NASX 524: Contemporary Issues in American Indian Studies

Credits: 3

Earn an on-line NAS Graduate Certificate

Course provides a graduate level overview of contemporary political, economic, social, and cultural issues facing Native America. As there are more than 560 self-governing Indian nations in the United States, we will begin by focusing on the tribal nations of Montana. This course aims to tie in with other course offerings, such as Federal Indian Law and Policy and Dispelling the Myths. Given the complexity of the topic this course serves as a beginning point for further discussion and research.
COURSE RATIONALE: Stereotypes, misinformation, iconography, folklore, and so much more obscure our perception of Native Americans. A challenge is the tendency of non-Natives to see Native Americans through the lens of history, to speak of indigenous people and nations in the past tense - Native Americans are “frozen in time.” But to the contrary, real Native nations, communities, and peoples are living contemporary lives. They are balancing the day-to-day demands of life surrounded by a Western society, struggling to retain their Native identity. While the issues and concerns are as varied as the Native American Nations, some common threads run through their experiences. Through discussions, case studies, and other assignments students will acquire a general overview to many of today’s major issues that are relevant in Native America and beyond.