Native American and Indigenous Studies

Students in the Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) certificate program draw on the resources of not one campus but five, benefiting from a wide variety of courses exploring Native American and Indigenous histories, literatures, cultures and contemporary issues that are taught within the consortium each year.

“The Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies Certificate Program has been very influential and important to my college experience, and it was one of the first communities I truly felt part of. In addition to being my support system, the program has helped me see myself as an activist scholar.”

—Mimi Linares-Ramirez, Smith College ’15

Faculty Position Openings

The Five College Consortium, which is located in Western Massachusetts, is undertaking significant efforts aimed at expanding academic offerings in Native American and Indigenous Studies, and embedding Native and Indigenous epistemologies, methods, and content across the curriculum. This work includes curriculum development, faculty hiring, and student engagement, and is supported in part by generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

To support the goal of the Mellon NAIS grant, the member campuses of the Five College Consortium are conducting searches for three tenured/tenure-track faculty positions centered on Native American and Indigenous Studies, with a start date of Fall 2022.

On This Page

Affiliated Faculty

Lisa Brooks (advisor)
Specialties: literature, history, New England
Email | Website 

Kiara M. Vigil (advisor) - on leave AY 2021-22
Specialties: cultural history, 19th and 20th centuries, cultural representations of and by Native people in the U.S.
Email | Website

Edward Melillo - on leave Fall 2021
Specialties: history, traditional ecological knowledge, Pacific world
Email | Website 

Manuela Picq
Specialties: world politics, Latin America, extractivism, gender and sexualities
Email | Website

Ashley Smith (advisor)
Email | Website

Jennifer Hamilton - on leave AY 2021-22
Specialties: anthropology and legal studies; law, medicine, science, and technology; Native North America
Email | Website

Pamela Stone
Specialties: anthropology
Email Website

Mary Renda (advisor
Email | Website

Lauret Savoy (advisor)
Specialties: environmental history, narratives of race and place, North America
Email | Website

Christen Mucher (advisor)
Specialties: history, material culture, Ohio Valley
Email | Website

Alice Nash (advisor) - on leave Fall 2021
Specialties: history, New England, teaching
Email | Website

Paul Barten
Specialties: northern forests, environmental history, traditional ecological knowledge
Email | Website 

Sonya Atalay (advisor) - on leave AY 2021-22
Specialties: community-based participatory research methods, repatriation and protection of cultural heritage
Email | Website

Kathleen Brown-Perez
Specialties: federal Indian law, criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country, tribal sovereignty, federal acknowledgement of tribes, identity
Email | Website

Seth Cable
Specialties: linguistics, language documentation, Alaska
Email | Website

Donal Carbaugh (emeritus)
Specialties: communication of Indigenous culture/ecology, Blackfeet/Pikuni (Montana)
Email | Website

Chris Couch
Email | Website

Jean Forward (emerita)
Specialties: education, applied anthropology/activism
Email

Laura Furlan
Specialties: Indigenous literatures of the U.S., place/space in literature, autobiography/creative nonfiction
Email | Website

Samuel Redman
Specialties: history, history of museums, U.S.
Email | Website

Peggy Speas (emerita)
Specialties: Indigenous languages of North America, language revitalization, Navajo
Email

Stan Stevens
Specialties: political ecology of conservation, rights-based conservation, traditional ecological knowledge and socioeconomic systems
Email | Website 

Ron Welburn (emeritus)
Specialties: literature, ethnohistory (eastern North America), Native jazz
Email | Website

Certificate

Students in the Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) certificate program draw on the resources of not one campus but five, benefiting from a wide variety of courses exploring Native American and Indigenous histories, literatures, cultures and contemporary issues that are taught within the consortium each year.

The certificate furnishes an excellent foundation on which to build a professional career, graduate work or research. Its requirements provide a strong grounding while each student works closely with a faculty advisor to design an individualized course of study.

In pursuing the certificate, you will:

  • Learn the depth and breadth of Indigenous methodologies and their applications to the most pressing issues of today
  • Critically approach the field through engagement with Native and Indigenous intellectual traditions, histories and cultures
  • Undertake meaningful research in archives, on the land and with communities
  • Work with leading scholars across multiple fields, as well as with visiting tribal scholars
  • Understand the unique sovereign status of Native and Indigenous peoples, the complexity of Indigenous legal and political systems and the many facets of U.S. and international law and policy

The NAIS certificate is available to students at Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Please note that the certificate cannot be completed online.

Certificate Requirements

No application is necessary prior to beginning the certificate, but students can fill out the Interest Form to participate in the Program. Your campus advisor can help you design an interdisciplinary program of study. No formal enrollment is necessary to pursue your study. To receive the Certificate, you must demonstrate that you have fulfilled the requirements prior to graduation. 

