Indigenous Studies

Applicable for the 2023-2024 academic year.


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.

Report an issue - Last updated: 07/11/2023