strengthening identity and building community, develop and incorporate school-age curricula and programs that support Native American identity development, and review and revise tribal membership criteria to support the sustainability and sovereignty of the tribe.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (MA) -- Organization Development; Oneida Indians -- Ethnic identity; Oneida Nation -- Ethnic identity; Self-perception

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graziadio Business School



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Chesley, Julie;