Belisa Gonzalez
Professor and Coordinator

The Native American and Indigenous Studies Minor is grounded in a deep respect for Indigenous knowledge systems and traditions as well as a recognition of the connections Native peoples have to their lands and ancestral ways of life. Situated on the homelands of the Cayuga people and Haudenosaunee Confederacy—lands expropriated in the 18th century to build the “Empire State”—our programming follows an approach to learning that centers Native voices. Indigenous Studies is inherently interdisciplinary and the minor is committed to critical and creative pedagogies, scholarly rigor, and social justice. The NAIS minor trains students think politically and build skills to analyze the legacies of colonization, slavery, and empire as well as their lasting impacts on Native peoples and settlers. With particular focus on Indigenous movements for life, land, and sovereignty across Turtle Island and Oceania, courses in NAIS span a broad range of issues impacting Indigenous communities through interdisciplinary, comparative, and relational methods of inquiry. Students are encouraged to analyze the ways in which race, gender, sexuality, and class intersect with indigeneity and settler colonization in order to draw relevance between our curriculum and their own lives.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Develop a working knowledge of key concepts and debates within the field of Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS).
  2. Attain a basic understanding of the histories of the Indigenous peoples colonized by the United States and their lasting impacts on Native communities today.
  3. Build literacy in identifying the key differences between race and indigeneity and the stakes involved in such a distinction for various groups racialized within the U.S.
  4. Critically analyze the structural and representational forms of violence to which Indigenous peoples in the U.S. have been historically and are currently subjected.