Salish Sea Cultures
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This is a 12-credit component of the program Maritime Cultures of Northwest Washington . Students interested in registering for this should register for the appropriate 12-credit section of Maritime Cultures .
On and off the water we will study the relationship between the maritime cultures of northwest Washington and their marine environment. Through visual arts, story, film and poetry as well as seminar readings we will study the histories, identities, economies and challenges of lives defined and dependent upon our regional inland waters, the Salish Sea.
We will visit and hear from several indigenous and non-indigenous maritime communities, people at the forefront of both the exploitation and the defense of the waters, and those who are often the first to feel the effects of the destruction of the marine habitat and resources. Several half-day field trips will focus on observing local waters. An all-day trip will provide cultural, historical and environmental background on the Nisqually River and the Billy Frank Jr. National Wildlife Refuge and estuary, as well as an extended trail walk to observe the wildlife and the delta. An all-day field trip to Seattle will introduce two urban maritime communities at the Duwamish Longhouse and the Northwest Seaport on Lake Union. Each student will also spend two days with a local native community learning about and participating in cultural practices including a canoe paddle.
In each visit and in our readings and writing at home we will explore how regional maritime communities understand their relationship and responsibility to the Salish Sea. We will explore our personal and collective connections and commitments to the Salish Sea and marine environments through an environment-centered art project, the study of native art and its environmental symbolism, and the study of various literary representations of the region and its maritime communities.
This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:
literary studies, Native American studies, environmental policy, and cultural studies
Class Size: 24
25% Reserved for Freshmen
Scheduled for: Day
Located in: Olympia