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Home > Academics > Undergraduate > Ethnic Studies >
Ethnic Studies
Course Description

ETHS 054
American Indian History to 1900

This course is intended to provide a foundation to understand thousands of years of history of Native people in North America. The first portion of the course will involve a study of various nations across North America including their sociopolitical structure, interaction with aboriginal land bases, ontological structures, complementary social relations, and diplomatic relations. The Native peoples’ perspective on the European invasion will be studied to highlight that viewpoint.

At the core of Native North America is the subject of sovereignty. We will begin with a discussion of sovereignty as defined by American Indians, what it means in relation to international law, and how it has been selectively applied to Native people. We will also study treaty making and the foundation of federal Indian law, including the three Supreme Court decisions of the 1830s that comprise the Marshall trilogy.

Topics will also include the transformation of gender relations in Native Nations and its relation to diplomacy with European nations. Religious traditions were also transformed with the introduction of Christianity and by religious orders that founded boarding schools to “civilize” Indian children.

Required Texts (Provisional)
A Companion to American Indian History. Phillip J. Deloria, Neal Salisbury (eds.), 2004

As Long as the Grass Shall Grow and Rivers Flow: A History of Native Americans. Clifford E. Trafzer, 2000

Native Voices: American Indian Identity and Resistance, Richard Grounds, George Tinker and David Wilkins (eds.), 2003

Course Requirements
Class participation/discussion (10%)
Short literature review (5%)
Annotated bibliography (5%)
Midterm examination (20%)
Analytic Review (25%).
Final examination (35)

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Last Updated: 6/22/17