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Course Descriptions

AASP 303/AFAM 480 – Black Studies, Native Studies, and Asian Settler Colonialism

This course examines the conversations between within and across Ethnic Studies and Native American and Indigenous Studies. What are the central paradigms of Black Studies, Native Studies, and Asian American Studies and how do they conceptualize relationships among race, indigeneity, diaspora, immigration, and White supremacy, and settler colonialism? Beginning with recent books that theorize Black and Indigenous people, we draw into this conversation theories of Asian settler colonialism from the Pacific that disrupt binarisms of White/Black; settler/native; Black/Indigenous. What methods do these texts prioritize? What are their central questions? And how can we draw from research to better illuminate shared politics of liberation?

Anthro 328-0-20 – The Maya

What do we know today about the ancient Maya who inhabited the Yucatan Peninsula in Central America before the 16th century? In this course you will get a general understanding of ancient Maya civilization and the ways archaeologists, linguists, historians, and indigenous communities have examined the Maya past. Through weekly readings and discussions, we will focus on material remains -including temples, carved monuments, exotic items, and farmers' houses and tools- to learn about ancient Maya lives. Major themes will include ancient Maya cosmology, literature, cities, resilience, and sustainability. This course is an introductory-level seminar and requires no prior knowledge about the Maya history, archaeology, or the Yucatan Peninsula. By the end of the course, you will be familiar with the major developments, key players, and ongoing issues in Maya archaeology.

ENVR_POL 390-0-27 LEC/ AMER_ST 310-0-30 SEM/ HUM 325-4-20 SEM – Parks and Pipeline: Indigenous Environmental Justice

This seminar explores how the relationship between the United States and Indigenous people has shaped the environments, ecosystems, and physical landscapes we live in today. Through engagement with a variety of digital resources including maps and digital media, we will learn how the environment of what is now the United States was managed by Indigenous people before and throughout colonization, how Indigenous people have been impacted by the environmental policies of the United States, and how Indigenous resistance and activism have shaped both the environmental movement in the U.S. as well as contemporary Indigenous political thought. In discussion, we will break down the politics, economics, and ethics of this history, challenging ourselves to think critically about the land we live on and its future. In lieu of a final paper, this course will include a digital, public-facing final assignment.

EVNR-POL-390-0-23 – Land, Identity, and the Sacred: Native American Sacred Site Protection and Religious Rights

This class involves the intersection of religion, cultural preservation, ethnoecology, and law. We will focus on Native American concepts of the sacred, language, and how they create relationships to land, ceremony, history, and tribal/ethnic identity. Central to the class will be a focus on the sacred aspects of tribal identity and the role that landscape plays in the creation and maintenance of these identities.

Counts as: Natural World 

GBL_HLTH 390-24-01 – Special Topics in Global Health: Native American Health Research and Prevention

Native nations in what is currently the United States are continuously seeking to understanding and undertake the best approaches to research and prevention with their communities. This course introduces students to the benefits and barriers to various approaches to addressing negative health outcomes and harnessing positive social determinants of health influencing broader health status. Important concepts to guide our understanding of these issues will include settler colonialism, colonialism, sovereignty, social determinants of health, asset-based perspectives, and decolonizing research. Students will engage in a reading-intensive, discussion-based seminar, drawing upon research and scholarship from a variety of disciplines including public health, Native American and Indigenous Studies, sociology, history, and medicine. This course does not focus on nor teach traditional Native medicine or philosophies as those are not appropriate in this predominately non-Native environment.

Jour 367 – Native American Environmental Issues and the Media

This course introduces you to Native American environmental issues, such as treaty-based hunting, fishing, and gathering rights; air and water quality issues; mining; land-to-trust issues; and sacred sites with a particular emphasis on the First Nations in the Great Lakes region. In addition, it will also provide connections to corresponding international Indigenous environmental issues, and the responses and debates across science research, news and international policy contexts. The seminar focuses on how the media cover Native American environmental issues and how that coverage contributes to the formation of public opinion and public policy. The seminar provides the critical tools to analyze current environmental struggles; to understand the controversies within a cultural context; and to make informed decisions about issues that affect us all. The central case study of the seminar will be water and fishing rights for Indigenous Peoples, and how they are part of larger land rights issues. Over the past two decades the issue of tribal sovereignty has become front-page news. From major confrontations over pipelines affecting Tribal Reservations mobilizing Indigenous people and their allies around the world, to battles over whaling rights and mining of tar sands, to sulfide mining adjacent to Tribal Reservations, to disputed land claims in the Northeast and battles in the West over water, fracking, and grazing, the rights of Native governments to exercise their sovereignty remains in the new century at the cultural, political, and legal core of American contemporary history. These and many more issues—air and water quality standards, treaty rights, and land-into-trust—have contributed to tension between Native and non-Native communities, and have become the subject of news reports, in both mainstream and tribal media. The goals of this seminar are to understand how tribal sovereignty and treaty rights inform contemporary environmental issues; to identify source selection, bias, and framing in mainstream and tribal media accounts; to analyze and critique mainstream and tribal media accounts for accuracy and bias; and finally gain intercultural knowledge and competence through a final project that explores the intersection of Native environmental issues and the media.

ANTH 101-6-21 – First-Year Seminar: Natives Beyond Nations

No description available.

SOC 277 – Intro to Native Studies

Provides an overview of the culture and history of Native groups and how these histories influence modern Native America. Explores the current economic and social experiences of Indians and tribes.