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Native American Studies Today

President James Wright at the Houser sculpture
President James Wright dedicates the Houser sculpture "Peaceful Serenity" in front of the NAS building, Oct. 7, 2007

The NAS faculty consists of scholar-teachers with a broad range of expertise from diverse backgrounds, including Native faculty members from the United States and Canada and non-Native faculty from the United States, Russia, and Britain. The Native American Studies Program attracts a varied body of students who bring their own perspectives to the classroom setting. Our students build upon their individual experiences and understandings in a shared learning environment.

Dartmouth College offers both a Major and Minor in Native American Studies. The initial course offerings begun in 1972 were organized around the study of Native American ethnology, literature, and history. We have since expanded the agenda with new courses, reflecting the important commitment Dartmouth places on excellence in education and staying current with recent developments in the various fields of Native American scholarship.

At present, faculty hold dual appointments in Anthropology, History, Environmental Studies, Government, and English. We augment our regular offerings with additional NAS courses cross-listed with other departments.

The NAS Program also brings outstanding guests, scholars, mentors, community activists, tribal elders/leaders, and artists to the Dartmouth campus.

The Program hosts symposia of interest to researchers and scholars around the Country. Past conference themes have included "Native Americans and Christianity," "Survival and Revival in Native New England," "New and Future Directions in Native American Studies," "Traditional Knowledge in the 21st Century," "German and Indian Encounters Across Three Centuries," and "Native American Archaeologist Relations in the Twenty-First Century." The Program also hosted a visit by the Navajo Supreme Court DA which held oral arguments in a pending case on the Dartmouth College.

Since 1970, Dartmouth has graduated over 700 American Indian students. NAD alumni hail from many different nations and a variety of areas of professional life. Many of them remain in close contact with their Alma Mater, making the trip to the Hanover Plain each spring for the annual Dartmouth College Pow Wow.

NAS courses are also popular with non-Native students, some of whom choose Native American Studies as their major or minor.

Last Updated: 11/12/08