The Major and Minor

In honor of Indigenous Peoples Day, this week’s featured program is the major and minor in Native American & Indigenous Studies (NAIS) at Fort Lewis College. Fort Lewis College is a Native American-Serving Non-Tribal Institution (NASNTI) and offers a tuition waiver for enrolled members (or children of enrolled members) of American Indian Tribal Nations or Alaska Native Villages. From the website:

Taught from an Indigenous perspective, NAIS coursework builds on the worldviews of Native American and Indigenous communities, delving into the history and philosophy behind tribal self-determination. NAIS majors develop verbal and written skills and an understanding of the relationship between Native Nations and the United States through broad and individual viewpoints, art, and storytelling.

Students majoring in Native American and Indigenous Studies take a seven-course core and then personalize their major with six electives. Students enrolled in the minor take two required courses and four electives. 

Two Interesting Courses

NAIS 280 – Contemporary Issues of Native Nations

This course provides an overview of the current status of Native Nations, focusing on the contemporary experience through such issues as representations and identity, tribal governance and sovereignty, community wellness and health, and social and economic challenges.

NAIS 317 – Indigenous People in Film and Media

This course examines the representations of Indigenous People in film and media from an indigenous perspective. Using a chronological and thematic approach, the course examines the reasons why Indigenous People are typically and atypically represented in film and media. The representations and cultural productions of Indigenous People in New Zealand, Australia and Canada are also included.

Five Possible Complementary Majors/Minors at Fort Lewis College

Unique Opportunities within the Major/Minor

Students can elect to earn credit through an internship via NAIS 493 – Internship in Native American and Indigenous Studies:

This course allows declared NAIS majors or minors participating in Washington Internship for Native Students (WINS), Udall-Native American Internship Program, National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), or another nationally recognized internship program to satisfy one elective course requirement. 

Sample Similar Programs