American Indian Studies

Courses

AIS 101 Contemporary Issues of the American Indian (3) An overview of current and historical
issues which have resulted in policies and regulations affecting American Indians and Alaska Natives.
The issues include: education, treaties, sovereignty and self-determination, religions, natural
resources, legislation, jurisdiction, reservation and/or urban status, federal trust relationship, tribal
economics and enterprises, American Indian policy, federal recognition, and current issues both
regional and local. Fulfills the Native citizenship requirement.

AIS 110 History of North American Indian Tribes (3) Introductory survey of the origin, evolution, and
distribution of Indians throughout North America, location of tribes in historic times, their relationships
to one another, and their responses to white penetration of the continent. Emphasis on American
Indian leadership and major contributions of American Indian people to American society. Fulfills a
history requirement. Fulfills the Native citizenship requirement.

AIS 201 Native and Western Views of Nature (3) Native and Western Views of Nature examines the
convergences and divergences between Western and Indigenous North American perceptions,
attitudes and practices with respect to the natural world. The course consists of a comparative
examination of the institution of modern Western Science and what scholars today recognize as
traditional ecological or environmental knowledge (TEK). The course suggests that some viable and
reliable knowledge can be gained by serious examination of the practices and methods of knowledge
acquisition of native peoples. It also suggests Native peoples may be less at odds with some
developments in contemporary Western science, than Western scientists trained a generation or two
ago. Prerequisite: BIOL 101 or equivalent.

AIS 310 Introduction to American Indian Studies (3) Introduces students to the American Indian
studies (AIS) discipline, but also challenges the standard assumptions and practice the discipline has
about research, academic writing, education, and critical thinking. Students will look at a) what has
gone on before and is currently happening in AIS; b) what can happen (posing questions and
alternatives to standard academic and AIS approaches and practices); and c) what should happen
(individual/student responsibility and action). By developing an understanding of the historical context
that has produced the modern day AIS discipline, students will be able to develop skills and knowledge
in critical thinking and writing that will enable them to address current issues facing the AIS discipline
and any American Indian pursuing an academic degree.

AIS 312 American Indian Experience in the 20th Century (3) A sophomore/junior level course
providing students with the opportunity to experience history as told by American Indian elders
representing diverse geographic regions and tribal traditions. This course provides for an extended
study of American Indians in the twentieth century using a “contextualized chronology” approach in
which a rigorous analysis of early 20th century government policy and history is paralleled with oral
history interviews from the Haskell Indian Nations Oral History Project. Prerequisite: AIS 110.

AIS 320 Environmental Protection in Indian Country (3) Examines the nature and scope of tribal
sovereignty and the interplay between tribal sovereignty, environmental protection and tribal culture.
Criteria to consider when developing tribal environmental protection programs and key environmental
issues facing tribes will be studied throughout the semester. Prerequisite: Junior/senior level standing,
acceptance into the American Indian studies baccalaureate program or by permission of instructor.
Fulfills Native Citizenship requirement.

AIS 321 Human Behavior in American Indian Communities (3) Course examines human behavior
issues within American Indian communities using a social system approach. The course will provide
students with a frame of reference for understanding the effect of social, political and cultural dynamics
on the behavior of Indigenous people and the overall functioning of social structures within First
Nations communities. This course will increase student’s understanding of human behavior and
provide a base for effective social work practice. Prerequisite: SW 101, SW 110, or SW 201.

AIS 322 Introduction to Research Methods in American Indian Studies (3) This Introductory
course on research examines trends and histories of research and assists students in enhancing their
critical and ethical literacy skills through the close examination of the diverse range of methods and
issues involved in selecting research methodologies appropriate to individual and community goals
and projects. In addition, this course helps students clearly articulate and justify the research
methodologies that they adopt and practice to fulfill objectives for a research project that they develop
in consultation with the instructor. As students gain experience in examining and developing research
projects which are ethical, rigorous, and well-focused, they will increase their critical capabilities as
practitioners and/or scholars of American Indian and Indigenous issues. Prerequisite: Acceptance into
the AIS Program.

