American Indian Studies
115 Ross Hall, 766-6521
Director: Christopher Caskey Russell
(See catalog section following name for academic credentials.)
William Gribb, geography
Michael Harkin, anthropology
Pamela Innes, anthropology
Angela Jaime, educational studies
Jeffrey Means, history
Christopher Caskey Russell, English
Judith A. Antell
American Indian Studies
The American Indian Studies Program offers an academic major at the undergraduate level and a minor at both the undergraduate and graduate level. This interdepartmental course of study examines Native North American cultural and social life, including economic, political, and educational systems. Historical and contemporary perspectives of American Indian experiences are included in this program.
Students may choose an American Indian studies minor to complement a major field of study. Related disciplines include American studies, anthropology, art, ethnic studies, geography, history, law, music, philosophy, political science, and sociology. A minor in American Indian studies provides excellent preparation for teachers, researchers, social workers, health care providers, resource managers, economic developers, and legal practitioners.
AIST Undergraduate Minor
Students graduating with an undergraduate minor degree in American Indian studies will be able to: 1) Explain the concept of tribal sovereignty and how tribal sovereignty is both restricted and acknowledged by the federal trust relationship and by relationships with states; 2) Understand the development of modern tribal governments and their functions and importance in contemporary society; 3) Understand and appreciate the roles of history, culture, and politics in the development of tribal world views, world views that relate to modern life and contemporary issues of concern for Native American peoples; 4) Identify historical, cultural, and political diversity and significance in Native oral traditions and written literatures; 5) Recognize stereotypes about Native American peoples and explain why these stereotypes were created and why they are sustained in modern society; and 6) Understand from the perspective of American Indian peoples, historical experiences and contemporary issues in North America.
AIST Undergraduate Major
In addition to the skills acquired by students who earn an undergraduate minor degree in American Indian studies, students working toward a B.A. in American Indian Studies will study tribal governance, literature, history, environment and natural resource management, ways of knowing, and indigenous languages. Inherent in this degree's curriculum and related activities is the expectation that students and faculty will assume an active role in working with and for Indigenous communities. AIST requires it majors to earn a grade of C or better in all courses taken to fulfill the major.
AIST Graduate Minor
A graduate minor in American Indian studies is comprised of 12 hours with at least 6 hours at the 5000 level. It is expected that each graduate minor student and his/her graduate committee, at least one member of whom will be from American Indian studies, will determine the specific courses to be taken. It is recommended that one of the four classes selected be a 3 credit AIST 5000 Independent Study. This class will provide a research experience in the discipline of American Indian studies that may support a master's thesis or doctoral dissertation. The research expectation in AIST can be satisfied by the 3 credit hour Independent Study and/or by the thesis or doctoral dissertation.
Students graduating with a graduate minor degree in American Indian studies will be able to: 1) Make apparent in masters'-level research the interdisciplinary connections between American Indian studies and the primary field of graduate study; 2) Integrate American Indian studies research methods with the research methods used in the primary field of graduate study; and 3) Demonstrate in writing the ability to understand a variety of subjects from a tribal perspective.
Through the Outreach School, a Teachers of American Indian Children (TAIC) Endorsement / Graduate Certificate can be earned. This non-degree graduate program certifies that those who complete its five specialized courses possess the attitudes, knowledge, and competence necessary to effectively teach American Indian Children. Upon completion, students receive official recognition of their achievement on their transcripts and an official certificate. Visit the Outreach Credit Program Website http://outreach.uwyo.edu/ocp/ for more information. All courses are cross-listed with AIST.
An interdepartmental American Indian Studies Advisory Committee guides the program's development. The director advises students selecting the American Indian studies major or minor.
Complete information about the American Indian studies undergraduate major, undergraduate minor, and graduate minor is available in the American Indian Studies Program office and on the program Website.