American Indian Studies (IS)
Hans and Rundquist (Chair)
The American Indian Studies curriculum at the University of North Dakota has been established to meet needs both on the campus and throughout the state. The major and minor, combined with other subject matter concentrations, are intended to provide:
- a more complete understanding of American Indian history and culture;
- practical experiences in American Indian communities;
- an understanding of Native communities and cultures within a diverse, global environment;
- a basis for employment in either reservation or non-reservation settings; and
- background for graduate work in American Indian Studies and related programs (history, anthropology, American Studies, etc.).
The degree of Bachelor of Arts is offered through the College of Arts and Sciences. For the greater University community, the courses in American Indian Studies, together with the research conducted or sponsored by the Department, provide an expanded approach to the study of American history, diversity and cultures.
The greatest purpose of the department is to provide education to the broader community about Native experiences and realities. The department welcomes all students, Native and non-Native, to critically engage these issues. The department prepares its graduates for lifelong careers of learning and thinking, for living in and working with, in, and around Native American communities, and for a better understanding of cultures, histories, literatures, laws, and traditions in the United States and beyond, in their local and global expressions.
College of Arts and Sciences
B.A. with Major in American Indian Studies
Required 125 credits (36 of which must be numbered 300 or above, and 60 of which must be from a 4-year institution) including:
I. Essential Studies Requirements (see University ES listing).
II. The Following Curriculum:
A. 36 credit hours in the Major
Of these, the following courses are required:
|IS 230||Approaches to Native Cultures||3|
|IS 240||Research and Writing in Indian Studies||3|
|IS 395||Ethnohistory of North America||3|
|or IS 354||Dynamics of Conquest and Resistance|
|IS 410||Indigenous Identities||3|
|Electives from the American Indian Studies curriculum in accordance with advisor recommendations||24|
|The maximum combined credit hours counting toward the accumulation of credits for the major in IS 430, 492, and 494 is nine. Any student taking more than a combined six credit hours in IS 430, IS 492, and IS 494 has to take these courses from at least two different faculty members.|
|Only one course from each of the following pairs will count toward the accumulation of credits for the major:|
|American Indians and Tradition|
or IS 123
|American Indians and Culture|
|History of the Sioux|
or IS 202
|Cultures of the Sioux|
|History of the Ojibwe|
or IS 204
|Cultures of the Ojibwe|
|History of the Three Affiliated Tribes|
or IS 208
|Cultures of the Three Affiliated Tribes|
B. In addition to the above curriculum, a concentration in an area or field other than American Indian Studies is also required of all majors.
This concentration may be met in the following ways:
- Proficiency in a language (equivalent to Level IV in a Native American or other language)
- A minor in another subject matter field
Minor in American Indian Studies
21 credit hours in American Indian Studies, at least 12 of which are 300-level or above.
The maximum combined credit hours taken from any one instructor to be counted towards the minor is twelve; to fulfill the requirements of the minor, a student has to take courses from at least three different instructors.
IS 121. Introduction to American Indian Studies. 3 Credits.
Introduction to main concepts, methods, and theories in American Indian Studies, designed to provide a background for further studies. This course approaches American Indian Studies from a perspective grounded in the humanities. F,S,SS.
IS 122. American Indians and Tradition. 3 Credits.
This course provides an introduction to the American Indian experience, as well as to methodological concepts of American Indian Studies. It places emphasis both on understanding how American Indians fit into various representations of the past and on how American Indians have used and continue to use the past to shape their own identities. F,S,SS.
IS 123. American Indians and Culture. 3 Credits.
This course provides an introduction to the American Indian experience, as well as to methodological concepts of American Indian Studies. It places an emphasis on understanding Native cultures and the challenges they are facing, exploring contemporary issues and Native communities in their cultural contexts. F,S,SS.
IS 151. Popular Culture and American Indians. 3 Credits.
European settlers had firm notions of what tribal peoples on the American continent were like before even leaving Europe. This course will show how these stereotypes and ethnocentrisms were perpetuated in various genres and fields, e.g. captivity tales, fiction, film, advertisements, and social media. Finally, students will analyze some recent examples of these stereotypes and ethnocentrisms in print and film. SS.
IS 171. Hollywood Indians. 3 Credits.
A summer class exploring the portrayal and roles of American Indians in feature films from the early 20th century to the early 21st century, and what we can learn from these films. SS.
IS 181. Native North America to 1600. 3 Credits.
This course introduces students to thinking historically about North America's pre-Columbian and early Columbian pasts and the relationship between the two both topically and methodologically. This will require students to consider the various sources and methods of anthropology and history while trying to understand the continuities and discontinuities that link the experiences of Native Americans before and after the arrival of Europeans and Africans. It will introduce students to close reading, research skills, college writing, and participatory classroom experiences. S.
