Native American Studies

Kirby Brown, Program Director
541-346-0904 fax
104 Alder Building
5268 University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon 97403-5268

The University of Oregon offers a minor in Native American studies, housed in the Department of Ethnic Studies.

Native American studies is an interdisciplinary field that uses multiple approaches—from history, anthropology, law, literature, ethnic studies, and other disciplines—to understand contemporary Native American lives, and to examine Native American identities, practices, histories, cultures, and political statuses in context from the earliest times until the present. Academically, the central goal of the minor in Native American studies is to inform students about the unique place of tribes in the state-tribal-federal intergovernmental matrix and about the myriad distinct issues Native peoples of the United States face, from language and cultural protection to environmental issues to economic development and tribal sovereignty. In a state with nine federally recognized Indigenous nations and a Native American population 50 percent higher proportionally than the national average, this is critical information for future leaders in all fields.

Undergraduate Studies

Students may earn a minor in Native American studies. The primary goal of the minor is to help students understand contemporary and historic native lives through attention to the politics, cultures, identities, and practices of Native American and indigenous peoples. A secondary goal of the program is to encourage student awareness of the ethnic and cultural dimensions and applications of other major fields. Students of literature, social sciences, education, urban planning, art history, humanities, international studies—to name only a few—find that related Native American studies courses can enrich their academic programs.

Courses applied to a minor in Native American studies may be used to satisfy major or minor requirements for other programs.

Specific details and course approvals must be obtained from the Native American Studies Program.

Requirements for the Minor

The Native American studies minor requires 28 credits. At least 16 credits must be taken in residence at the University of Oregon. Up to 4 credits may be counted toward the minor from a list of related courses that fall outside the core of Native American studies but that focus on other issues closely related to the field. Courses must be taken for a grade, and grades must be mid-C or higher to count toward the minor. The course load is distributed as follows:

ES 256Introduction to Native American Studies4
Additional Courses24
16 credits must be in upper-division courses
At least 4 credits focusing on Oregon Indians
At least 4 credits in each of three distribution groups 1
Up to 4 credits may be taken from a list of related courses approved by a program advisor
Total Credits28

Distribution Groups

Group 1: Culture, Language, and Education
ANTH 310Exploring Other Cultures: [Topic] (Oregon Indians)4
ANTH 320Native North Americans4
EDST 456Equal Opportunity: Decolonization3
LING 399Special Studies: [Topic] (Native Languages of Oregon)1-5
LT 199Special Studies: [Topic] (Sahaptin Language; Tolowa and Lushootseed Language)1-5
PHIL 451Native American Philosophy4
Group 2: Law, Policy, Governance, and History
ENVS 411Environmental Issues: [Topic] (Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples)4
ES 258Introduction to Pacific Islander Studies4
ES 350Native Americans and the Environment4
ES 399Special Studies: [Topic] (Oregon Indians)4
ES 407Seminar: [Topic] (Native American Ethnohistory; Native American and African American Relations; Native-Latinx Relations)4
ES 456History of Native American Education4
HC 444HHonors College American Cultures Colloquium: [Topic] (Race and Ethnicity in the American West; North Paiute History)4
HIST 399Special Studies: [Topic] (Pacific Northwest Indians)5
HIST 407Seminar: [Topic] (Indian Nations in the United States)5
HIST 468The Pacific Northwest4
HIST 469American Indian History: [Topic]4
PS 399Special Studies: [Topic] (American Indian Politics)1-5
Group 3: Literature, Media, and the Arts
ENG 244Introduction to Native American Literature4
ENG 361Native American Writers4
ENG 381MFilm, Media, and Culture (Native American Film)4
ENG 488Race and Representation in Film: [Topic] (Native American Literature and Film)4
ES 370Race, Ethnicity, and Cinema: [Topic] (Native Americans and Film)4
J 412Issues in Communication Studies: [Topic] (American Indians and the Media)4
TA 472Multicultural Theater: [Topic] (Native American Theater)4
Related Courses4
Exploring Other Cultures: [Topic] (Indigenous Immigrants in Oregon) (Group 1)
Oregon Archaeology (Group 1)
Native South Americans (Group 1)
Northwest Coast Archaeology (Group 1)
North American Archaeology (Group 1)
Aztecs and Incas (Group 2)