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American Indian Studies

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College of Humanities


Interdisciplinary Program

The Minor

The American Indian Studies (AIS) minor provides access to the unique cultures and the historical and contemporary experiences of sovereign Indian nations. Topics that will be examined in the interdisciplinary minor include American Indian law and policy, internal colonization, contemporary social issues, metaphysics, art, music and literature.

The program is designed to enhance the understanding and respect of First People cultures and the unique sovereign status of First Nations. Many of the courses will satisfy requirements in several majors. AIS 101 Introduction to American Indian Studies and AIS 304 American Indian Law and Policy also will meet the General Education, Comparative Cultural Studies requirement. AIS 301 First Peoples and Popular Culture meets the General Education, Lifelong Learning requirement. In addition, AIS 401 Contemporary American Indian Social Issues is a community-partnership course. The Program provides background for undergraduate or advanced study in anthropology, art, business, communication, criminology, education, English, geography, health sciences, history, language and linguistic studies, political science, pre-law, philosophy, psychology, religious studies, sociology and women’s studies and for comparative study in other ethnic study programs.


The American Indian Studies Program seeks to promote an understanding of American Indian history, cultures and tribal sovereignty with a focus on Southern California tribes, urban American Indians and other indigenous peoples in a global context. The program seeks to revise Western knowledge of the history and culture of the United States to include American Indian perspectives and contributions. It also seeks to demonstrate the relevance of American Indian perspectives to contemporary political, economic and social issues in the United States and the world.

Academic Advisement

The American Indian Studies Program helps students select the program and courses that best satisfy their individual needs and interests. Contact Scott Andrews (Coordinator) at (818) 677-6762 to schedule an appointment. The College of Humanities (COH) Student Services Center/EOP reviews students’ progress to ensure that the requirements of a minor in American Indian Studies are fulfilled. Call (818) 677-4784 or (818) 677-4767 to schedule an appointment with the COH Student Services Center/EOP.”

AIS Advisory Board

Karren Baird-Olson (Sociology/American Indian Studies), Brian Burkhart (American Indian Studies), Douglas Carranza (Central American Studies), Doris Clark (EOP Admissions & Partnership), Rosa Furumoto (Chicana/o Studies), Ogo Okoye Johnson (Pan African Studies), Sirena Pellarolo (Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures), Kathryn Sorrells (Communication Studies), Loretta Winters (Sociology)