native american and indigenous studies
Focus on the vitality and diversity of Native nations and the value of indigenous knowledge. Study the effects of European-American social values and structures on Native history and contemporary life. Examine global effects of colonialism and treaty relationships between tribal nations and settler governments.
Native American and Indigenous Studies at Evergreen is an interdisciplinary field that examines the histories, cultures, politics, and contemporary experiences of Indigenous peoples in the Northwest and beyond. Founded upon visionary leadership and long-term relationships between Pacific Northwest tribes and Evergreen, programs in Native studies embrace indigenous knowledge as a field of multidisciplinary study. Faculty develop culturally relevant curriculum that strengthens the college's connection to indigenous peoples of the United States, Canada, Aotearoa, and the Pacific Rim. Classes take place both on the Olympia campus and at area tribal centers where Evergreen’s Reservation-Based Community-Determined programs are offered.
As you learn about Native studies, you will get experience combining theory with practice. Learn from indigenous Pacific Rim artists in the Longhouse’s carving studio. Explore the canoe as transportation, cultural artifact, and symbol of sovereignty and nation-building through a tribal canoe journey. Learn issues of tribal governance, economic sustainability, and self-determination from tribal leaders and policy makers.
Join us in an education that doesn’t just change your life — it gives you the tools to change the world.
Speaking Truth in 20th- and 21st-Century Indigenous Arts: Legacy, Defiance, and Agency
Offered Winter 2018–Spring 2018
In this program, we will critically examine some of the colonizing aspects of U.S./Native history, anthropology, and the tourist industry that motivated many mid-20th and early 21st-century indigenous artists to “speak truth” through paintings, sculptures, carvings, basketry, bead work, photography, prints, performance, and multimedia installations as a means of maintaining and defending Native identity and tribal sovereignty.
Through lectures, films, readings by indigenous scholars and writers, student-led seminars, guest speakers, weekly studio or research workshops, and field trips to mainstream and tribal museums, students will critically reflect on the power, meaning, and contributions of contemporary Native art, not only to indigenous people, but to the non-Native world. Students will develop skills as writers, artists, researchers, and potential allies by studying indigenous scholarship and the artworks of indigenous artists from the 20th and 21st centuries, and by developing research papers and presentations.
A truly interdisciplinary degree, Native American studies supports students in developing and strengthening quality skills in analysis, research, writing, and oral communication in their chosen fields. Many pursue graduate studies, and most work in tribal communities. Our graduates have chosen careers in tribal law, health, and government, including teaching in tribal schools, working on tribal policy, and administrative work
Facilities & Resources
“House of Welcome” Longhouse Education and Cultural Center
A gathering place for indigenous arts and cultures through education, cultural preservation, creative expression, and economic development. Participate in multicultural classes, presentations, performances, and more. Meet Native artists and visit exhibitions and art sales throughout the year, including the annual winter holiday arts and crafts fair.
Indigenous Pacific Rim artists-in-residence teach and practice in the Longhouse’s carving studio. In 2017, a new fiber arts studio will open as another step towards an Indigenous Arts Campus where the art-making facilities and the surrounding campus are based on indigenous architectural design and cultural concepts.
Discover the full range of activities at The Longhouse.
Native Pathways Program
The Native Pathways Program (NPP) promotes life-long indigenous scholarship by placing value on cultural and traditional knowledge, working with indigenous research methodologies, and expanding indigeneity through academia.
Classes take place on Indian reservations in western Washington. Students attend weekly classes at reservation sites and also attend Saturday classes at the Longhouse, where all students come together for classes, workshops, and cultural events. Explore the Native Pathways Program.
Master of Public Administration in Tribal Governance
Consider continuing your education at the only MPA tribal governance concentration in the country. We provide current and future tribal leaders with the knowledge and skills needed to work successfully in Indian Country. The degree prepares students for a wide range of jobs in tribal, federal, state, and local governments, and nonprofits. Learn more about the MPA program.
How to Choose Your Path
You’ll choose what you study to earn a Bachelor’s degree that’s meaningful to you. Some students decide their programs as they go, while others chart their course in advance.
Aim for both breadth and depth; explore fields that may be related or that may seem very distant. You'll be surprised at what you discover.
If you're new to college, look for programs where you can gain a foundation, build key skills, and broaden your knowledge (FR only, FR-SO, or FR-SR).
If you already have a foundation in this field, look for programs with intermediate or advanced material (SO-SR, JR-SR, or FR-SR). These programs may include community-based learning and in-depth research. Some of these programs have specific prerequisites; check the description for details.
Talk to an academic advisor to get help figuring out what coursework is best for you.