Academic Catalog

ETHN 4: INTRODUCTION TO NATIVE AMERICAN STUDIES

Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2022
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area VI: United States Cultures & Communities, Area I: Humanities
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Description

An introduction to interdisciplinary ethnic studies examining the history, culture, politics, issues, and contemporary experience of Native peoples using a hemispheric approach incorporating experiences of all the Americas and Polynesia. Specific attention to Native racialization, diverse ethnicities, and identities; and to decolonizing methodologies that have erased or misrepresented Native people in scholarship and cultural history. Emphasizes indigenous ways of knowing and being, including storytelling and traditional environmental knowledge, and explores applications to the sustainability of indigenous communities in the 21st century.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Analyze the complex histories, politics, legal and social issues confronting indigenous peoples within the contexts of race, Native racialization, ethnicities, and identities; U.S. colonization, imperialism, white supremacy, Eurocentrism, and globalization. Student will understand race and ethnicity as social constructs, emphasizing the resiliency of indigenous peoples as equal partners with self-determination, avoiding the simplistic and reductive tropes of victimhood, passivity, and other "problem-oriented" depictions of Native Peoples.
  2. Analyze, using relevant theory, the framing of identities within indigenous communities, including populations in North America (the U.S., Canada, and Mexico), Central America, South America, and Polynesia. Emphasis on how indigenous theory and indigenous intellectual traditions have redefined Native peoples' scholarship, demonstrating understanding of connections to Native American issues.
  3. Evaluate and analyze with theory Native identities as those intersect with gender and sexuality, socioeconomic class, religion and spirituality, age, ability, and other positionalities of marginalization.
  4. Critically examine the ways in which traditional fields such as history, anthropology, archaeology, literature, and the arts have generated narratives of disappearance and invisibility, explaining how indigenous knowledge, histories, material and nonmaterial culture, and landscapes can be critically decolonized.
  5. Analyze and demonstrate understanding of the ways in which "helping" indigenous communities requires a thorough consideration of the ethics of service.
  6. Examine Native movements in relation to environmental considerations.
  7. Demonstrate information literacy within the contexts of Native American Studies.

