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NAS 204 Native American Experience 4 cr.
  • Offered: Fall Winter Summer
A study of the development of Native American history, culture, attitudes and issues from the prehistoric era to the contemporary scene, focusing on native culture in the Great Lakes region. Shared native world view, contact experience and native peoples’ contributions to world culture are an important part of the course.
NAS 207 Beautiful Walks on Turtle Island: Seasonal Experience Anishinaabe Language 4 cr.
  • Offered: Fall Winter Summer

The skills necessary for speaking Anishinaabe through experiential opportunities, cultural outdoor activities as well as classroom activity and group work during fall, winter or spring experiences that emphasize indigenous traditional knowledge.


May be repeated once for each season. 207a – fall, 207b – winter, 207c –spring.

NAS 212 Michigan & Wisconsin Tribal Relations 4 cr.
  • Offered: Fall Winter of odd years and occasionally summer

An examination of the twenty-three federally recognized tribes of Michigan and Wisconsin and how treaties with the federal government shaped their history and contemporary political make-up. Treaty rights, sovereignty, urban communities and tribal enterprises will also be explored.

NAS 224 Native American Beadwork Styles 4 cr.
  • Offered: Winter

An introductionto Native American beadwork styles from various regions and time periods. The course blends reading and lecture with practical application of Native American beadwork. Content includes American Indian arts and crafts law.  

NAS 280 Storytelling by Native American Women 4 cr.
  • Offered: Winter
This course examines a myriad of historic and contemporary aspects of native life through the eyes and stories of Native American women. Subjects include customs, culture, family, generations, mothers, daughters, grandmothers, art, education, fiction, poetry, political activism and spirituality.
NAS 288 The Politics of Indian Gaming 4 cr.
  • Offered: Winter
Students will gain insight into contemporary issues surrounding the laws and politics of Indian gaming. It is designed to introduce students to the complexity of inter/intra-governmental relationships that bring together tribal governments and other external governments (i.e. local, state, federal and international).
NAS 298 Directed Study in Native American Studies 1-4 cr.
  • Offered: On demand
Students are able to pursue further study in an area of interest under the direction of the director of the Center for Native American Studies or a Native American Studies faculty member. Prior to taking this course, students must have completed NAS 204. Notes: All directed studies must be pre-approved.
NAS 301 The Good Life: Anishinaabemowin and Creative Cultural Expression 4 cr.  (4-0-0)
  • Offered: Fall
  • Prerequisites: NAS 101.

This course builds on the grammar, linguistic mechanics, vocabulary and cultural knowledge introduced in NAS 101. Where possible, the course will use ​Anishinaabemowin ​replacement terminology for linguistic concepts. This course will look at more advanced concepts of culture such as ancestral governance, narrative, health systems, decolonization and renewal of ancestral culture in contemporary contexts.

NAS 310 Tribal Law and Government 4 cr.
  • Offered: Fall Winter
  • Prerequisites: EN 211 with a grade of "C" or better or HON 101 and HON 111 and sophomore standing.

A focus on the relationship between American Indian tribes, the federal government and states. Emphasis is placed on examining the current state of tribal governments and tribal citizens within the State of Michigan. Students will examine the U.S. Constitution, treaties and tribals [tribes], federal and state laws and court cases.

NAS 315 History of Indian Boarding School Education 4 cr.
  • Offered: Winter

The history of the initiation, development, alteration and demise of the federally mandated Indian boarding school education experience in the U.S. and Canada. Intergenerational and contemporary repercussions, both positive and negative, within indigenous societies are considered.

NAS 320 American Indians: Identity and Media Images 4 cr.
  • Offered: Fall alternate years

An analysis of the identity and images of American Indians portrayed within the historic and contemporary media. Perpetuation of stereotypes and appropriate or distorted cultural images, symbols, beliefs, stories and contributions by native people to the media will be explored.

NAS 330 Native Cultures and the Dynamics of Religious Experience 4 cr.
  • Offered: Winter
An examination of the traditional philosophies of the native peoples in the Great Lakes region as well as an exploration of how Christianity has influenced native peoples and communities. Students will learn about the historical impacts, positive and negative, that organized religion has had on Indian country.
NAS 340 Kinomaage: Earth Shows Us the Way 4 cr.
  • Offered: Summer

Kinomaage, when translated, is "Earth shows us the way." Students will examine various plants of the Northwoods that have been traditionally used by the Anishinaabeg. Students will also examine the close relationship between Anishinaabeg [Anishinaabe] peoples, culture and the Earth while comparing that relationship to modern day society's view of the environment.

NAS 342 Indigenous Environmental Movements 4 cr.
  • Offered: Winter
An exploration of the historical and cultural foundations of the paradigms that led to the ecological exploitation of Indigenous lands. Students will examine how Indigenous cultures today are resisting domination and working to regain, protect and nurture their lands, the planet and their ways of life.
NAS 404 Research and Engagement in Native American Studies 4 cr.  (4-0-0)
  • Offered: Fall
  • Prerequisites: NAS 204 and NAS 310.

Indigenous critical analysis is rooted in place-based First Nations/Native American/Indigenous belief systems focusing on the interconnectedness of communities and culture, and confronts historic and contemporary acts of colonialism that has led to systematic marginalization. This course will explore Indigenous critical thought and Indigenous critical theory as independent and necessary scholarship through varied texts.

NAS 414 First Nations Women 4 cr.
  • Offered: Contact Department

Focus on issues, topics affecting first nations women of yesterday and today. Notable first nations women will be explored along with multiple concepts including: relationships within tribal communities, spiritual health and survival of tribal nations.  

NAS 422 Native American Humor: Laughter as Medicine 2 cr.  (2-0-0)
  • Offered: Contact department
  • Prerequisites: Junior standing, or instructor permission.

Through films, poems, lyrics, plays, political cartoons, memoirs, short stories, and emerging media, this course examines why humor is considered medicine and serves as a vital component of cultural expression to Indigenous peoples of North America. Native American humor naturally plays around a number of other important topics which you will re-encounter: topics such as images, logos, and stereotypes, along with opinions about gender and its roles, contemporary popular culture, and traditional oral narratives. 

NAS 440 Awesiinh: Wild Animal Relations 4 cr.  (4-0-0)
  • Offered: Contact Department
  • Prerequisites: Junior standing, or instructor permission.

Anishinaabe teachings tell us it was from Ma’iingan (Wolf) that humanity learned of our close relationship to the planet and other species. NAS 440 draws on this teaching to explore the lifeways, cultures, and perspectives of the Animal Nations through advanced forest immersion as well as the study of Native cultural expressions and various forms of traditional Indigenous science including Traditional Ecological Knowledge. According to Indigenous science, our animal relations are some of humanity’s greatest teachers. Rather than classifying the Animal Nations into categories of what they are, this course engages students in an experiential-based inquiry as to who are these beings we call our animal relations.


Recommended Prerequisites: NAS 101, NAS 201, NAS 340 or NAS 342.

NAS 484 Native American Inclusion in the Classroom 4 cr.
  • Offered: Fall

This course will challenge students’ preconceptions of what Native American inclusion means and provide methods and materials that will help them meet state standards while effectively including Native American cultural concepts across the curriculum. Emphasis is on State of Michigan standards and Anishinaabe language and cultural concepts.

NAS 485 Native American Education 4 cr.
  • Offered: Winter

Students will explore significant Native American education policy from pre-colonial times to the present day. Students will investigate treaties with educational provisions, current U.S. federal Indian education law; standards-based reform and Native American inclusion. Through online chat rooms, students will discuss these issues with individuals from different parts of the world.