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Ithaca College Undergraduate Catalog 2005-2006

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Native American Studies

Jack Rossen, Associate Professor and Co-Coordinator

Brooke Olson, Assistant Professor and Co-Coordinator

Minor in Native American Studies

Native American studies (NAS) is an interdisciplinary minor organized around various themes related to the past and present of indigenous peoples in North America and Hawaii. The NAS minor may be particularly valuable to students pursuing careers in communications, education, multicultural outreach, human services, medicine, and the social sciences.

Ithaca is located within the homeland of the Cayuga Nation, one of the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy. Furthermore, Ithaca is not far from the Onondaga and Seneca Nations. Native Americans are therefore a prominent social and cultural presence in our region. Contemporary Native American issues such as cultural revitalization, land claims, health care, repatriation of human remains, and casinos appear regularly in the local news. Understanding these issues in terms of their history, cultural contexts, and economic impact is important for students in many fields of study. This region also hosts frequent cultural festivals, musical and theatrical performances, and art exhibits that provide opportunities for students to experience firsthand what they learn in NAS.

The minor in NAS requires 21 credit hours of work. A minimum of 3 credits is required from the "capstone experience" category. Capstone experiences are chosen from related class offerings that fall under the general categories of independent study, fieldwork, internships, and practicums from programs such as history, sociology, politics, women's studies, and anthropology (such as Ethnographic Fieldwork and Research 339-47500 or Archaeological Fieldwork and Research 339-47600). Classes appropriate for this requirement are reviewed and approved by the student's minor adviser and NAS coordinator. The capstone experience integrates and synthesizes the knowledge and experience the student has acquired in the minor. Each student will determine the department for their capstone when declaring the minor.

Requirements for the Minor in Native American Studies
Introductory Courses
Select 9 credits from the following:


Cultural Anthropology (3)



North American Indians (3)



Race and Ethnicity (3) or



Introduction to Multicultural Studies (3)


Origins, History, and Culture
Select 3 credits from the following:


Native Americans and the Environment (3)



Native American History (3)



Native American Women and Culture (3)



North American Prehistory (3)



People, Plants, and Culture (3)


Cultural Area Studies
Select 3 credits from the following:


Anthropological Experience in Hawaii (3)



Archaeological Field School (3)



The Iroquois (3)



Northeastern Native Americans (3)



Mesoamerican Prehistory (3)


Other Electives (maximum of 3 credits)


Constitutional Law (3)



Political Justice (3)



Hollywood and the American Film (3)



Social Aspects of Sport (3)



Introduction to World Religions: Indigenous and Eastern (3)


Capstone Experiences*

Select 3 credits from the following:


Independent Study/Research (3) or



Fieldwork/Internship (3)



Total, Native American studies minor


*Student will determine the department for the capstone when declaring the minor.

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