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.
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.
See also Path of Study Native American and Indigenous Programs
Language and Power in Indigenous Communities
Offered Winter 2019–Spring 2019
In this introductory program, we will explore the nature and structure of language, and the ways in which patterns of language use within Native communities and colonial structures have reflected history, politics, and power relationships. We will consider Northwest and North American cultures and communities. Museum trips, films, text, and discussions will help you develop a variety of skills, including historical research, linguistic analysis, and policy research and writing.
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. The Longhouse is part of a larger Indigenous Arts Campus, which includes a Carving Studio and Fiber Arts Studio.
Indigenous Pacific Rim artists-in-residence teach and practice in the Longhouse’s carving studio.
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.
Zoltan Grossman is a geographer who teaches Native American and Indigenous Studies, studying the intersections of racial/ethnic nationalism, natural resources, and militarism. His expertise includes settler colonialism and Indigenous decolonization, U.S. interracial relations, racist/white supremacist and anti-racist movements, social movements, crosscultural populist alliances, environmental and climate justice, maps and historical cartography, geopolitics and globalization, and military interventions and bases. He earned a Ph.D in geography in 2002, an M.S. in geography in 1998, and a B.A. and B.S. in history and geography in 1984, all from the University of Wisconsin.
Frances V. Rains teaches Native American studies with an emphasis on education, history, and women’s studies. Her expertise includes indigenous knowledge, decolonization, indigenous sustainability, critical race theory, and qualitative research methods. She earned a Ph.D in curriculum and instruction/curriculum theory/multicultural education-elementary education in 1995, an M.S. in elementary education/mathematics in 1987, and a B.S. in elementary education/American Indian education in 1978, all from Indiana University.
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.
|Tradition and Innovation: Northwest Coast Indigenous Digital Design||
|Exploring the Literature of Empowerment; Writers Rising Above the Subaltern||
|Culture, Community, and Cosmos||
|Medicine of Community and Place (remote/in-person*)||
|Arts, Culture, and Ecology||
|Indigenous Storytelling As Resistance||
|Introduction to Environmental Studies: Water||
|Introduction to Environmental Studies: Water||
|Conceptualizing Place: Pacific Northwest Native Art and Geographies||