At least seven courses are required for completion of the Five College Certificate in Native American and Indigneous Studies: a foundation course plus six additional courses, with no more than three of the seven courses from a single discipline (such as Anthropology or Literature). Requirements are as follows:

  • One foundation course: Offered at various levels, foundation courses provide an opportunity to hear Native perspectives and are taught from a philosophical perspective that reflects Native Studies theories, pedagogies and methodologies. They foster: 1) respect for Native intellectual perspectives during the course of their ongoing histories; 2) a grounding in perspectives on life derived from the diversity of philosophies found in contemporary Native communities; and 3) an understanding of colonialism and its impacts on the contested sovereignties and associated struggles of Native communities. Consult with your NAIS advisor or the Program Chair to identify the appropriate foundations course.
  • Six additional courses: Students must complete at least six additional courses, selected in consultation with your campus advisor. These may include courses from study abroad.
  • Grades: Students must receive a grade of B or higher in all seven courses to receive a Certificate.

Students are encouraged to use the Certificate Completion Form (below) to consult with their certificate advisor, plan for both which courses to take and for completing all certificate requirements. Students are expected to finalize this form with their certificate advisor and attach a copy of their unofficial transcript during the final semester of their senior year: no later than November 1 for fall/January graduates, and April 1 for spring/May graduates.

Courses

Spring 2022 Native American and Indigenous Studies Courses

01
4.00

Jennifer A. Hamilton

W 01:30 PM-04:30 PM

Amherst College
AMST-243-01-2122S
jhamilton@amherst.edu

This is a research-based course where students will work collaboratively to develop materials for a digital archive to complement the professor’s book, Settler Science and the Genomic Quest for Indigeneity. Part of the book project has been to develop a dynamic, complementary archive: a standalone, permanent but modifiable site including various multimedia components (e.g., film clips, images, maps), documents (e.g., historical, legal, and scientific publications), and links to key online sites that can be used by teachers, students, and others in conjunction with the published book. Students will design components for and test the archive as a pedagogical tool. In particular, students will work directly with some of the book manuscript as well as research materials collected during summer research trips in order to create new content for the archive. The course will introduce students to the fields of feminist science and technology studies (FSTS), Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS), and settler colonial studies. Students will explore key legal histories of Native North America, genealogies of racial science and the development of modern genomics, and questions related to Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) in order to contextualize the genomic quest for indigeneity.

Limited to 15 students. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Hamilton.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Jennifer A. Hamilton

TTH 03:00 PM-04:20 PM

Amherst College
AMST-370-01-2122S
jhamilton@amherst.edu
AMST-370-01, SWAG-372-01

(Offered as SWAG 372 and AMST 370) This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of Indigenous feminisms, and explores how questions of sex, gender, and sexuality have been articulated in relation to concerns such as sovereignty, colonization, and imperialism. We will explore how Indigenous feminists engage with or challenge other modes of feminist thought and activism. We will focus on how Indigenous ways of knowing and being can challenge how we conduct research and produce knowledge. While we will concentrate on work produced within the context of Native North America, we will also be attentive to transnational dimensions of Indigenous feminist histories, political movements, and world-building. Specific topics include movements to recognize missing and murdered Indigenous women; Indigenous feminist science and technology studies; and, Indigenous futurisms.

This course fulfills a requirement for the Five College Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice (RHRJ) certificate.

Spring semester. Visiting Professor Hamilton.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Lisa Brooks

M 01:30 PM-04:15 PM

Amherst College
COLQ-256-01-2122S
lbrooks@amherst.edu

In 2013, Amherst College acquired one of the most comprehensive collections of Native American writing in the world – nearly 1,500 books ranging from contemporary fiction and poetry to sermons, political tracts and tribal histories from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This is a living collection; it has since grown to over 3,000 volumes. This seminar offers the opportunity to actively engage the literature of this dynamic collection and contribute original research for a Digital Atlas of Native American Intellectual Traditions, an interface that will enable users to visualize books in the KWE Collection within a network of Native authors and communities, mapped across time and space. This course also offers immersion in Indigenous studies methodologies, for those new to the field and for those who already have significant experience or coursework. Participants will build and develop research skills in collaboration, working closely with scholars and librarians as they engage in archival and digital research, print history, land-based learning, and community-based learning, including faculty-led field trips to local tribal nations. In working on collaborative projects, we will also consider ethical questions regarding the distribution of knowledge, the curation of materials, access to the collections, and community-engaged research.

This course is part of a tutorial series that engages Amherst students in substantive research with faculty in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.