AIS 340 American Indian Poetry (3) Explores the continuity between traditional verse forms and
contemporary songs and poetry. Students will become familiar with major contemporary American
Indian poets and their themes. Attention will be paid to bi-lingual poets such as R. Young Bear, L.
Tapahonso and L. Henson. Continuity of cultural traditions will be looked at in the work of American
Indian writers, both in the context of American Indian communities and of mainstream literary
publications. The course will include analysis of British poetics and its influence on the hybridized
forms of contemporary writers as well as tribal traditions. Prerequisite: ENGL 212.

AIS 341 American Indian Narratives (3) Explores the continuity between traditional oral narratives
and literary prose including novels, short fiction, essays and memoirs. Themes such as twins,
geographic sites, renewal, healing and elements of nature will be followed through a variety of histories
and genres, including film. Attention will be paid to the author-function as its shifts from members of an
oral tradition to specific writers of contemporary texts. Prerequisite: ENGL 212.

AIS 342 American Indian Music (3) Survey of the development of American Indian music from Pre-
Columbian through contemporary times. Prerequisite: AIS 310 and permission of instructor.

AIS 343 American Indian Film (3) Film has become an important medium for literature in the
Twentieth Century. This course surveys images of American Indians and Alaska Natives in film.
Critical analysis of social roles of Indian characters will be included as well as literary critique of plot,
character development, setting, and imagery. Techniques of the film director will also be considered in
shaping the impact of each film. Prerequisites: ENGL 210 or ENGL 212.

AIS 348 Law and American Indian Religious Freedoms (3) This course examines the impact of
federal laws and policies and U.S. Supreme court decisions on the sacred ways of life of American
Indian tribal groups. It also examines the legislative and legal history of the First Amendment’s “Free
Exercise” clause and “Establishment” clause as they apply to American Indian Religious Freedoms.
Topics covered will include sacred lands, sacred practices, NAGPRA and repatriation, and
environmental colonialism, from the first perspective of legal guarantees under the First Amendment
as well as under Treaties. Prerequisites: AIS 310 and Junior/Senior level standing

AIS 350 Foundations of Indigenous Philosophy (3) Introduces the philosophies of specific Meso-
American and North American indigenous peoples. The relationship of the land and culture and its
connection to indigenous worldviews will be explored. Specific cultures of the Huron, Iroquois, Maya
and the mound builders will be examined. Prerequisites: AIS 310, HIST 110 or HIST 112 or HIST 222
or completion of a third English course.

AIS 360 Theories of Decolonization and Indigenization (3) This course introduces and examines
colonization, decolonization, and Indigenization through exploring their respective, yet overlapping,
theories, and philosophies. The major purposes of this course are (1) to increase understanding of
colonization, decolonization, and Indigenization, historical and contemporary matrixes affecting
Indigenous Peoples, communities, and nations within and outside of the geopolitical borders of the
United States and (2) to promote awareness of American Indian Studies as a strategic solution to the
perennial challenges of colonization that Indigenous Peoples confront locally and globally.
Prerequisite: Junior/Senior level standing.

AIS 402 American Indian Treaties and Agreements (3) A senior-level course introducing students to
the scholarship of examining American Indian Treaties and Agreements through cross disciplinary
approaches, including law, written and oral history, and geography. The specific nature of various First
Nations’ documents as well as the importance of these treaties in both national and international law
today will be examined. Prerequisites: AIS 310 and Junior/Senior level standing.

AIS 410/411 American Indian Literature Seminar (3) A class in a selected American Indian literary
topic, genre, time period, or author(s). The topic changes each semester. The course can be repeated
as AIS 411 for additional credit. Each student will develop and present a substantial research project
within the forum of the seminar. Prerequisite: senior standing in the AIS program. Fulfills the
symposium seminar AIS requirement.

AIS 421 Community Health Social Work with Indigenous Peoples (3) This course offers a broad
and in-depth examination of critical, social, cultural and political variables important to improving the
health of First Nations Peoples and their communities. These variables are presented within macro,
mezzo, and micro frameworks and are linked to strengthening traditional culture, empowering the
community, and contending with historical and contemporary oppression. A major goal of the course
will be (1) to assist students to be become familiar with how various critical variables affect the well
being of First Nations and (2) how to employ various radically progressive social work approaches to
decolonize and empower First Nations communities. Prerequisite: AIS 321