IS 200. American Indians in a Multicultural Context. 3 Credits.
This course provides an introduction to multicultural and diversity issues, focusing primarily on the United States and with an emphasis on American Indian societies. It explores common experiences of Native and other minority groups, and discusses the integration of these ethnicities in a globalized world. F,S.
IS 201. History of the Sioux. 3 Credits.
This course explores the history of the Siouan speakers, predominantly the Dakota and Lakota nations, from their origins to today. It focuses primarily on the last two hundred years. The course gives a timeline for this history, explores the context of events, and discusses appropriate methodologies. S.
IS 202. Cultures of the Sioux. 3 Credits.
This class Introduces the cultures of the Siouan speakers, predominantly the Lakota and Dakota nations, since the 19th century. The course addresses social organization, economies, religion, kinship, diplomacy, and the reasons, motivations, and consequences for cultural change. S.
IS 203. History of the Ojibwe. 3 Credits.
This course explores the history of the Anishinabe, predominantly the Chippewa or Ojibwe nations, from their origins to today. It focuses primarily on the last two hundred years. The course gives a timeline for this history, explores the context of events, and addresses some cultural issues. F.
IS 204. Cultures of the Anishinabe. 3 Credits.
This class introduces the cultures of the Anishinabe, predominantly the Chippewa or Ojibwe nations, since the 19th century. The course addresses social organization, economies, religion, kinship, diplomacy, and the reasons, motivations, and consequences for cultural change. F.
IS 207. History of the Three Affiliated Tribes. 3 Credits.
This course explores the history of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara nations, from their origins to today. It focuses primarily on the last two hundred years. The course gives a timeline for this history, explores the context of events, and discusses appropriate methodologies. S.
IS 208. Cultures of the Three Affiliated Tribes. 3 Credits.
This class introduces the cultures of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara nations since the 19th century. The course addresses social organization, economies, religion, kinship, diplomacy, and the reasons, motivations, and consequences for cultural change. S.
IS 221. North American Indians before 1815. 3 Credits.
This is a survey of the history of Native North America to 1815 that will study the diverse experiences of American Indians from arrival of Europeans until 1815. Topics that will be addressed include the development of cultural traditions, Indian responses to colonialism, and Indian influences on the emergence of Euroamerican communities in North America. F.
IS 222. North American Indians since 1815. 3 Credits.
This is an introductory survey of the history of Native North America since 1815. It will study the diverse experiences of American Indians since the era of Removal. Topics that will be addressed include the development of the reservation system, Western expansion and the Indians of the Trans-Mississippi West, and persistence and adaptation in the Twentieth Century. S.
IS 230. Approaches to Native Cultures. 3 Credits.
This course provides students with the background to an understanding of how Native cultures can be approached - how cultures have been and should be studied, described, conceptualized, invented, and imagined. The course focuses on North America, but might involve examples from other regions. F.
IS 240. Research and Writing in Indian Studies. 3 Credits.
The course will introduce students to professional writing in Indian Studies. The final goal is for students to turn out a 20-25 page research paper in an area of interest to them. S.
IS 250. Lakota Language I. 3 Credits.
This is the first of two Lakota language classes for beginning speakers. On demand.
IS 251. Lakota Languages II. 3 Credits.
This is the second of two Lakota language classes for beginning speakers. Prerequisites: IS 250 or permission. On demand.
IS 311. Health and American Indian Cultures. 3 Credits.
The course investigates cultural perceptions of health as well as specific historic and contemporary health problems in indigenous communities in Canada and the United States. F.
IS 320. Native Cultural Landscapes. 3 Credits.
This course engages the notion of landscape - the environment as made meaningful by cultural perspectives on interactions and responsibilities. It investigates how American Indian cultures create, imagine, construct, map, and interact with landscapes and how they render them meaningful. F.
IS 344. Education and American Indians. 3 Credits.
Throughout the centuries of American Indian and white contact, American Indian education advocated by the colonial and federal governments as well as by various denominations has reflected the changing attitudes, stereotypes, and ethnocentrisrns of Europeans and Euroamericans toward American Indian peoples. This course will examine the changing policies of the federal government, the attitudes of the various denominations, and some of the contemporary changes in the educational system. S.
IS 346. Gender in American Indian Cultures. 3 Credits.
This class will look at the ways American Indian cultures define various genders and their roles and contributions in historical and contemporary times. S.
IS 348. Beyond the Reservation. 3 Credits.
This is an advanced course that introduces students to the scholarship on American Indians living and working in places beyond their traditional communities. The course will look at issues such as work and labor, urban Indian communities, pan-Indian identities, and contributions to American institutions and public life. S.
