Native American and Indigenous Studies (Minor)

Native American and Indigenous Studies (Minor)

student and Indigenous community leaders presenting

UNH land acknowldgement

As we all journey on the trail of life, we wish to acknowledge the spiritual and physical connection the Pennacook, Abenaki and Wabanaki Peoples have maintained to N’dakinna (homeland) and the aki (land), nibi (water), lolakwikak (flora) and awaasak (fauna) that the University of New Hampshire community is honored to steward today. We also acknowledge the hardships they continue to endure after the loss of unceded homelands and champion the university’s responsibility to foster relationships and opportunities that strengthen the well-being of the Indigenous People who carry forward the traditions of their ancestors.

What is Native American and Indigenous studies?

Learn about the complex and diverse cultures and histories of Indigenous communities locally, nationally and globally. This interdisciplinary program draws from a range of fields, from anthropology and geography to English and history, to provide varied perspectives on issues such as colonialism, diaspora, social movements, politics and policy. You’ll learn academic theories and how they translate into practical applications. You’ll acquire skills and qualifications for graduate study and employment including work with Tribal and Indigenous leaders and officials, public health practitioners and administrators, and with institutions that require sensitivity to Indigenous issues, such as museums and other public institutions.

Why study Native American and Indigenous studies at UNH?

UNH is located on the traditional lands and waterways of the Abenaki, Pennacook and Wabanaki Peoples, past and present, who have ongoing cultural and spiritual connections to the area. UNH faculty in the Native American and Indigenous studies program are actively engaged in ongoing efforts to build an enduring relationship between the university and local Indigenous communities in New Hampshire, the United States and elsewhere in the world. Related opportunities for internships, field work and independent research are plentiful, including work with the Indigenous New Hampshire Collaborative Collective and through the many available UNH study abroad programs.

Potential career areas

  • Arts
  • Business
  • Education
  • Federal agencies and services
  • Government and law
  • Healthcare
  • Museums
  • Nonprofits and advocacy
  • Sciences

Curriculum & Requirements

As an interdisciplinary minor, Native American and Indigenous studies (NAIS) offers a broad understanding of the history, lands, culture, literature, language and artistic expression, science and technology, race and identity, and social organization and political statuses of Native American and Indigenous peoples within and beyond North America. The minor provides an introduction to Indigenous values and a basis for understanding broad Indigenous issues.

NAIS complements a range of majors, including anthropology, English, history, political science, health and human services, music, psychology, biology, botany, natural resources and sustainability. The UNH Education Abroad program offers a variety of opportunities to UNH students to explore the NAIS minor overseas.  

The minor will help students acquire the necessary skills and qualifications for a variety of graduate study and employment opportunities and enhance competitiveness for federal scholarships and programs, such as the Peace Corps, Teach for America or the National Parks Service. Students with NAIS training will be prepared for work with Tribal and Indigenous leaders and officials, public health practitioners and administrators, and/or working with institutions that require employees with cultural and historical sensitivity to Indigenous issues, such as museums or other public institutions. NAIS graduates may also go on to careers with organizations with Indigenous interests in the areas of education, business, arts, government and law, nonprofit and advocacy, and healthcare and science (e.g., the Native American Rights Fund, Native American Arts Council, American Indian Science and Engineering Society).

20 credits (5 courses) are required for the minor. Students must receive a grade of C or better in each course in order for the course to count toward the minor requirements.

Choose one of the following two options to complete the minor requirements.

Option 1
NAIS 400Introduction to Native American and Indigenous Studies 14
4 elective courses chosen from the list of approved courses below16
Total Credits20
Option 2
NAIS 400Introduction to Native American and Indigenous Studies 14
3 elective courses chosen from the list of approved electives below 212
1 credit-bearing internship (ANTH 700 or other approved internship)4
Total Credits20

Approved Electives

ANTH 500Peoples and Cultures of the World (A: North America and B: Latin America)4
ANTH 501World Archaeological Cultures (B: Mesoamerica)4
ANTH 513Ethnographic Methods4
ANTH 700Internship1-4
ANTH 785The Anthropology of Dreams and Dreaming4
BIOL 408Plants and Civilization4
ENGL 440AOn Race in Culture and Society4
ENGL #444GEthnic America: Readings in African American, Asian American, NativeAmerican and Latino/a Literature4
ENGL 550Introduction to the Literature and Culture of Race4
ENGL 729Special Topics in Composition Studies (on an approved topic)4
ENGL 739American Indian Literature4
HIST 405History of Early America4
HIST 511History of New Hampshire4
HIST 532Modern Latin America4
HIST 603European Conquest of North America4
HIST 632Latin American History: Topics4
MUSI 515Music in World Cultures4
NR 660Ecology and Biogeography of New Zealand5
PSYC 581Child Development4