Open to sophomores and juniors. Limited to 6 students. Spring Semester. Professor Brooks.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Jennifer A. Hamilton

TTH 03:00 PM-04:20 PM

Amherst College
SWAG-372-01-2122S
jhamilton@amherst.edu
AMST-370-01, SWAG-372-01

(Offered as SWAG 372 and AMST 370) This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of Indigenous feminisms, and explores how questions of sex, gender, and sexuality have been articulated in relation to concerns such as sovereignty, colonization, and imperialism. We will explore how Indigenous feminists engage with or challenge other modes of feminist thought and activism. We will focus on how Indigenous ways of knowing and being can challenge how we conduct research and produce knowledge. While we will concentrate on work produced within the context of Native North America, we will also be attentive to transnational dimensions of Indigenous feminist histories, political movements, and world-building. Specific topics include movements to recognize missing and murdered Indigenous women; Indigenous feminist science and technology studies; and, Indigenous futurisms.

This course fulfills a requirement for the Five College Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice (RHRJ) certificate.

Spring semester. Visiting Professor Hamilton.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

1
4.00

Robert Caldwell

01:00PM-02:20PM TU;01:00PM-02:20PM TH

Hampshire College
334512

Franklin Patterson Hall 105;Franklin Patterson Hall 105

rbcCSI@hampshire.edu
From Archie Phinney to Winona LaDuke and beyond, the struggle for Indigenous Liberation is an important but overlooked component of 20th Century U.S. history. After World War II, the United States government pushed to "Terminate" tribes and encouraged Native people to move to cities for industrial employment. Tribes responded with the creation of the National Congress of American Indians. Twenty years later, a younger generation of urban-based individuals, usually described as the Red Power movement captured the attention of the country with their occupations of Alcatraz, the Bureau of Indian affairs, and Wounded Knee. In recent years, struggles for earth and water, child welfare, and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women have taken center stage. Keywords: Socialism, Marxism, Sovereignty, Red Power, MMIW
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

1
4.00

Robert Caldwell

02:30PM-03:50PM TU;02:30PM-03:50PM TH

Hampshire College
334513

Franklin Patterson Hall 105;Franklin Patterson Hall 105

rbcCSI@hampshire.edu
This course examines the situation of those Indigenous communities in the United States that do not have recognition as tribes from the colonial state. It explores the complicated relationship between race, tribal identity and federal relationship for non-federally recognized tribes, state-recognized tribes, genizaros, Metis, Louisiana Creoles and other communities, with a focus on racial and tribal identities. It examines the history of the Federal Acknowledgement Process, a governmental process in which Indigenous communities are "acknowledged" as Indian tribes and become eligible to receive services. Keywords: Federal Recognition, Sovereignty, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Government, Politics
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Pamela Stone

T 01:30PM-04:20PM

Mount Holyoke College
116415
pstone@mtholyoke.edu
What is settler colonialism? What does it mean to decolonize Indigenous history? This class offers an overview of settler colonialism and the complex ways in which colonial narratives, imperialism, and white supremacy infiltrate interpretations of the past. Exploring theoretical frameworks alongside empirical data, readings and discussions will focus on the long legacy of these colonial practices throughout North America, shedding light on the impact and legacy of colonial encounters. By recognizing the ways that settler colonialism works, we will then examine the formation of the Genízaro ethnic identity in the American Southwest to illuminate the lasting impact of colonial encounters.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Sabra Thorner

M 07:15PM-10:05PM

Mount Holyoke College
116417
sthorner@mtholyoke.edu
Museums collect, preserve, categorize, and exhibit objects, and through these practices, produce and circulate knowledge. This course takes "the museum" as an object of ethnographic inquiry, focusing especially on Indigenous peoples and their ways of knowing, being, and doing things. How might museums acknowledge the confronting truths of colonization, and the intergenerational and ongoing trauma endured by Indigenous peoples? How might this often-intercultural work offer possibilities for healing? Teaching and learning will be guided by principles of Indigenous sovereignty, and grounded in storytelling and in making things as Indigenous ways of transmitting knowledge.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Tian Hui Ng

TTH 01:45PM-03:00PM

Mount Holyoke College
117180
tng@mtholyoke.edu
This course represents some of the earliest attempts at addressing the difficulty of accessing information relating to the performance of music by Native American/Indigenous/American Indian composers and creators. The course has two principal components, a series of twelve public-facing panel discussions that will be co-presented by New England Public Media featuring experts in the field and a seminar where students can delve deeper into the issues raised and information gleaned together with artist in residence, Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate. A range of performance issues including nomenclature, stylistic influences, sources, instrumentation, diction, translation and performance practice will be discussed. Participants in the course will have the opportunity to pose their questions to the panel before the general public during the public-facing panel discussions.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Christen Mucher

