Program: Minor in American Indian Studies

Program Description

The minor in American Indian Studies (AIS) is intended to impart knowledge of the diverse cultures and histories of the Indigenous peoples of the United States. Students can learn of the many challenges overcome by American Indian communities, including those in Los Angeles, and gain an appreciation of the many accomplishments of American Indian activists, spiritual leaders, artists, writers, and scholars. The minor emphasizes the importance of tribal sovereignty in the face of continued settler colonial practices in the United States.

Many AIS courses satisfy requirements in several majors and in General Education. AIS 101 Introduction to American Indian Studies, AIS 304 American Indian Law and Policy and AIS 333 American Indian Philosophy will meet the General Education, Comparative Cultural Studies requirement. AIS 210 Thinking About Knowing will meet the General Education, Critical Thinking requirement. AIS 222 Gender, Sexuality, and American Indian Communities will meet the General Education, Social Sciences requirement. AIS 250 American Indians and U.S. History will meet the General Education, U.S. History requirement. AIS 301 American Indians and Popular Culture will meet the General Education, Humanities or Lifelong Learning requirement. AIS 318 American Indian Literature will meet the General Education, Humanities or Comparative Cultural Studies 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, women’s studies and comparative study in other ethnic study programs.


American Indian Studies Program
Director: Teresa Williams León
Jerome Richfield (JR) 219
(818) 677-2736

Program Learning Outcomes

Students receiving a minor in American Indian Studies will be able to:

  1. Explain critical concepts in American Indian Studies, including tribal sovereignty, settler colonialism, kinship epistemology, relational accountability and decolonization.
  2. Apply critical concepts in American Indian Studies to understand past and current events involving American Indian communities.
  3. Describe contemporary challenges facing American Indian communities, including food security/sovereignty, educational equity, environmental justice, treaty rights and other movements in self-determination.
  4. Analyze cultural expressions by or about American Indians, including literature, art and film.
  5. Demonstrate active engagement with California Native communities.