First Nations Studies

First Nations Studies

TYPE: Minor
DEPARTMENT: Human Behavior, Justice and Diversity Department

LOCATION: On-Campus

General Description

The First Nations Studies program seeks to teach students about First Nations history, culture, and tribal sovereignty, and to foster communication and cooperation among people in our region. The program strives to educate others about the diverse and rich body of scholarship, experiences, and perspectives that make up the field of Native American and Indigenous Studies and to facilitate access for Indigenous people to higher education.

Specific areas covered include: tribal sovereignty and self-determination; the histories of First Nations in Wisconsin and the United States; Ojibwe language, First Nations art, literature, and film; global Indigenous histories; and contemporary issues in First Nations society.

Program Outcomes

Learning objectives focus on preparing students for work in a variety fields that require global awareness and intercultural fluency through:

  • Academic service-learning projects that incorporate hands-on learning, skills building, and partnerships with tribal organizations and local community members
  • Accessing and developing an understanding of Indigenous perspectives
  • Building a sense of responsibility and work ethic through teaching, research, and learning processes that benefit First Nations communities
  • Thinking critically about historical injustices towards Indigenous people, settler colonialism, and racism and how it structures our society and relationships with one another

Career Opportunities

Students who have taken course work in First Nations Studies apply their experiences and skills to careers in a variety of areas, such as:

  • Education (many states now require that teachers incorporate Native American history, culture, and tribal sovereignty into their curriculum)
  • Federal, state, and tribal organizations
  • Environmental organizations and the state and national park systems
  • Health and social services
  • Law and politics
  • Graduate study in fields such as history, anthropology, language, literature, American studies, museum studies, and library science

Complimentary Majors

A minor in First Nations Studies compliments many majors. Majors and areas of study that pair especially well with First Nations Studies include:

  • Environmental Science
  • Sustainable Management
  • Education
  • Public Health
  • Social Work
  • Legal Studies
  • History
  • Public Leadership and Innovation
  • Fine and Applied Arts
  • Interdisciplinary Studies

Did You Know?

  • The First Nations Center (FNC) is a gathering place and resource center that fosters visibility, awareness, and leadership through intercultural learning, exchange, and support with an emphasis around First Nations and Indigenous lifeways , experiences, and perspectives.
  • The Maawanji’idiwin – The Place Where We Come Together - Medicine Wheel located in the UWS courtyard near the Yellowjacket Union is the first of its kind at any four-year college campus in the area. It was created to recognize and honor Ojibwe people, whose land UWS inhabits, and to provide a cultural and educational gathering space for all.

First Nations Studies Links

First Nations Studies News

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