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Sociology of Native Americans
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Native Americans
American Indians
indigenous peoples

How to Cite

Hildebrandt, Melanie. 2015. “Sociology of Native Americans”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, February. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


This course is designed to introduce undergraduates to some of the history, cultures, and dramatic changes experienced by the indigenous populations of North America as a result of European settlement and American conquest. Using a sociological approach, the course explores the social, political, economic and cultural challenges facing contemporary...

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Subject Area(s):
Racial and Ethnic Relations
Resource Type(s):
Class Level(s):
College 300
Class Size(s):

Usage Notes

Although not ideal, this course is likely to be taught by an Anglo (white) instructor. For this reason, among others, the assigned readings are chosen not only for their scholarly value, but also because they are authored by Indigenous scholars whose points of view and interests are rooted in identity and experience. To be honest, one of several...

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Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. Compare past and present social issues (health, education, economic, environmental, etc.) faced by diverse indigenous groups in the United States.
  2. Explain how the experiences of indigenous people of North America differ from those of the colonizing and immigrant peoples and how some Native Americans perceive those experiences.
  3. Evaluate the basic principles of Federal Indian laws and policies that provide a framework for tribal sovereignty and human rights of indigenous peoples in North America.

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. Students are required to read and respond to the emic perspectives of Native American leaders and scholars from a variety of tribal identities (Mohawk, Navajo, Ojibwe, etc.) as they consider the historical and current impact of Federal Indian Policy.
  2. Assignments explore how students’ preconceived notions about Nat. Amer are shaped by dominant cultural practices. Students critically evaluate the usefulness of applying Eurocentric soc theory to the interpretation of NA struggles for self determination.
  3. Students will watch documentaries (American Outrage & Homeland), and critically evaluate policies that favor commercial mining, water, and agricultural interests over the rights of NA as articulated in the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

When using resources from TRAILS, please include a clear and legible citation.

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