The Department of Native American Studies is an independent academic department, where students are prepared for careers and advanced study in which collaboration with native communities plays a vital role. Students are provided with quality instruction utilizing interdisciplinary, research and public service curriculum that foregrounds Native American epistemologies and knowledges. Our students gain skills in and are challenged to think creatively, logically, and critically with regard to literature, art, history, law, environment and politics. This prepares them to go out into the world with a knowledge of Native American issues that will make them assets to the communities in which they work and live.
Native American Studies maintains the core position that cultural, spiritual and educational growth are inseparable. With that in mind, we are committed to guiding students toward becoming productive and socially responsible individuals. To achieve this the program curriculum fosters diversity, social justice and cultural democracy with a commitment to scholarly rigor, theoretical clarity, and critical/creative pedagogy, all while recognizing our responsibility to indigenous communities.
Unique among the CSU campuses in its close proximity to 11 federally recognized tribes and the largest population of Native Americans in the state of California, Cal Poly Humboldt provides a rich environment for studying federal Indian law, tribal government and justice systems, natural resource management, linguistics and culture. Faculty in the Department of Native American Studies are experts in the areas of arts, humanities, linguistics, social sciences, natural resources and federal Indian law.
The major in Native American Studies, particularly when combined with a minor in a specific field, is good preparation for graduate work in several social sciences, as well as for professional training in law, business, or social work. It also provides an excellent background for prospective teachers.
Other career opportunities: student services counselor, mental health worker, cultural resources specialist, tribal museum curator, Indian language teacher, and tribal administrator.
We recommend that students take writing, literature and social science courses (history, psychology, sociology) in high school to prepare for this major.
Community college students should take introductory courses in Native American Studies and courses that meet lower division general education requirements.