Reservation-Based, Community-Determined Program: Contemporary Indian Communities in a Global Society (Quinault)

Fall 2016
Winter 2017
Spring 2017
Evening and Weekend
Class Size: 12
Credits per quarter

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This program's overall theme prepares students to understand the structural inequalities of wealth and economic development. Students will examine social problems in Native communities through multiple methods and perspectives and grow to understand the impacts of social and political movements, both past and present, by comparing Indigenous societies in the world. Each quarter, a nine-credit upper-division interdisciplinary sub-theme will be taught as part of the curriculum for the Reservation-Based, Community-Determined (RBCD) Program.

The fall 2016 sub-theme, Indigenous Pathways to Rich and Thriving Communities, will explore contemporary economic development issues in tribal communities. Students will examine the field of community and economic development, explore the values, vision, and principles that guide community and economic development efforts, the process of development, and change strategies such as asset building and community organizing. Students will address critical issues such as poverty, racism, and disinvestment and investigate challenges facing tribal communities. Students will explore political aspects of tribal sovereignty and continued development of self-governance as the basis for tribal community and economic development, self-determination, and community sustainability, all with a focus toward promoting, advocating for, and understanding economic development in Indian Country.  

The sub-theme for winter 2017 is Building Healthy Communities . Students will examine the field of social problems and policies while exploring the values, vision, and principles that guide efforts to identify and resolve social problems. They will study challenges to tribal communities, the process of building healthy communities and change strategies including community organizing and community empowerment. This component will explore the political aspects of tribal sovereignty and continued development of self-governance, as the basis for tribal community building and self-determination in Indian Country.

The sub-theme for spring 2017 is Comparing Indigenous Societies through Social and Political Movements, which uses a variety of methods, materials, and approaches to interpret, analyze, evaluate, and synthesize the impact of indigenous peoples’ history and politics on 21st century indigenous societies. Students will focus on movements and activism that changed Indigenous societies at various levels of the social/political landscape from local to international. Students will conduct research, debate, discuss, and analyze various aspects of Native American activism that altered or revised a community. Students will gain an understanding of ways in which diverse cultural, religious sociological, linguistic, ideological, historical, and communication factors play a role in Indigenous social movements throughout the world, and how efforts to promote human relations, international consciousness, and interconnectedness of Indigenous peoples can result in positive changes in the lives of Indigenous people everywhere.

Students will attend four, daylong upper-division Saturday classes at the Longhouse on the Evergreen Olympia campus each quarter. During the year, students will attend a total of three, two-credit classes in morning sessions. In the afternoon sessions, students will attend Battlegrounds, a one-credit class based on original case studies about contemporary issues in Indian Country.

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

public administration, political science, social sciences, human services, education, law and tribal administration, and government.


Credits per quarter


This program is designed for students with strong social, cultural or economic ties to local tribal communities. To be formally admitted to the RBCD Program, prospective students must meet the following criteria:

  • Complete or be close to 90 transferable college credits or a transferable associate degree .
  • Complete an intake packet . To obtain the packet, contact
Online learning:
  • Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.
Internship Opportunities:

Internships are encouraged. Students must complete an in-program Internship Learning Contract in consultation with the faculty and Academic Advising. Please go to Individual Study for more information.

Class Standing: Junior–Senior
Class Size: 12

Scheduled for: Evening and Weekend

Advertised schedule:

Students attend classes at tribal sites and four Saturdays per quarter at the Longhouse


Located in: Tribal

May be offered again in:

The RBCD program is offered every year. This theme will repeat in 2019-20.