The Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) program reaffirms “Indigenous Peoples” as the Original Peoples of the land. NAIS centers its course work on the indigenous experiences of Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians, and First Nations Peoples.
In our Native American and Indigenous Studies program, we build on the worldviews of indigenous communities and indigenous thought. Additionally, our curriculum is grounded in understanding how historic and contemporary U.S. policies shape and impact tribal sovereignty, governance, and the ability to self-govern. Thirdly, both verbal and written skills of communication are utilized to foster an engaging classroom learning environment.
The foundational knowledge and methodologies of our Native American and Indigenous Studies program give you the skills to engage with and seek a career in tribal, state, and national levels of government and governance, in the professional fields of education, law, and heritage preservation, as well as a multitude of careers that benefit and are unique to Indigenous communities.
A minor in Native American and Indigenous Studies is available should you choose to major in another discipline.
Careers in NAIS:
Museum and Exhibit Specialists
Tribal Enterprise Departments
Organizations Who Need Quality Information and Native Understanding for Their Organizations
Our graduates have gone on to graduate school and related careers – some as an extension of our required internships.
One graduate is a coordinator of communications at a chapter house on the Navajo Reservation. Another works in a tribal enterprise at the Southern Ute reservation (double-major in NAIS and Business). Another has worked at the School for Advanced Research on the Human Experience in Santa Fe as a museum/exhibits specialist. Several are now graduate students at major universities in fields related to their NAIS BA Degree.
We expect many of our graduates to work for tribal offices, schools, and enterprises. Others will have the background and skills to work in a variety of jobs in or near indigenous communities, meaning anywhere that quality information and understanding of Native peoples are needed, in addition to skills in personal communication, understanding of policy issues, economic conditions, media issues or ways to communicate about tribal cultures in inter-ethnic environments.
We also have a minor in NAIS. The minor works well in conjunction with any major, providing both the credentials and the knowledge crucial to success in careers in or near Indian country.
Bachelor’s degrees in many disciplines are often difficult to match directly to a job description but are a fine basis for careers where certain kinds of knowledge and certain skills are needed. Part of the work of faculty members is to help students identify their career track and work in advising to get the needed background from among the choices of courses in our major.