AIS 100


Course Syllabus: Introduction to American Indian Studies

Course No.: AIS 100

Instructor:  S. Crouthamel; P-8D x2428

e-mail Web <>



This introductory course is a multidisciplinary study of Native American people.  We will focus on a multicultural perspective with an emphasis of the Native American viewpoint of traditional culture and contact with non-Indians.  Case studies of traditional cultures will be used to view the kind of changes that one particular group and individuals went through during various historical time periods.




1)Prehistory/Invasion                                                          25 pts

2) Far North/Far West                                                          25 pts          

3) SW/Plains/EW                                                                   25 pts

4) Contemporary                                                                  25 pts


     Native American Paper (1 Tribe/Nation) 5-7pgs.            100 pts.


     Final Exam                                                                       100 pts


          Extra Credit: Article, film, or Event Review (1 pg.)                 +15 pts.

                  (online option: discussion)

                                                                                 Total       300 pts.



        Sutton: An Introduction To Native North America (3rd Ed)



A letter grade is based upon the following percentage scale accumulated over the term:

                   Exams                          66%

                   Paper                            33%

Extra Credit points (max. 15 pts.) are above and beyond the points for the grade.  One extra credit article review is the limit.  Make up exams must be scheduled outside of class time and completed before the last exam of the term.

A credit/no credit is available and a performance expectation of a 'C' or better equals the credit evaluation.

The student is responsible for the add/drop process

Student Learning Outcomes: A student will be able to…

#1 …label the location of the 10 North American culture geographic regions and distinguish the unique ecosystems in the regions that the traditional American Indian cultures adapted to.

#2…analyze information and demonstrate knowledge of an American Indian culture in a case study format.

#3 … demonstrate their awareness of the significance of American Indian diversity in a global setting through classroom participation.

#4 …identify examples of American Indian traditional knowledge applied to current socio-geopolitical issues.

#5 … design and construct papers and/or presentations reflecting multidisciplinary sources and orientation.












I.  Native Americans

A. Culture Areas

B. Populations

C.  Languages

D.  Research and Anthropology

      Text Reading: Sutton: p.1-16

II.  Prehistory of North America

A.  Origins of ‘New World’ Cultures

B.  Paleo-Indians and the Archaic

C.  CBS and the Formative

      Text Reading: Sutton: p. 16-23

III. European Invasion

          A.  Early Explorations

          B.  Columbian Exchange

          C.  European Colonization

                   1.  Spanish Colonialism and Mission System

                   2.  English Colonial Development

                   3.  French and Russian Fur Trade

          D.  American Republic:  Federal Treaties and Policies

                  1. American Indian Status and Manifest Destiny

                   2.  Removal From the East: Trail of Tears

                   3.  Reservations

                   4.  Indian Wars and Religious Movements

                   5.  Assimilation Policies and Allotment

                   6. Biological and Cultural Impact

                             Text Reading: Sutton: p.24-43

·           Quiz# 1

IV.  Native American People

A. The Far North

          1.  Arctic: [Case Study-Quebec Inuit]

          2.  Sub-Arctic

                   Text Reading: Sutton p. 44-101

B.  The Far West

          1.  Plateau

          2.  Northwest Coast: [Case Study-Kwakiutl]

          3.  Basin

          4.  California

                   Text Reading: Sutton p.102-201

·            Quiz #2

C.  Southwest: [Case Study-Hopi]

                   Text Reading: Sutton p. 202-257

D.  Plains: [Case Study-Cheyenne]

                   Text Reading: Sutton p. 258-297

E.  Eastern Woodlands

          1.  Northeast     

          3.  Southeast: [Case Study-Cherokee]

                   Text Reading: Sutton p. 298-367

·         Quiz #3

V.  Contemporary Native America

          A.  Post WWII, Termination, Civil Rights

          B.  Sovereignty and Religious Freedom

         C.   Gaming

                             Text Reading: Sutton p. 368-378

·         Quiz #4

·         Native American Paper

·         Final Exam