American Indian Studies

  • Colorful illustration of indian painting on a wall
  • Students Holding up a blanket

American Indian Studies

Welcome to American Indian Studies

Traditional Indian Dancer
The interdisciplinary minor in American Indian Studies offers courses in contemporary and historical cultures of First Nations. Topics that are examined include American Indian contemporary social issues, American Indian law and policy, literature, music, art, and spirituality. The Program is designed to enhance the understanding and appreciation of American Indian cultures and the unique sovereign status of First People nations. Many of the courses satisfy requirements in several majors and AIS 101: Introduction to American Indian Studies and AIS 301: First Peoples and Popular Culture will meet General Education requirements.

In addition, the Program provides background for undergraduate or advanced study in anthropology, art, business, criminology, education, English, geography, health sciences, history, political science, prelaw, psychology, religious studies, sociology, and women's studies and for comparative study in other ethnic study programs.

Mission Statement:

The American Indian Studies Program promotes an understanding of American Indian history, cultures, and tribal sovereignty with a focus on Southern California tribes, 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.  The program seeks to demonstrate the relevance of American Indian perspectives to contemporary political, economic, and social issues in the United States and the globe.