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Analyzing levels of proportional representation of American Indians in state and local government jobs is important for several reasons. First, the basic idea underlying the theory of representative bureaucracy is that the demographic composition of bureaucracy should mirror the demographic composition of the general public. This is because in addition to its symbolic value, increased access to managerial position may lead to greater responsiveness on the part of policy makers to the policy interests of traditionally disadvantaged groups such as American Indians. Second, the focus on higher level jobs in bureaucracies (as opposed to non-managerial positions) is especially important because managerial positions represent a major source of economic progress for members of traditionally disadvantaged groups, as these jobs confer good salaries, benefits, status, security, and mobility. Third, it is important to know if there has been growth in the American Indian share of more desirable public sector positions over the last two decades. For instance, Peterson and Duncan argue that the population and power of American Indians have been growing in certain states. Peterson and Duncan also suggest that this growth may reflect the possibility that American Indian population are becoming more active in nontraditional areas of politics, assimilating into mainstream culture, and securing with greater frequency leadership positions in non-tribal government.