Course Content

  1. Analysis of complex histories, politics, legal and social issues confronting indigenous peoples in the contexts of race, Native racialization, ethnicities, and identities; U.S. colonization, imperialism, white supremacy, Eurocentrism, and globalization, emphasizing indigenous peoples as equal partners with self-determination, avoiding the simplistic and reductive tropes of victimhood, passivity
    1. Differentiation between race and ethnicity, understanding of the power dynamics of racialization within Native American contexts
    2. Knowledge of and sensitivity for Native Americans' way of life, both now and prior to European contact
      1. Diversity of Native American cultures
      2. Technological achievements
      3. Adaptations to the diverse environments of North America
      4. Historical experiences and contemporary issues in the larger Western Hemisphere as well as the U.S.
    3. Colonial policies and objectives developed by Europeans and how those policies led to different outcomes in different territories
      1. Land and labor acquisition
      2. Christian conversion
      3. White supremacy
      4. Removal policies, such as those of the 1830s, including how the canons of construction outlined by the Marshall court in the 1830s defined tribes as domestic dependent nations
      5. Treaty rights and violations
      6. "Civilization" policies
      7. Institutions of missions and rancheria/institutionalized violence
      8. Reservation policies
      9. Termination policies
      10. Confronting military institution
      11. Indian child welfare policies
      12. Boarding school policies
      13. Sterilization policies
    4. Political and legal strategies used by Native peoples to confront the historical legacies of dispossession, genocide, social inequity, and discrimination
      1. Land rights and resistance to colonialism
      2. Indians' use of legal institutions
      3. Indian citizenship and conflict between tribes and State
      4. Political self determination and indigenous political structures, e.g., Iroquois Confederacy; historical development of tribal governments and their current functions
      5. Education policies and Native Scholars
      6. Women's rights movements, including awareness of murdered and missing indigenous women
      7. Native American grave protection and repatriation policies
      8. Casino policies in the United States
      9. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (DRIP) (UN 2007)
  2. Theory-based analysis of identities within indigenous communities, including populations in North America (the U.S., Canada, and Mexico), Central America, South America, and Polynesia; emphasis on Native theory and intellectual tradition
    1. Academic theories of race and racialization (e.g., critical race theory, postcolonial theories, Orientalism, intersectionality)
    2. Native theory and scholarship
      1. Familiarity with research trends and new directions in Native American Studies
      2. Clear and effective writing about the experiences of Native American peoples
    3. The evolution of tribal citizenship as a specific category of personhood within the United States and how this racial/ethnic identity differs from that of other communities of color
    4. How indigenous people identify and organize themselves, such as tribal identification, intertribal identities and organizations, and globally (the Fourth World concept)
    5. Tribal sovereignty and Sovereign Nations
    6. Cultural diversity of Native Americans
    7. Indigenous migrants
    8. Inter- and intra-group conflicts
    9. Native ancestry and federally recognized Indians
    10. Institution of family
  3. Native identities and intersectionality
    1. Theories of gender identity and sexual orientation
    2. Socioeconomic class, Marxian theories
    3. Religion and spirituality
    4. Ableism and ageism
  4. Decolonization of indigenous narratives by history, anthropology, archaeology, literature, and the arts through Native cultural narratives and artifacts
    1. Stereotypes about Native Americans and how and why these images became popular over the years
    2. Narratives of indigenous empowerment in the context of colonial domination as a counterpoint to traditional colonial narratives
    3. Connections between Native creative expression and contemporary Native American issues
      1. Literature
      2. Music
      3. Visual arts
      4. Modern indigenous political art movement, such as rap and dance
      5. Sacred Sites
      6. Indigenous languages and their preservation
      7. Religious, spiritual, philosophical practices, such as the Ghost Dance
  5. Service learning and ethics
    1. Explore and demonstrate contributions to the sustainability of indigenous communities in the 21st century by using a "curriculum to community" approach, applying ideologies of Native movements and ways of knowing for the benefit of indigenous communities within the U.S. and abroad
    2. Experiential knowledge through community service learning defined by communities rather than by the researcher's own interest
    3. Application of anti-racist principles within these ethical contexts
  6. Environmental considerations
    1. Cultural resource management, such as land and water care, deforestation
    2. Climate change
    3. Sustainable agriculture
    4. Foodways, e.g., Native seeds and food protection movements, decolonizing diet
    5. Water rights and fish kill
    6. Mining and fracking
    7. Nuclear waste
    8. Protection of Sacred Sites movements
    9. Geographical/regional land resources and movements, e.g., Mauna Kea protests
  7. Information literacy
    1. Knowledge of qualitative research methods
    2. The ability to analyze and interpret data and sources, e.g., census data, government documents, policy statements, and court cases (information literacy)
    3. Demonstrate the ability to develop conclusions from multiple sources

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. When taught on campus, no special facility or equipment needed
2. When taught virtually, ongoing access to computer, internet, and email

Method(s) of Evaluation

Critical papers
Class presentations
Reading journals
Midterm examination
Final examination
Social justice/service learning project

Method(s) of Instruction

Readings of multidisciplinary texts from fields including history, social and political sciences, literature, cultural studies
Viewing and analyzing various media regarding contemporary issues
Viewing/observing/hearing cultural artifacts, including art, performance, film, theater, music
Class discussion on relevant topics
Writing analytical responses to course materials
Actively engaging in social justice/service learning
Guest speakers
Field observation and field trips
Collaborative learning and small group exercises
Discussion of course topics and videos in relation to real life examples drawn from students' experiences and observations

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

De Leon, Jason. The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail. 2015.

Gilio-Whitaker, Dina. As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock. 2019.

Lebo, 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.

Roberts, David. The Pueblo Revolt. 2005.

Texts listed older than five years are awaiting new editions; however, information in these older editions is current.

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

  1. Reading multidisciplinary texts from fields including history, social and political sciences, literature, cultural studies
  2. Viewing and analysis, including information literacy and media regarding communities and narratives
  3. Attending theater, film, or musical performances, or museums, and responding in writing
  4. Analytical essays on readings
  5. Journal entries
  6. Social justice/service learning project (e.g., Foothill Research and Service Learning Symposium)
  7. Group projects
  8. Reflective essays on personal experiences or interviews

Discipline(s)

Ethnic Studies