Native American Studies Minor

Department of Interdisciplinary Studies
Office:  241 Fenton Hall

(716) 673-3861

Dr. Jeanette McVicker, Program Coordinator



Native American Studies provides an interdisciplinary focus on the historical experiences, cultural traditions and innovations, and political status of Native American peoples across the Americas. Students are particularly encouraged to consider the significance of Native Americans' prior presence on these lands. Important topics of exploration include Native American ways of living, understanding the world, and organizing their societies; courses will also examine the impact of invasion and colonization on Native America, discussions and debates about sovereignty, and the intersection of Native American and European histories and systems of knowledge.

Native American Studies emphasizes the importance of exploring and interpreting historical and contemporary events from Native American perspectives that consider the many nations’ unique history and experiences. Students completing a minor in Native American Studies will be strongly encouraged to engage with discussions and debates about how their academic knowledge relates to the lived experiences of Native American people and communities.

Native American Studies is for everyone. No matter your major or your future plans, the program will provide intellectual skills and cultural knowledge that will benefit you. As the workplace and the world become more diversified, the ability to consider different perspectives and communicate across differences becomes increasingly valuable. Native American Studies coursework will challenge students to think critically and to write persuasively and thoughtfully, pushing them to seek innovative solutions to problems which they understand to be multifaceted. Students in the program will be well-prepared for careers in human services, museum curatorship, library science, teaching, journalism, scholarship, law, health, inter-ethnic relations, and many other fields.

Minor Requirements

Students declaring a Native American Studies minor may use past courses retroactively with approval of the coordinator.  


Some courses require prerequisites.  Click on any hyperlinked course for additional information. 

Core Courses:

ETHN 202Foundations of Social Justice


ETHN 205Native American Studies


ETHN 242American Indian Literature


Total Credit Hours:9

One History course chosen from the following:

ETHN 282Pre-Columbian and Colonial Latin America


ETHN 283Latin America: Revolution & Reform


ETHN 356Native American History


ETHN 357Indians and Europeans in Early America


ETHN 35820th Century Native American Issues


Total Credit Hours:3


ENGL 331American Literary Roots


SOC 275Social Inequalities


Total Credit Hours:6


  • Any of the History courses listed above NOT taken as a core requirement may be used as an elective.

Capstone Course:

ETHN 491Social Change Capstone


Total Credit Hours:3

Total Credit Hours: 21

Students are encouraged to explore relevant Study Abroad courses to meet the elective requirements.

The Native American Studies minor falls under the umbrella of the Ethnic Studies program, which also offers minors in African American Studies, Latinx Studies, and Multi-Ethic Studies.