elder woman holding a sign to honor treaties

Native American and Indigenous Studies Minor

Welcome to MSU’s new Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) Minor!

If you’re looking for a program that weds community-engaged social activism with scholarship that’s committed to tackling the US legacy of racial injustice and settler colonialism, you’ve come to the right place!

Prominent Native scholar K. Tsianina Lomawaima describes NAIS as having these core themes:

a commitment to the fundamental concept of sovereignty; a privileging or centering of Native names, experiences, voices, and narratives; an inclusive orientation that favors multiple, complicating, diverse perspectives over a monolithic “one size or story fits all” approach; a commitment to the health, well-being and vigor of life in Indian country; responsiveness to the central issues and concerns of Native nations; a dedication to transform the institutional structures of the dominant society, such as schools, colleges, and universities – however frustratingly slow and incremental that process can be.

NAIS at Montclair State will teach about these integrated ways of knowing and strive to reach the broader goals of the field through an academic minor consisting of 18 credit hours. The program will include two new courses. NAIS 101 is an introduction to Native American and Indigenous studies, and NAIS 401 is a capstone seminar course designed to provide students with opportunities for engaged research with local Indigenous communities. All other courses in the minor currently exist within a wide range of disciplines across the University, including Anthropology, History, Religion, English, Educational Foundations, Art History, and more.

Apply to Montclair State UniversityNAIS 101 – Intro to NAISNAIS 401 – Engaged Learning Seminar NAIS


Download the flyer for Native American & Indigenous Studies Minor

Program Highlights

  • Exciting opportunities for community engagement with local Indigenous tribal communities
  • Strong grounding in the field of Indigenous Studies, with new courses in NAIS 101 & NAIS 401
  • Deep commitment to Indigenous rights, racial justice, decolonization, and eco-justice
  • Interdisciplinary studies across Anthropology, History, Religion, English, Education, and more

Curriculum

  • Only 18 total credits required to complete the NAIS Minor
  • Relevant courses that you’ve already taken at MSU will count toward the new NAIS Minor

Required courses (2 courses = 6 credits)

NAIS 101: Introduction to Native American and Indigenous Studies (3 credits)
NAIS 401: Engaged Learning Seminar in Native American and Indigenous Studies (3 credits)

Electives (4 courses = 12 credits)

* Choose from the following, or other NAIS-related courses approved by program directors:

ANTH 120: Native North Americans (3 credits)
ANTH 150: Cultures of Latin America (3 credits)
ANTH 320: Caribbean Archaeology (3 credits)
ANTH 325: North American Archaeology (3 credits)
ENGL 315: Native American Topics (3 credits)
HIST 114: Early Latin America (3 credits)
HIST 211: Native American History (3 credits)
HIST 342: Frontiers and Borderlands of the Americas (3 credits)
HIST 340: History of Mexico (3 credits)
RELG 254: Native American Religions (3 credits)
RELG 352: Conquest & Resistance: Europeans in Native America (3 credits)
RELG 382: Indigenous Voices Today (3 credits)

TOTAL = 18 credits

Career Opportunities

The NAIS Minor from MSU can help prepare you for graduate work or a career in a wide range of fields, including:

  • Native American Law
  • Environmental Justice
  • Native Art & Museums
  • Cultural Resource Management
  • Archaeology
  • Education
  • Social Services
  • Native Language Revitalization

Questions? Contact our NAIS Program Directors

Dr. Elspeth Martini (HIST) | martinie@montclair.edu
Dr. Chris Matthews (ANTH) | matthewsc@montclair.edu
Dr. Mark Clatterbuck (RELG) | clatterbuckm@montclair.edu