2008-09 Catalog

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Planning Unit

Native American and World Indigenous Peoples' Studies

Native American and World Indigenous Peoples Studies (NAWIPS) programs study the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest, the Americas and the world. The college offers on-campus interdisciplinary programs, as well as a reservation-based program that responds to the educational goals of local tribal communities. All Native American programs at Evergreen can be accessed through the NAWIPS Web site.

On-campus, yearlong coordinated study programs begin with a focus on the basic principles and concepts of the unique treaty relationship between Tribal Nations and the U.S. government. Students explore a continuum from pre-Columbian times to the global effects of colonialism and the political and cultural revitalization movements of the contemporary era, with particular attention given to the tribes of the Pacific Northwest. These programs are grounded in recognition of the vitality and diversity of contemporary Indigenous communities.

Off campus, the reservation-based program emphasizes community-determined education within the tribal communities where the classes are held. Students are encouraged to value local knowledge and its place in their academic work. Learning continues through student involvement in the activities of two of Evergreen’s public-service organizations: the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center and the Northwest Indian Applied Research Institute.

The Longhouse Education and Cultural Center represents a living, cultural link to the tribal communities of the Pacific Northwest. The purpose and philosophy of the Longhouse are centered on service and hospitality to students, the college, Indigenous communities and the community at large. The functions of the facility are to provide classroom space, house the NAWIPS programs, serve as a center for multicultural and cross-cultural interaction, and host conferences, cultural ceremonies, performances, exhibits and community gatherings. The Longhouse is one of six public service centers at Evergreen. The primary public service work of the Longhouse is to administer the Native Economic Development Arts Program (NEDAP). The program promotes education, cultural preservation and economic development for Native artists and tribes in the Pacific Northwest.

The Northwest Indian Applied Research Institute (NIARI) responds to concerns identified by tribal communities by initiating applied research around such issues as curriculum development, economic sustainability and natural resource management. The results of student-generated research are realized through workshops, conferences, community interaction and a web site. NIARI works with the tribes—if they choose—to implement those results.

In addition, a program of advanced studies in tribal government management and administration is included in the Master in Public Administration program. Students take required courses in public administration and receive 24 graduate credits in tribal government organization, policy development and intergovernmental relations.