Native Nations and Contemporary Land Use

This community based project seminar focuses on some of the major issues Native Nations, American Indian tribes, and Indigenous communities face as they seek to assert rights of self-determination in the 21st Century.  With a focus on land use, landback initiatives, and economic development opportunities, it provides in-depth, hands-on exposure to important issues faced by Native people today.  Students will work in teams and will be immersed in questions relating to self-governance, Native sovereignty, economic development, leadership, health and social welfare, land and water rights, culture and language, religious freedom, finance, budgeting, and education. In particular, the course emphasizes problem definition, collaborative/fieldwork relationships, and designing and completing a real-life project for a Tribal “client.” This course is devoted primarily to the preparation and presentation of a comprehensive research paper, memo, or report based on a semester-long investigation that will be undertaken in partnership with a Native community. Near the end of the semester, each team of students is required to make a video presentation of its near-final work, in addition to submitting a final written report, paper, or memo.