College students in Oklahoma completed a self-administered questionnaire to compare the drinking behaviors of culturally active American Indians (N = 34 men and 24 women) an Whites (N = 181 men and 250 women). Significantly more Indians were classified as drinkers, but they had begun drinking at a somewhat later age. Both groups indicated a preference for beer, and they were quite similar in quantity and frequency of beer consumption. White students reported drinking significantly more wine and distilled spirits, and drinking more often in public places, such as bars, pubs, restaurants and parked cars; Indians drank more in their own homes and in the homes of friends. White students tended to cite hedonistic reasons for drinking whereas Indians reported escapist or social reasons and drinking to "get high." Drinking-related problems were reported somewhat more often by Indian students, notably so by Indian women. Indians were more inclined to report the more serious drinking problems of being arrested, blacking out, interference with school or work, an difficulties in human relationships. White students more often cited problems of nausea or vomiting, drinking and driving, doing something that was later regretted and damaging property. It was suggested that the higher Indian arrest rate could be indicative of police bias and that the reports of problem drinking among Indian women be investigated further.