Native American and indigenous studies is an interdisciplinary field of study committed to understanding both the unity and the diversity of present and past Native American tribes, cultures, and experiences. This interdisciplinary minor will help students think critically and respectfully about the complex dynamics of Native American cultures, considered both individually and comparatively. In addition to practicing and developing critical thinking and writing skills, students in this interdisciplinary minor will learn how value systems operate in different cultures, examine the roots of conflict and resolution across a broad historical and cultural spectrum, better understand the importance of language as a means of cultural expression, and heighten their appreciation of the unique status of present-day Native American tribes as nations with certain sovereign powers within the boundaries of the United States.

In addition to a required course that introduces key concepts, events, figures, and methodological approaches, students take five 3-credit elective courses from no fewer than three departments. The coursework for this minor enables students to examine Native American cultures from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including those that are anthropological, historical, artistic, philosophical, and political.

Faculty

Anderson (coordinator), Benitez, Bristol, Karush, Scully, Snead, Tichy, Yocom

Policies

Eight credits of coursework must be unique to the minor and students must complete all coursework with a minimum GPA of 2.00. For policies governing all minors, see AP.5.3.4 Minors.

No more than two courses from a single department can be applied to the minor. No more than 3 credits can be applied to both Mason Core requirements and the minor. 

Banner Code: NAIS

Minor Requirements

Total credits: 18

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Core Courses

NAIS 201Introduction to Native American and Indigenous Studies3
Total Credits3

Electives

Select five electives (15 credits) from the following: 115
Native North Americans
Peoples and Cultures of Latin America (Mason Core)
Ancient Mesoamerica (Mason Core)
Issues in Anthropology (with permission of coordinator)
Folklore and Folklife
RS: Writing Ethnography (Mason Core)
History of Virginia to 1800
Colonial America
Revolutionary Era in American History, 1763-1812
Jacksonian America, 1812-1854
Musics of the World (Mason Core)
Race and Ethnicity in a Changing World
Total Credits15
1

Special topics courses and summer field work offerings, when relevant, may be used to fulfill elective credits for the minor with prior written approval of the NAIS coordinator.