Oct 03, 2023  
2020-21 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-21 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

US 289 Beyond Standing Rock: Indigenous Cultures and Languages of the Americas

This course examines perceptions of indigenous peoples in the Americas through multiple perspectives and cultural lenses, starting from the debated time of their initial arrival on the American continents, through the different times and places of European contact, and into the 21st century. While mainstream media represents Native Americans as a monolithic whole, we learn how there is no homogenous group of “Native Americans”. Rather, there are thousands of indigenous nations in North and South America, who speak thousands of languages, and we survey this vast and rich cultural and linguistic diversity. The course material provides overviews of major social, economic, and political issues concerning indigenous survival and cultural persistence, but focuses on how language revitalization and reclamation relate to self-determination, federal recognition, land claims, environmental and sacred sites protection, and casinos and economic development. We identify and interpret these issues in the cases of groups such as the Wampanoag/Wôpanâak, the Apache/Nde, the Sioux/Lakota, the Cherokee, and the Iroquois/Haudenosaunee. Students will have the opportunity to visit the American Philosophical Society to examine their Native American Collections. A strong emphasis is placed on dialogue, collaboration, and decolonization in our efforts to understand indigenous nations and question our own assumptions about other human beings.