Montana State University

NASX 550-801: Native America: Dispelling the Myths

Aug 28-Dec 15, 2017
Credit: 3 graduate
Cost: $0.00
Instructor(s) Marsha Small

Course Description

Earn an on-line NAS Graduate Certificate

This course explores a range of conceptual foundations that created the mythicized semblance of “Native America”. Focusing on Indigenous knowledges and theories, students will critically examine the interrelationship between colonialism and sovereignty and how they affect identity and self-determination for Native peoples. Content will focus on Indigenous decolonization & resilience through art, film, literature, and theory.

Meeting Place and Times



Marsha Small. I am an enrolled Northern Cheyenne of 15/16 of total Indian blood. My Cheyenne name is Otata’veenova’e. It means Blue Tipi Woman or Blue Wings. I was named by my Grandfather Ho’honahke (Stone) whose English name is Martin Roundstone, Sr. He was a Northern Cheyenne ceremonial man whose epistemological structure was based on the plant beings. My Grandmother was Mohenoo’e, Gathering Stands Woman who herself followed the ways of the Northern Cheyenne. My Mother was Voestaa’e, White Buffalo Calf Woman. Both of these women have been instrumental in my Indigenous knowledge. My daughter is named after my Grandmother, Mohenoo’e. My Grandson Caleb Lee is called Taa’eva’htamehehnestse or Walks at Night. I named him from the previous seventh generation of men on my Grandfather’s side. My father is Clinton Small. He is a well-known horse trainer and a rodeo champion who is enrolled in the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame. Marsha Small is an ‘A Voice for the Children of Indian Boarding School Cemeteries’. She utilizes Indigenous worldviews in her research in correlation with the western tools of Geographic Information System and Ground Penetrating Radar. As a Northern Cheyenne, Ota’taveenova’e (Blue Tipi Woman, or Blue Wings) as she is called embraces the Northern Cheyenne epistemologies. She graduated from Chief Dull Knife College located on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation with an Associates of Arts, continued to Ashland, Oregon’s Southern Oregon University for her Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Studies with emphasis on geographical information systems and culture resource management. In summer of 2015, she received her College Teaching Certificate, and in the fall of 2015, she received her Master’s in Native American Studies from Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana. In January of 2017, she started her Ph.D. in Earth Sciences. Her research is focused on locating known and unknown burials in the off-reservation boarding school cemeteries. Her research is geared toward the facilitation for a broad discussion in truth and reconciliation at executive levels, she plans to provide analysis and updated maps on a majority of off-reservation boarding school cemeteries. Her focus will remain in the preservation of sacred sites and sacred places.

Time Commitment

10-12 hours per week. If you are unfamiliar with this field of study and/or method of delivery, you may require more time.

Tuition and Fees


If you are taking only online courses this semester, please see the MSU Online Only Tuition and Fees (PDF) table.

If you are also taking a face-to-face course, please see the MSU Fee Schedules

Required Books/Materials

  • TBA

Computer Requirements

  • Internet access
  • A device and browser that pass the system check for Brightspace LE, MSU's learning management system.

For More Information

For course information: Please contact Marsha Small at

How to Register

You must be accepted as a student to Montana State University to take this course.

Learn how to apply.

After your application has been accepted, you will register via MSU's online registration system, MyInfo.

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Once you have your PIN, learn how to register through MyInfo.

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