Sep 24, 2022  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Native American Studies Program

Elise Boxer, Coordinator
Department of History
East Hall, Room 207
(605) 677-5218


Associate Professor:

Elise Boxer, Native American Studies/History, Mormon History and 19th/20th Century American History


Native American Studies, B.A.


Native American Studies


Native American Studies

The Native American Studies program recognizes Indigenous peoples as the first and original people on this land and centers its curriculum on the cultures, experiences, and values of Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians and First Nations people. Grounded in Indigenous worldviews and communities, the Native American Studies Program utilizes a disciplinary approach to explore and engage various issues pertaining to tribal communities and peoples. 

The Native American Studies Program prepares its majors and minors to work effectively with and within tribal communities, developing effective communication skills needed to establish mutually beneficial and enduring cross-cultural relationships. The knowledge and methodologies in the Native American Studies Program will give students the background and skills to work for tribal, state, and national levels of government and governance as well as in education, law, and a variety of careers benefitting and unique to Indigenous communities.  Native American Studies empowers students to participate in Native self-determination processes in many fields and in a variety of careers in or near Indigenous communities, with a special orientation toward effective communication, historical and cultural knowledge, and community engagement.

Instruction in Lakota language is offered through the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics. Students who have prior knowledge of Lakota/Dakota language may be able to obtain credit by exam for one or more Lakota/Dakota language courses. For more information, please consult the College of Arts and Sciences  section of this catalog or the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics .


Please contact the department for additional information about available scholarships and awards. Also see the College of Arts & Sciences  for college/school level scholarships.

Student Learning Outcomes for Native American Studies (B.A.)

  1. Students will connect ideas and experiences in order to synthesize and transfer learning to new, complex situations within and beyond the campus.  
  2. Students will intentionally engage with diversity in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions leading to opportunities for equal access to participation in educational and community programs for all members of society. 
  3. Students will be able to demonstrate cognitive, effective, and behavioral skills that support effective and appropriate interaction in a variety of cultural contexts. 
  4. Students will comprehensively explore issues, ideas, artifacts and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion, and combine or synthesize existing ideas, images or expertise in original ways reflecting a high degree of innovation, divergent thinking, and risk taking. 
  5. Students will be able to systematically explore issues, objects or works through the collection and analysis of evidence that results in informed conclusions or judgements, and break down complex topics or issues into parts to gain a better understanding of them. 
  6. Students will interpret, assess, and research scholarly and creative sources in the field of Native American Studies to demonstrate verbal and written communication skills. 
  7. Students will examine and investigate how historic and contemporary colonial and U.S. policies shape and impact tribal sovereignty, governance, education, and self-determination.  
  8. Students will develop meaningful interactions, professional and leadership skills through attending, participating, and/or interning with campus programs and/or Native-serving organizations.  
  9. Students will recognize, discuss, and integrate Indigenous worldviews and pedagogies within multiple learning environments.