NAIS UNH-Approved Study Abroad Programs

Thailand-TEAN-Chang Mai; CIEE Khon Kaeo

USAC-Southwest Minzu University (Southwest Universities for Nationalities). Among the courses offered:

  • Buddhism and Culture (ANTH/SOC)
  • Tibetan Culture and Society (ANTH/SOC
  • Guizhou Field Study (ANTH/WLL, 200-level, l credit)

Morocco - IES & CIEE. Courses offered:

  • Gender and Society in North Africa and Beyond
  • North African Cultural Identities
  • Internship/Social Action Seminar
  • Islam In Morocco And North Africa (English-taught)
  • Arab Media and Issues of Politics and Culture

New Zealand - Otago. Courses offered:

  • Maori Studies

Peru - SIT: Indigenous Peoples and Globalization. Courses offered:

  • History of Indigenous Cultures in Peru
  • Indigenous Peoples in Motion: Changes, Resistance, and Globalization
  • Quechua
  • Research Methods and Ethics
  • Independent Study Project

Senegal -CIEE. Courses offered:

  • Contemporary Senegalese Society and Culture
  • Intercultural Communication and Leadership (English)
  • Environment and Development in Senegal and Sub-Saharan Africa (English)
  • Public Health Issues and Challenges in West Africa

Tanzania-CIEE. Courses offered:

  • Kiswahili
  • Field Research Seminar
  • Pre-History, Myths, Legends, and Beliefs of East Africa
  • Contemporary Educational Issues in East Africa
  • Gender and Development
  • History of East Africa
  • Poverty Analysis for Socio-economic Development

Bhutan -API at Royal Thimphu College with internship. Courses offered:

  • Anthropology of the Himalayas
  • Ethnography of Bhutan
  • Anthropology of Identity
  • Anthropology of Gender
  • Kinship and Family
  • ASC201: Anthropology of Globalization
  • ASC301: Anthropology of Development
  • ASC303: Applied Anthropology
  • ASC304: Contemporary Issues in Anthropology
  • ATH101: Ecological Anthropology
  • ATH102: Medical Anthropology
  • ATH203: History and Theory of Anthropology
  • ATH204: Political Anthropology
  • ATH305: Anthropology of Religion and Rituals

Program Details

NAIS 400 is the one required course for UNH’s interdisciplinary minor in Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS). This course is a great opportunity to get an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS), by exploring the complexity and diversity of Indigenous experiences and heritage. This course cultivates a broad understanding of the history, lands, culture, literature, language and artistic expression, science and technology, race and identity, and social organization and political statuses of Native American and Indigenous peoples, emphasizing Native peoples’ self-determination, sovereignty and survivance. Students will learn about significant events and issues from Indigenous perspectives and develop new ways of thinking about Native peoples. They will confront some existing stereotypes about Indingeous peoples and think critically and creatively about social and conciliatory justice and community building. 

Course units include Indigenous Identities, Indigenous Ways of Knowing, Surviving and Survivance, Tribal Justice, Museums and Media, and Indigenous New Hampshire. These units build on one another to expose students to different approaches to Native American and Indigenous studies, including readings and materials from fields of anthropology, literature, museum studies, science, law, geography, math and sustainability. The syllabus emphasizes the work of Indigenous scholars and thinkers, including Devon Mihesuah (Choctaw), Eva Marie Garroutte (Cherokee), Linda Tuhiwai Smith (Ngāti Awa and Ngāti Porou), Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne and Muscogee) and Krystal Tsosie (Diné). If you are interested in any of these subjects, join us on this journey of learning, discovery, learning about responsibility and much needed reconciliation in our communities!

Assignments include Current Events presentations; a Mythbuster writing assignment that breaks down stereotypes and misconceptions; an Advocacy assignment that challenges students to address a modern issue of Tribal Justice; discussion groups of the novel "The Round House" by Louise Erdrich (Chippewa); a Critical Media Review of a recent novel, movie or museum exhibit; and a final project related to the Indigenous history and culture of New Hampshire.

We are looking forward to having you in the class! 

ANTH 513

Ethnographic Methods

Svetlana Peshkova

ANTH 700

Indigenous New Hampshire Internship 

Martin / Peshkova

ANTH 785

Dreams and Dreaming

Robin Sheriff

ENGL 650

Images Without Borders: Comics and Graphic Narrative

Monica Chiu

HIST 632

Latin America in the 20th and 21st Centuries

Julia Rodriguez

NAIS 400

Intro to Native American and Indigenous Studies

Alexandra Martin

NSB 727

Animal Communication

Daniel Howard

take the next step

student posing in doorway on campus
thompson hall in summer
student at Career Event