The Little Tree of Life

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Ethnic Studies 2570–002
The American Indian Experience
Spring 2013

William Stewart Building Room 104 (ST 104)
Tuesdays 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Instructor:Don MacAngus
Email:d.d.macangus@utah.edu
Office:104 Carlson Hall
Phone:801 581-5206 (front office – Ethnic Studies)
801 903-9733 (cell)

Introduction. This 3 unit undergraduate course will focus on the viewpoints of American Indians, and on the historical elements that have affected them, shaped their views of the world, and resulted in the realities that they collectively face today. The student will experience a chronological journey, beginning with the earliest appearance of humans on the American continent, through the lifestyles of native peoples prior to European contact, through several historical periods (referred to as “Policy Periods”) including; Pre-Contract in the Americas and in Europe; the Contact Period; Conquest and Relocation; the Removal and Reservation Period; the Allotment Period; the Indian New Deal; the Termination Period; the Self-Determination Period; and on to the present. Course curriculum will be presented from the American Indian point of view – hence the title, “the American Indian Experience.” Topics covered will include theories of origin, lifestyles and traditions, contributions to American and world cultures, interactions with government, treaties, conflicts, and present-day perceptions of reality.

Objectives. The curriculum will provide students the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of American Indian people, their perspectives and perceptions. Students will be exposed to historical events from the American Indian perspective, their views on a number of topics, such as territorial conflict and encroachment, enforcement and recognition of treaties, their struggles for legal status, and the relationship of the tribes to government and its policies. Students will be expected to internalize broad, general principles and concepts, and to relate them in their own words. The materials will emphasize learning through lecture, reading, essay writing, film, class discussions, guest speakers (when available) and fieldtrips.

Free Speech. Some elements presented in the curriculum are controversial. Whenever people delve deeply into and discuss subjects such as race and ethnicity, there can be hard feelings and mixed emotions. People are sometimes afraid to address such topics. This class exists specifically to provide a format to engage in this type of discussion – in fact, to encourage it. Part of the curriculum will deal with the topic of racism, and the origins and use of specific racial slurs, which appear in the literature. Where appropriate and relevant to the dialogue, these words may be spoken aloud in the classroom. If a student objects to this type of language, which is certainly understandable, the student is requested to limit the objection to the abuse of this language, and allow the class to go forward, within the boundaries of the curriculum. This is an academic setting, and as such, no student should ever be made to feel intimidated or uncomfortable, nor looked down upon because of a point of view, or the expression of that view. Students should feel free to voice their opinions, even where they differ with the instructor or the material being presented. In some cases it may be more appropriate for students to withhold their opinions and discuss their objections with the instructor after class. Students are requested to allow the instructor to make the ultimate determination in these cases, and to abide by that decision during class hours.

Required Texts

BookstoreAmazon

AuthorTitleNewUsed

WallisTwo Old Women$ 14.00$ 10.50$ 5.51
CarterEducation of Little Tree$ 16.95$ 12.70$ 11.41
TrimbleThe People: Indians of the American SW$ 50.15$ 37.60$ 11.83

Note: These are much cheaper online, but you can’t sell them back at the bookstore. However, I do accept donations so...
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