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Indigenous Studies

Applicable for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Christina LEZA, Natanya PULLEY, Dwanna MCKAY

The Indigenous Studies Thematic Minor (ISTM) situates indigenous knowledge and experience at the center of learning. Contemporary models of studying indigenous culture, history, and sciences can draw upon and enhance awareness of indigenous traditions, knowledge, and arts, while also centering indigenous narratives, histories, and experiences. In doing so, indigenous studies can disrupt western mythologies of wilderness, discovery, and benevolent settlers, etc. in order to address social constraints Native Peoples face as contemporary beings with distinct cultures. This minor currently focuses on the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas with an emphasis on North America. 

Minor Requirements

Five courses along with either (1) a capstone project or (2) a capstone course. Collaboration with an Indigenous Studies advisor is essential to completing the minor and in order to best situate courses and a capstone towards a unifying idea, methodology, or purpose.

Required Core Courses (3):

  • Introduction to Indigenous Studies
  • A course with an historical focus, linking historical events or narratives to the contemporary issues and contributions of Native Peoples (H)
  • A course that addresses indigenous epistemologies (IE)

Required Elective Courses (2): 

Additional courses focusing on indigenous peoples, history, sciences, arts, etc. to add depth and, as much as possible, a variety of different directions to situate one’s major within indigenous learning.

An Indigenous Studies Minor Project or additional Capstone Course:

The capstone reflects and connects the student’s course design and related work outside the classroom and allows the student to put into motion their contribution to the field of study and support for indigenous communities and awareness.. Upon completing required courses and with approval from the ISTM advisors, the student would engage in either (1) a capstone project of their own making or in conjunction with campus or community-based indigenous events/projects or (2) complete a final capstone class when available. The capstone project should seek to support and enhance community awareness and ensure indigenous presence and resilience. The capstone project need not be time-intensive or exhaustive, but should be deliberate, service-oriented, and in the scope of indigenous community-based learning. The capstone course must also engage in indigeneity beyond an introductory level and/or historical and methodological focus. The capstone course, then, will also engage with community; the presence of indigenous bodies, culture, and knowledges on campus, locally, or upon location; and/or, ensure discussion or study beyond the classroom and towards indigenous awareness and allyship.

ISTM courses:

EN251 or 252 (H/IE): Introduction to / Topics in Native American Literature

HY212/EV273 (H): American Environmental History

RM200 (H/IE): Introduction to Native American Studies (required)

RM300 (H): Race, Gender, and Crime

RM 323 (H): Minority Politics: Examining Indigenous Nations

SW102: Place, Space and the Southwest

AN208: Topics in Anthropology (when Indigenous Studies-related)


Taught every other year/ once a year:

AH200/AN208: Art of the Maya

AN205 (IE): Language and Culture

HY217 (H): American Frontiers

MU291: Music in Culture: Native American Southwest

SW272: Nature, Region and Society of the Southwest

SW273/AN208 (H/IE): Southwest Arts & Culture


Taught through block visitors or intermittently:

AN219: Archaeology of the American Southwest

AN259/SW258 (H/IE): Native Peoples of the Southwest

AN312 (H): The Language of Racism

EN251 (H/IE): Introduction to Native American Literature

EN252 (IE): Topics in Native American Literature

EN253/SW253: The Literature of the American Southwest

HY210/SW214 (H): History of Native America

HY268 (H): The Southwest since the Mexican War

PC131: Cultural Astronomy of the Southwest

SW230: Native Americans Under Federal Law

SW259 (H/IE): Ritual and Medicine of the Southwest

SW310 (H/IE): Archives of Power