Indigenous Peoples:
Identities and Social Transformations
Winter 2001 Syllabus

Kristina Ackley Lab I 1011 Ext. 6020
Angela Gilliam Seminar 4113 Ext. 6018
Carol Minugh Lab I 1023 Ext. 6025

During winter quarter, we will move from a broad study of how colonialism has impacted indigenous peoples and their identities to a more narrow focus on Native American identity and subsequent social transformations. We will build on our study of colonialism, history, and social transformations to explore the program’s central question of how these dynamics affect Native American identity. We will largely begin with a focus on the post-colonial period leading up to present day and will continually show how federal and state policies have impacted Native Americans. Through readings and guest speakers, the program will look at individual native voices and their experiences. We will also look at media representations of Native Americans in a critical way, and students will be expected to present a critique of a popular film at least once. Through group presentations and individual research, students will be expected to take a leadership role in their education. This program can be taken for 12 or 16 credits.

All Program and Seminar Schedule
9am-12pm All Program Meeting Cedar Room, Longhouse
1pm-3pm Seminar Cedar Room & Longhouse 1007
9am-11:30am All Program Meeting Cedar Room, Longhouse
10am-12pm All Program Seminar Cedar Room & Longhouse 1007

Carol Minugh: Maple Lane Workshop: Tuesdays, 12:30-3:30
Text: Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States

Angela Gilliam : Race, Class and Gender in U.S. History Workshop, Tuesdays, 1-3:30
Text: Scott L. Malcomson, One Drop of Blood: the American Misadventure of Race

Kristina Ackley: "Land and Place in Yakima Community" Workshop: Thursdays, 1-3:30
Text: Eugene S. Hunn, Nch’I-wana, "the big river": Mid-Columbia Indians and their Land


Seminar Presentation Paper: You are responsible for preparing a paper (no more than two pages) that briefly summarizes the major theme(s) of the readings, discusses your reaction to the reading, and highlights connections to other readings or class discussion. You also need to bring in three questions prompted by the reading. This is due at Monday seminar.

Seminar Facilitators: Each student will pair up with another student as seminar co-leaders for one week during the quarter. The students will be responsible for meeting to discuss ways to lead the group in a meaningful discussion of the weekly reading. You might want to highlight specific concepts or terminology that you feel should be discussed further, pose provocative questions to the group, or validate or critique an author’s arguments. This does not mean that you are expected to dominate discussion, nor does it mean that the other students do not have to participate. All students are required to bring in three questions to seminar. Sign up sheets will be available week one.

All Program

Weekly reflection writing: You are responsible for completing a weekly reflection of the past week to be contained in a journal in your portfolio. We will usually provide time to do this at either the beginning or the end of class on Thursday, unless there are presentations or guest speakers. In any case, you will be responsible for taking ten minutes to write a contemplative journal entry that discusses your reactions or questions in response to the readings, seminar, all program, guest speakers, presentation, or workshop. We will collect the journal and evaluate them week five and week ten.

Group Film Critique Presentation: You are responsible for working in a small group (3-4 students) to watch a movie from the assigned list. You will then as a group prepare a presentation for All Program in which you: briefly summarize the plot; identify significant native characters and their role in the story; do additional research to locate the movie in its broader historical, political, and social context; highlight the ways the movie reinforces or challenges assumptions about Indians; describe how it may affect a Native person’s sense of self;, and lead a discussion with your classmates. You are also responsible for completing a 4-5 page group essay that outlines some of these ideas. You will receive a separate handout discussing this and a schedule to sign up for. Presentations start week four.

Research Paper

You will complete a research paper on a topic of your choice, loosely centered on the idea of native identity and social transformations. Students who were in the fall program may continue their research with the approval of their seminar leader, or you may choose another topic entirely. You should feel free to choose a topic that interests you, and that will allow you to engage themes of the program in more depth.

First Draft Due: Tuesday, January 30 In three pages, outline your ideas about the topic. Ask yourself questions about the contrasting views of native identity and social transformations that have occurred in native communities. What is the theoretical and historical basis for these views?

Second Draft Due: Tuesday, February 13 In five pages, write an expository essay in which you: 1) Select a theme that broadly relates to native social transformations and identity; 2) Articulate a thesis; and 3) Use the literature from the prior discussions plus additional references (at least 3 sources outside class readings) to support your thesis.

Final Paper Due: Tuesday, March 6 In 12-15 pages, fully develop your paper based on the thesis developed in the second draft utilizing outside research in addition to the readings within the program.

Final Research Presentation: During week ten, you will be responsible for presenting your research (from your research paper) to your classmates in a 5 minute oral presentation. If your topic overlaps with another topic, you may join another student to cooperatively discuss your research. You will receive more information about this during the quarter.


  1. Syllabus and program handouts on requirements and program information
  2. Seminar Preparation Papers
  3. Weekly Reflection Journal Entries
  4. All drafts of Research Paper
  5. Group Film Critique Essay as well as any individual preparation
  6. Notes for facilitating seminar


Because of the nature of the program, participation in discussions is essential to your learning opportunities. If you miss more than one seminar, more than one workshop, and more than three All Program sessions, you are in danger of losing credit.

Written Work

Not meeting 3 deadlines will cause you to lose 1 credit.

Handouts (in pdf):

Student-Faculty Covenant
Final Research Presentation
Group Film Critique

Spring 2001 Preview