Minor in Native American Studies

Native American Studies, is an interdisciplinary academic program offered as a minor and open to all students. The goal of the program is to teach students through Native perspectives, to understand Native people, their traditions, and their right to self-determination.

The program is designed around the belief that such explorations are the cornerstone of Native American Studies as an academic discipline, giving voice and credibility to the Native world views and life experiences. The program offers a curriculum that focuses on understanding how differing value systems function and developing an appreciation for Native American culture and history, including the critical issues of sovereignty and treaty rights. The presence of the Wabanaki Tribes within the State of Maine provides a tie to the history, language, and vital culture unique to this State and is a major focus of the program.

The Native American Studies Program maintains high educational standards as demonstrated by the traditional pedagogy of Native communities, as well as Western-based academic principles. It focuses on the connection between the University of Maine and Maine’s Native communities to ensure accuracy, authenticity and credibility in course offerings.


NAS Core Classes

A grade of C or better is required in these classes.

NAS 101: Introduction to Native American Studies
This course is designed to be an introductory survey course. It will examine American Indian social, philosophical, spiritual, and cultural aspects in historical and contemporary society. It is a study of Native Americans, focusing on diverse and distinct cultural areas and historical events. American Indian people from the past to the present provide the student with a different perspective on lifestyle, culture change, and history of North America. This course will introduce the student to the Native American experience, addressing various tribes/regions of the Americas. It will examine the issues and experiences of native people from a variety of perspectives, using resources produced by native people themselves as well as by non-natives who have studied Native cultures.

NAS 102: Introduction to Wabanaki Culture, History, and Contemporary Issues
Introduction to Wabanaki Culture, History, and Contemporary Issues This interdisciplinary course will provide an overview of the tribes that make up the Wabanaki Confederacy, the Penobscot, the Passamaquoddy, the Maliseet and the Micmac. It will provide a survey of the individual tribes’ history, culture, philosophy, and creation stories, as well as a brief overview of Canadian, U.S., and Maine Indian history. It examines the world view, way of life, art, and literatures in detail of the Native nations which make up the Wabanaki Confederacy, in addition to discussion about the confederacy itself and its impact. This course will discuss and explore current issues and concerns, as well as critical concepts such as sovereignty, treaty rights, and tribal government.

A class in Native American Studies at the 400 level

3 courses from the following electives: (9 credits)

  • ANT 295 – American Indians and Climate Change Credits: 3
  • ANT 372 – North American Prehistory Credits: 3
  • ANT 451 – Native American Cultures and Identities Credits: 3
  • ENG 342 – Native American Literature Credits: 3
  • HTY 220 – North American Indian History Credits: 3
  • HTY 481 – Amerindians of the Northeast: A History Credits: 3
  • NAS 201 – Topics in Native American Studies Credits: 1-3
  • NAS 202 – Wabanaki Languages I Credits: 3
  • NAS 203 – Wabanaki Language II Credits: 3
  • NAS 230 – Maine Indian History in the Twentieth Century Credits: 3
  • NAS 270 – Gender in Native American Cultures Credits: 3
  • NAS 295 – American Indians and Climate Change Credits: 3
  • NAS 298 – Directed Study in Native American Studies Credits: 1-6
  • NAS 401 – Advanced Topics in Native American Studies Credits: 3
  • NAS 498 – Directed Study in Native American Studies Credits: 1-6
  • WGS 270 – Gender in Native American Cultures Credits: 3