HIST& 219: Native American History

Class Program
Credits 5

A survey of Native American history in the United States, this course explores Native American life before and after European contact, U.S Native American policy from 1789 to the present, and how the Native American nations maintained aspects of their culture in a changing and hostile environment. Students will examine the diverse Native American cultures prior to European contact, examine conflicts nations faced after contact, and study how the nations impacted and contributed to United States history.

Course Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to demonstrate the following knowledge or skills:

  1. Characterize the cultural diversity in Native America.
  2. Explain the lasting significance of Ancient Civilizations trade, and trade networks, particularly along the Northwest Coast, in the American Southwest, and among the Eastern Mound Builders.
  3. Interpret the impacts of Contact with Europeans – benefits, conflicts, and war.
  4. Explain key events and issues in U.S. Native American policy since 1789.
  5. Discuss how treaty making and containment policies were replaced with assimilating Native Americans into mainstream society.
  6. Debate the effects of assimilation, resistance, and adaptation.
  7. Analyze the option of military service and the Native America New Deal.
  8. Illustrate current Revitalization efforts and their greater significance to American culture.
  9. Debate the issues surrounding Native sovereignty.
  10. Identify the lasting impact of cultural stereotypes.
  11. Analyze the move by government away from treaties to executive agreements with the Tribes.
  12. Discuss the relevance of the Red Power movement to the revitalization of tribal identity.
Institutional Outcomes


Course Content Outline
  1. What’s in a Name
    1. History and Stereotype
      1. Hollywood and Sports Mascots
    2. Sovereignty versus conquest
      1. Native America and the U.S. Constitution
  2. Ancient Civilizations to 1763
    1. Diverse Cultures
    2. Establishing Trade Routes
    3. Trade
  3. Colonial Contact and Conflict
    1. Fur Trade
    2. Colonial Policies
    3. Conquest, Assimilation, and Resistance
  4. 1789-1840 U.S. Native America Policy
    1. Emphasis on Native Civilization, Removal, and Native responses
  5. The American Civil War and Native American involvement
  6. The Plains Indian War
  7. The American Southwest
  8. The Northwest Tribes
  9. The First Reservation System
  10. Late 19th Century Assimilation
    1. Boarding Schools
    2. The Dawes Severalty Act
    3. Allotment
    4. Native Reaction and Protest
  11. Adapting to the 20th Century
    1. Citizenship and Identity issues
    2. Termination
    3. Restoration
    4. The Native New Deal
    5. World War Two
    6. Resistance and Revitalization
      1. Red Power
      2. The Second Wounded Knee and Alcatraz
Department Guidelines

Contemporary literature will be employed as appropriate to provide multiple perspectives. This course will seek to provide an equilibrium of opinion while presenting the documentation surrounding the complicated history of Native American identity. Students will experience a broad exploration of Native American history based on various sources and representing a diverse range of perspectives.

PO4 should be assessed: Students will be able to recognize or articulate personal/interpersonal aspects of, or connections between, diverse cultural, social, or political contexts.

PO5 should be assessed: Students will be able to solve problems by gathering, interpreting, combining and/or applying information from multiple sources.