My initial assignment at Palomar College in 1975-76 was to teach in the American Indian Studies Department in order to balance the interdisciplinary representation with an anthropologist. In the early years we all began by teaching introductory courses and developing the curriculum. From the beginning we wrote the courses to be interdisciplinary and multicultural. We strove to build the department to about 5-7 full-time staff with 3-4 full-time support staff at the main campus in San Marcos, CA and at satellites on the local Indian Reservations (9) in our district. Unfortunately,  most 'ethnic studies' departments/programs during the 1980's were cut; in our case we were not allowed to replace staff that retired or transferred. Our original full-time teaching staff had been reduced to 3 and our support staff consists of two part-time staff. In 2001 we were able to hire a new full time faculty! We still have a satellite on one of the  reservations in our district, which is currently called Palomar College at Pauma. Our 2001 hire went on medical leave in 2006 and in 2009 we hired a replacement.

The world of computers has opened all kinds of possibilities with multi-media, distance learning and e-mail. Some Native American communities have really taken advantage of this technology, as you can tell by exploring the various links below. Hopefully, our department will be able to explore these new technologies and we are currently in the process of examining multi-media and distance learning in terms of cross-cultural ramifications. In 2001 we started with 4 online courses and now most of our courses are offered online

Here are some of my specific interest areas with web pages that you may want explore for augmentation to classroom work or out of independent interest.


Traditional Native American people's relationship with the land was primarily based on a spiritual and physical bond with the plant communities in their respective geographical regions. This bond was grounded on the metaphysical premise that power/spiritual energy/sacredness infused all things and that the power/sacredness of plants not only sustains life as food, but heals as medicine by restoring homeostasis. Some animals consume plants directly, while others consume the meat of those that eat the plants, thus benefit from the power of plants indirectly. Consequentially, many traditionalists view the meat of undomesticated animals as sacred. Humans consume both plants and animals. It is the responsibility of those that kill and consume plants and animals to reciprocate with the giver of these gifts to maintain balance in the world in general and with power in particular. This particular view is what led to the fundamental differences between  European Americans and Native Americans, especially in terms of religious attitudes and practices. For my work it is therefore essential to study these plant communities, which are the foundation to Native America's traditional culture.

                Southern California :Luiseno Ethnobotany

                 Southern California: Luiseno Ethnozoology


In 1992 the Quincentennial (1492-1992) of Columbus' voyage caused quite a stir among the public and academics. This event resulted in  reevaluation of history texts in light of recent trends in social history and multicultural treatments; and a more positive reflection of the impact on the world which became known as the Columbian Exchange.   Here at Palomar College we held a multidisciplinary symposium that proved positive and informative for students. Here are the results of  that 500th anniversary.

             Truths and Lies About Columbus and Native Americans

              Columbian Exchanges between 'Old World 'and 'New World '


In 1990 the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) was signed by President George Bush. This act represents a long term struggle between Native Americans and various non-Indian factions over  human remains and other sensitive cultural resources. The most complex relationship has been between Native Americans and anthropologists . Native American communities are in the process of accessing and determining the process of  any repatriation that might be necessary.

            Repatriation Issues

            Native Americans and Anthropology



AIS 130/ANTH 130: Course Information



Major Links:

First Nations Site Index

Native American Nations Index

  Native Web

           Indian Circle Web Ring

Tribal Leaders Directory

Native American Resources

National Congress of American Indians

First Nations/First Peoples Issues
National Museum of the American Indian

News From Native California

Indian Country News  


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