American Indian Studies
Our American Indian Studies transfer program explores the history, sociology, languages, literature, worldview, and artistic traditions of Indigenous nations by placing American Indians at the center of their own story. We examine contemporary Indigenous literature, poetry, and plays, as well as music, spoken word, and filmmaking. We survey past Native societies through their archaeology, oral traditions, and manipulation of the landscape. Our scope includes Indigenous People across our entire hemisphere, including North America and Latin America, acknowledging that modern borders are new concepts.
We believe that making these connections from the people of the ancient past to the people of today is important because in urban areas, on reservations, and next door, Indigenous People remain. Today’s Indigenous People are the product of colonial histories that affected ancient traditions, whose modern worldview is informed by settler colonialism, sovereignty, and civil rights.
Our core courses in anthropology and Native literature, along with the elective courses, provide a grounded baseline of knowledge about the rich cultural diversity of Indigenous People. The local AIS non-transfer A.A. degree is intended to serve as transfer preparation for students who wish to undertake bachelor's degree programs in American Indian Studies at four-year colleges.