W F 10:50 AM - 12:05 PM

Smith College
AMS-234-01-202203
cmucher@smith.edu
In this course we will focus on situating ourselves on Turtle Island--North America. We will prioritize the Indigenous histories of our shared home, the Northeast, while also considering histories of other peoples and places across the continent. Our aim will be to develop habits of thought to help us move beyond the reflexes and limitations of settler colonialism and to consider indigeneity in our everyday lives. Interdisciplinary readings will foreground indigeneity, race, feminist and decolonial analyses. This course is open to all students. Previous knowledge of Native American or Indigenous topics is welcome but not assumed. (E)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
3.00

Laura McGough

M W 1:25PM 2:40PM

UMass Amherst
38113

Studio Arts Building Room 240

lmcgough@umass.edu
38114
In what ways can we understand the visual cultural practices currently being produced globally by Indigenous media makers? Is it possible to decolonize vision? How might visual cultural practices disrupt traditional Western narratives that position Indigenous people outside of technological progress and innovation? This course will provide students with a critical vocabulary for discussing a wide range of contemporary Indigenous media through the viewing of work created by established and emerging media makers in concert with contemporary media theory and criticism produced by Indigenous scholars and artists. Visual Cultures will survey global Indigenous media art produced post-1990 with a focus on new media practices. Students will view and interact with media across a broad range of mediums and technologies illustrative of global Indigenous media practices including experimental film, video art, media installation/projection, animation, Web projects, mediated performance, activist media and community video, Virtual reality (VR), Augmented reality (AR), video games, and machinima.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
3.00

Laura Furlan

TH 10:00AM 12:30PM

UMass Amherst
36454

South College Room E370

furlan@english.umass.edu
Description not available at this time
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
3.00

Laura McGough

M W 1:25PM 2:40PM

UMass Amherst
38114

Studio Arts Building Room 240

lmcgough@umass.edu
38113
In what ways can we understand the visual cultural practices currently being produced globally by Indigenous media makers? Is it possible to decolonize vision? How might visual cultural practices disrupt traditional Western narratives that position Indigenous people outside of technological progress and innovation? This course will provide students with a critical vocabulary for discussing a wide range of contemporary Indigenous media through the viewing of work created by established and emerging media makers in concert with contemporary media theory and criticism produced by Indigenous scholars and artists. Visual Cultures will survey global Indigenous media art produced post-1990 with a focus on new media practices. Students will view and interact with media across a broad range of mediums and technologies illustrative of global Indigenous media practices including experimental film, video art, media installation/projection, animation, Web projects, mediated performance, activist media and community video, Virtual reality (VR), Augmented reality (AR), video games, and machinima.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Alice Nash

TU TH 4:00PM 4:50PM

UMass Amherst
30371

Thompson Hall room 106

anash@history.umass.edu
The diverse histories of indigenous peoples in North America from their origins to the present. Focus on indigenous perspectives, examining social, economic, and political issues experienced by indigenous peoples. Emphasis on diversity, continuity, change, and self-determination. (Gen.Ed. HS, DU)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01AA

F 11:15AM 12:05PM

UMass Amherst
30462
The diverse histories of indigenous peoples in North America from their origins to the present. Focus on indigenous perspectives, examining social, economic, and political issues experienced by indigenous peoples. Emphasis on diversity, continuity, change, and self-determination. (Gen.Ed. HS, DU)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01AB

F 2:30PM 3:20PM

UMass Amherst
30463
The diverse histories of indigenous peoples in North America from their origins to the present. Focus on indigenous perspectives, examining social, economic, and political issues experienced by indigenous peoples. Emphasis on diversity, continuity, change, and self-determination. (Gen.Ed. HS, DU)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01AC

F 4:00PM 4:50PM

UMass Amherst
30464
The diverse histories of indigenous peoples in North America from their origins to the present. Focus on indigenous perspectives, examining social, economic, and political issues experienced by indigenous peoples. Emphasis on diversity, continuity, change, and self-determination. (Gen.Ed. HS, DU)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01AD

F 8:00AM 8:50AM

UMass Amherst
36631
The diverse histories of indigenous peoples in North America from their origins to the present. Focus on indigenous perspectives, examining social, economic, and political issues experienced by indigenous peoples. Emphasis on diversity, continuity, change, and self-determination. (Gen.Ed. HS, DU)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01AE