IS 350. Native American Languages. 3 Credits.
This course provides an overview of Native American languages, the connection of culture to language, an introduction to socio-linguistics, and other discussions of language structure and linguistics as they pertain to Native North America. F.
IS 352. Native Philosophies and Religions. 3 Credits.
Introduces students to the complex and rich religions of Native Americans, from traditional religions to the Native American Church and the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. Both traditional and contemporary belief systems are discussed. F.
IS 354. Dynamics of Conquest and Resistance. 3 Credits.
This course is an advanced course on the experiences of Indian peoples in colonial Latin America and to the historical methods used to study them. The course will cover the period from late pre-Columbian times through Latin American Independence and will address topics including the conquest of core Indian civilizations, the creation of colonial Indian identities in the republica de Indios, the persistence of Indios barbaros on the frontiers, and the meaning of Latin American independence for Indians. F.
IS 356. Law, Culture, and Communities. 3 Credits.
This course explores in what ways laws impact indigenous communities, and how different communities use, construct, and perceive laws. It explores the cultural construction and meaning of law through its implementation in and on Native communities. F.
IS 358. American Indians and Sovereignty. 3 Credits.
This course is an historical inquiry into the colonial imposition of sovereignty onto Native America and the resulting American Indian tribal claims to sovereignty and the concomitant development of "Indian law" within the legal frameworks of modern North American nation states (Canada, United States, and Mexico). It will examine the initial colonial encounters between indigenous and imperial legal cultures, the 19th century United States policies and judicial findings that established precedents for continued Indian sovereignty, and the expansion of those precedents and how over the course of the 20th century Indian nations have used these to establish federally recognized tribal governments and established the place of "Indian common law" as the law in Indian country. We will also look at how issues of sovereignty impact issues such as gaming, natural resource management, and economic development. S, even years.
IS 360. Oral Traditions in American Indian Cultures. 3 Credits.
Despite all predictions that they would disappear, American Indian oral traditions are as strong today as ever before. This course will introduce students to the complexities, richness, and conventions of different oral traditions as well as to the collecting process. F.
IS 362. Resource Extraction and Indigenous Peoples. 3 Credits.
This course takes a critical look at the impacts of resource extraction and its consequences on indigenous peoples and their communities, how indigenous peoples have participated in and resisted resource extraction, and at the economic, ecological, political, and cultural consequences of resource extraction. S, odd years.
IS 379. Special Topics. 1-3 Credits.
Topics and credits will vary with availability of staff, and with student interests. Repeatable when topics vary. Repeatable.
IS 385. Sustainable Communities. 3 Credits.
This course discusses how societies can build sustainable communities, focusing on indigenous communities in North America and through comparison around the globe. F.
IS 395. Ethnohistory of North America. 3 Credits.
This course introduces students to the historical study of Indian peoples of North America during the colonial and early national periods, particularly in situations where their voices or perspectives are not easily or explicitly captured in historical documentation of their own making. It will focus on key historiographic issues concerning the nature of frontiers and Indian agency as well as on historical method.
IS 410. Indigenous Identities. 3 Credits.
This course looks at issues of indigenous identity: how do people define themselves and others, and what criteria do they use to construct, invent, and imagine their identities? The course focuses on North America, but also looks at global indigenous identities. S.
IS 430. Internship in American Indian Studies. 3 Credits.
Internships provide the opportunity for students to have a meaningful experience related to their field of interest within Indian Studies. Internship placements are with Native American related public or private sector sponsors such as tribal programs, businesses including tribal businesses on a reservation, and various state or private agencies serving Indian populations and causes. Individual learning agreements approved by the Indian Studies faculty and sponsoring supervisors specify student goals, objectives, and methods of assessment. It is expected that students will be of service to the sponsor. Internships may be paid. Prerequisites: Upperclass standing and instructor permission. F,S,SS.
IS 492. Directed Readings in American Indian Studies. 1-3 Credits.
Under the direction of American Indian Studies faculty, students will select readings in subjects not covered in sufficient detail in other American Indian Studies classes. IS 492 and IS 494 combined may be taken for a maximum of 9 credits; must be taken from at least two different faculty if above 6 credits. Prerequisites: Upperclass standing and consent of instructor. Repeatable to 9 credits. F,S,SS.
IS 494. Independent Study in American Indian Studies. 1-3 Credits.
Under the direction of American Indian Studies faculty, students will engage in independent research projects in American Indian Studies subjects. IS 492 and IS 494 combined may be taken for a maximum of 9 credits; must be taken from at least two different faculty if above 6 credits. Prerequisites: Upperclass standing and instructor permission. Repeatable to 9 credits. F,S,SS.