The Native American studies program integrates course work from several fields into an interdisciplinary curriculum that enables students to examine the histories, cultures and contemporary issues affecting the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Courses focus on pre-contact civilizations, historic and contemporary societies, Native cosmologies, social organization, art, literature, film and environmental adaptations. In several courses, the study of the struggle for survival of Native cultures presents students with a range of issues from political/legal status, treaty rights, demography, land claims, sovereignty and self-governance to identity politics, natural resource development, preservation and reclamation.
In completing the Native American Studies minor, students will able to:
- Cultivate a critical understanding of the historical and contemporary roles of Indigenous nations within the geographic and political boundaries of North America from a multidisciplinary perspective.
- Develop a broad understanding of the relationships between the Indigenous nations of North America as well as their shared histories with England, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Russia, The United States, and Canada, commonly referred to as Native American history.
- Engage in a critical examination of Native American Nations, addressing cultural, economic, environmental, and political issues of historical and contemporary interest.
- Become self-reflexive as residents and/or citizens of North America and to be aware of their own positionality and how this affects their knowledge of Indigenous North American Nations.