Individual and Interdisciplinary Studies Programs

Native American Studies

Brooke Hansen, Associate Professor and Coordinator

Native American Studies Minor

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 ANTH 47500 Ethnographic Fieldwork and Research or ANTH 47600 Archaeological Fieldwork and Research). 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 his or her capstone when declaring the minor.

Requirements for the Minor in Native American Studies

Introductory Courses

Select 9 credits from the following:

ANTH 10400

Cultural Anthropology (3)

ANTH 27000

North American Indians (3)

SOCI 20700

Race and Ethnicity (3) or

SOCI 11600

Introduction to Multicultural Studies (3)


Origins, History, and Culture

Select 3 credits from the following:

ANTH 27700

Native Americans and the Environment (3)

HIST 25500

Native American History (3)

ANTH 37200

Native American Women and Culture (3)

ANTH 27500

North American Prehistory (3)

ANTH 25100

People, Plants, and Culture (3)


Cultural Area Studies

Select 3 credits from the following:

ANTH 28200

Anthropological Experience in Hawaii (3)

ANTH 27400

Archaeological Field School (3)

ANTH 27300

The Iroquois (3)

ANTH 27800

Northeastern Native Americans (3)

ANTH 26900

Mesoamerican Prehistory (3)


Other Electives (maximum of 3 credits)

POLT 30300

Constitutional Law (3)

POLT 12300

Political Justice (3)

CNPH 21400

Hollywood and the American Film (3)

SPMM 29500

Social Aspects of Sport (3)

RLST 10500

Introduction to World Religions: Indigenous and Eastern (3)


Capstone Experiences*

Select 3 credits from the following:

xxx xxxxx

Independent Study/Research (3) or

xxx xxxxx

Fieldwork/Internship (3)


Total, Native American studies minor


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