Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2023
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will practice and apply understandings of North American indigenous groups' persistent lifestyles, cultural continuities and changes, and current impacts upon national economics, history, popular culture, and political systems.
  • Students will critically analyze and interpret historical data about Native Americans.
  • Students will apply anthropological principles for solving human problems on the local, regional and world scales.


Survey of Native American societies and cultures, north of Mexico, from a cultural perspective. Includes social organization, economics, technology, and belief systems. Historic and current relationship between the federal government and the Native Americans. Contemporary issues of Native American communities.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and sensitivity for the way of life of Native Americans, both now and prior to European contact, the diversity of Native American culture, technological achievements, and adaptations to the diverse environments of North America
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the social and political problems resulting from culture contact and acculturation and the relationship that exists between the U.S. government and Native Indian societies
  3. Gain a sense of the cultural diversity existing between the tribes and between Native American culture and U.S. culture while striving to reduce bias and prejudice

Course Content

Discussion of the archaeological evidence for origins and migrations of Native Americans. Concepts include:

  1. Culture
  2. Culture areas of North America
  3. Cultural aspects of Native Americans, including:
    1. Social organization
    2. Belief systems
      1. Mythology
      2. Religion
      3. Value systems
    3. Economics
    4. Technology
    5. Art
  4. Acculturation and culture contact
    1. Culture crisis and shock
    2. Effects of contact and culture systems
    3. Incidental vs. forced acculturation
  5. Relationship with the federal government
    1. Peace treaties
    2. Economic, political, sociological, religious, health, and educational problems

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

When taught as an online or hybrid distance learning section, students and faculty need ongoing and continuous internet and email access.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Written assignments
1. Weekly reflections on readings
2. Term paper on field research and/or secondary source research based on ethnographic sources
3. In-class writing
Oral presentations
1. In-class discussion
2. Group presentations
In-class quizzes and exams
1. Quizzes
2. Mid-term exams
3. Final exam

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Oral presentations

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Sutton, Mark. An Introduction to Native North America, 6th ed.. 2022.

Lobo, Susan. Native American Voices. 2016.

Mihesuah, Devon, and Elizabeth Hoover. Indigenous Food Sovereignty in the United States: Restoring Cultural Knowledge, Protecting Environments, and Regaining Health, Vol. 18 (New Directions in Native American Studies Series). 2019.

Deleon, Jason. The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail, Vol. 36 (California Series in Public Anthropology). 2015.

Although some texts are older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, they remain seminal texts in this area of study.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Weekly homework assignments based on readings
  2. Midterm exam
  3. Final paper on Native American issues discussed in class
  4. Essay and objective final exam