Native American & Indigenous Studies

253.535.8107 www.plu.edu/nais suzanne.crawford@plu.edu
Suzanne Crawford O’Brien, Ph.D., Chair

Native American and Indigenous Studies is an interdisciplinary program grounded in a partnership between students, faculty, staff and local communities, with a global Indigenous focus centered in local and regional contexts. We empower students to recognize, honor and value Indigenous ways of knowing, so that they can work in collaboration with Indigenous communities and all their relations.

Minor

22 semester hours

Core courses in Native American and Indigenous studies
6 semester hours

Students must take the following core courses that introduce the field of Native American and Indigenous Studies and explore key approaches and issues within it.

  • NAIS 111: Interconnections (1)
  • NAIS 112: Interconnections (1)
  • NAIS 250: Introduction to Native American and Indigenous Studies (4)

Northwest Language and Worldview
8 semester hours

Students will take 8 semester hours that explore Indigenous language and worldviews of the Pacific Northwest. Equivalent coursework or demonstrated fluency to an equivalent level in another Indigenous language may be substituted for SOLU 101 and SOLU 102.

  • SOLU 101: Southern Lushootseed: Introduction to Oral Language (4)

And one of these four courses exploring Northwest Indigenous language and worldviews.

  • NAIS 495: Internship (1-4)
  • RELI 397: Indigenous Religions and Cultures of the Pacific Northwest (4)
  • SOLU 102: Southern Lushootseed: Oral Language Dialogue (4)

Electives
8 semester hours

Students select 8 semester hours from the following courses that study Indigenous topics and perspectives.

  • ENGL 213: Topics in Literature (4)
    (when the topic is ‘Literature of the PNW’)
  • ENGL 288: Special Topics in English (4)
    (when the topic is ‘Indigenous Literature of North America’)
  • HISP 322: Latin American Cultural Studies (4)
  • HIST 333: Colonization and Genocide in Native North America (4)
  • HIST 348: Lewis and Clark: History and Memory (4)
  • HIST 351: History of Western and Pacific Northwestern U.S. (4)
  • NAIS 230: Indigenous Creation Narratives of the Americas (4)
  • NAIS 231: Visual Sovereignty and Indigenous Film (4)
  • NAIS 244: Environmental Justice and Indigenous Peoples (4)
  • NAIS 286: Sámi Film and the Indigenous North (4)
  • NAIS 363: Race and Indigeneity (4)
  • NURS 404: Healthcare Diversity (4)
  • RELI 227: Introduction to Christian Theologies (4)
    (when the topic is ‘Native American Theologies’)
  • RELI 236: Native American Religious Traditions (4)
  • RELI 397: Indigenous Religions and Culture of the Pacific Northwest (4)
    (if not used to satisfy the Northwest Language and Worldview requirement above)
  • SOLU 101: Southern Lushootseed: Introduction to Oral Language (4)
    (if not used to satisfy the Northwest Language and Worldview requirement above)
  • SOLU 102: Southern Lushootseed: Oral Language Dialogue (4)
    (if not used to satisfy the Northwest Language and Worldview requirement above)
  • Approved Study Away courses (4-8)
    • Up to 8 study away semester hours may be applied toward the minor upon completion of PLU’s semester-long Gateway program in Oaxaca, when accompanied by an internship experience with an Indigenous-led organization. Students may also petition the chair to count up to 8 study away semester hours applied toward the minor from our Gateway program in Namibia or from our Featured programs in Australia and New Zealand.

NAIS 111 : Interconnections

A weekly meeting with program students and faculty to discuss progress, challenges, and the intersection of Indigenous approaches and the university experience. Students are encouraged to attend for no credit in subsequent semesters. Graded A/Pass/Fail. (1)

NAIS 112 : Interconnections

A weekly meeting with program students and faculty to discuss progress, challenges, and the intersection of Indigenous approaches and the university experience. Students are encouraged to attend for no credit in subsequent semesters. Graded A/Pass/Fail. (1)

NAIS 230 : Indigenous Creation Narratives of the Americas and their Resonance - LT, A or C

Through encounters with a variety of creation narratives, literature, film, and visual art from native peoples of the Americas, students examine changing relationships with the land, the cosmos, and other living beings. (4)

NAIS 244 : Environmental Justice and Indigenous People - A

This course examines the struggle against environmental destruction as fundamental to Indigenous experiences, tracing its history as a central feature of settler colonialism in the United States and globally. It focuses on Indigenous responses and decolonial strategies, and on the sometimes rocky relationship between Indigenous people and environmentalist movements. Students read works by Indigenous historians, environmental scholars, and activists, while also addressing real world environmental colonialism in the local community. (4)

NAIS 250 : Introduction to Native American & Indigenous Studies - A

Introduces students to the scope, methodologies, and intellectual traditions of Native American and Indigenous Studies, focusing on such topics as Indigeneity, settler colonialism, sovereignty, resilience, and the intersectionality of Indigeneity with gender and sexuality. May include community-based service learning components. (4)

NAIS 286 : Sámi Film and the Indigenous North - C

By studying film, video, and television created by this Indigenous Arctic people, students will be introduced to the Sámi of northern Scandinavia and Russia, and will develop an understanding of Sámi culture, history, and worldviews as well as of contemporary issues concerning the Sámi and other Indigenous peoples and how film can express and address these issues. In English. (4)

NAIS 321 : Visual Sovereignty and Indigenous Film - A

Working with Indigenous and film studies theory, students will develop a familiarity with themes and trends in Indigenous film and related media, while also developing the critical tools and analytical skills necessary to analyze and discuss them and how they relate to broader issues of Indigeneity. (4)

NAIS 361 : Storied Survivance: Seminar on Indigenous Literatures - C, LT

Stories have an immense importance for Indigenous people globally and that importance is reflected in the many Indigenous literatures that have emerged since Colonization. This seminar exposes students to Indigenous literature and critical approaches from around the world, helping them to understand why Indigenous literatures matter. (4)

NAIS 363 : Race and Indigeneity - A

This course examines ways that settler colonial ideologies of race have been developed and applied to Indigenous. Relying on critical readings on the intersection of race and Indigeneity in US and global contexts, this seminar equips students with important intellectual tools to understand the complexities of these intersections. (4)

NAIS 491 : Independent Study

To provide individual undergraduate students with advanced study not available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as IS: followed by the specific title designated by the student. (1 to 4)

NAIS 495 : Internship

To permit undergraduate students to relate theory and practice in a work situation. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as Intern: followed by the specific title designated by the instructor in consultation with the student. (1 to 4)