F 9:05AM 9:55AM

UMass Amherst
36632
The diverse histories of indigenous peoples in North America from their origins to the present. Focus on indigenous perspectives, examining social, economic, and political issues experienced by indigenous peoples. Emphasis on diversity, continuity, change, and self-determination. (Gen.Ed. HS, DU)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01AF

F 12:20PM 1:10PM

UMass Amherst
36633
The diverse histories of indigenous peoples in North America from their origins to the present. Focus on indigenous perspectives, examining social, economic, and political issues experienced by indigenous peoples. Emphasis on diversity, continuity, change, and self-determination. (Gen.Ed. HS, DU)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01AG

F 10:10AM 11:00AM

UMass Amherst
36634
The diverse histories of indigenous peoples in North America from their origins to the present. Focus on indigenous perspectives, examining social, economic, and political issues experienced by indigenous peoples. Emphasis on diversity, continuity, change, and self-determination. (Gen.Ed. HS, DU)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01AJ

F 12:20PM 1:10PM

UMass Amherst
36635
The diverse histories of indigenous peoples in North America from their origins to the present. Focus on indigenous perspectives, examining social, economic, and political issues experienced by indigenous peoples. Emphasis on diversity, continuity, change, and self-determination. (Gen.Ed. HS, DU)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01AK

F 1:25PM 2:15PM

UMass Amherst
36636
The diverse histories of indigenous peoples in North America from their origins to the present. Focus on indigenous perspectives, examining social, economic, and political issues experienced by indigenous peoples. Emphasis on diversity, continuity, change, and self-determination. (Gen.Ed. HS, DU)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Kathleen Brown-Perez

TU TH 8:30AM 9:45AM

UMass Amherst
30643

Elm Room 210

brown-perez@honors.umass.edu
Crime and punishment are among the most important issues in contemporary America. This course begins with an introduction to the role of the Constitution in criminal law, including due process, equal protection, and the Bill of Rights. It then introduces the students to substantive criminal law, including basic stages of the criminal process, principles underlying the definition of crime such as the requirements of actus reus and mens rea, causation, attempt, complicity, and conspiracy. Substantive offenses covered include homicidal offenses, other offenses against persons, property crimes, white collar and organized crime, vice crimes, and offenses against public health and the environment. Also examined is criminal responsibility and defenses. This course goes on to highlight changes in criminal behavior and theories of punishment, including the different ways that Americans have sought to deter, punish, and rehabilitate. This course addresses the generally ignored issue of crime and criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country. The final weeks of the semester address the role that race, ethnicity, sex, and socioeconomic status play in the criminal justice system outside of Indian Country. This discussion includes the War on Drugs, mandatory minimum sentencing, and private, for-profit prisons. No prerequisites. (Gen.Ed. SB, DU)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
3.00

Kathleen Brown-Perez

M W 2:30PM 3:45PM

UMass Amherst
38366

Elm Room 210

brown-perez@honors.umass.edu
Federal Indian law has a long and complex history in the United States, which can be traced back to the first encounters between European colonizers and Indigenous inhabitants. Fundamental to Indian rights is an understanding of who is or who is not a "Native American"? Perhaps more than any other ethnic group in our country, the cultural identity of Native Americans is uniquely central to the federal body of Indian law. This course will focus on ways that Native American group identity has been constructed, subverted, and/or challenged by the application of federal Indian law. Case studies present the complexities inherent when judges, policymakers, and Native Americans attempt to interpret, codify and define a concept as subjective and amorphous as "identity". Although the course focuses on Native Americans, obvious parallels can be made to all "minority" groups, whether they're identified by race or ethnicity, gender, sexual persuasion, and/or political ideals. Students will read case law, treaties, and academic commentary, and will also hear Native American voices, explore popular cultural images of Native Americans, and use their own experiences to understand the complex intersection of culture and law.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
3.00

Paul Barten

M W F 12:20PM 1:10PM

UMass Amherst
33231

Thompson Hall room 102

pkbarten@eco.umass.edu
Forests are complex and fascinating ecosystems. They have been shaped by ecological processes over 1,000s of years and also by centuries of human use, abuse, neglect, and care. They are always changing. Forests are essential to human health and well being yet they are often taken for granted. Forests and People explores the: Unique values that forests have in our culture; key characteristics of forests in the Northeast and how and why they have changed through time; historical and contemporary leaders in forest conservation; sustainable forest management principles and practices; current forest use patterns and trends and the challenges and opportunities they the present in the 21st century.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
2.00

Paul Barten

1:00AM 1:00AM

UMass Amherst
33286
pkbarten@eco.umass.edu

Regularly Offered Courses

To help students plan for how they will complete the certificate requirements, below you will find a list of regularly offered Native American and Indigenous Studies courses. Consult with your advisor to see if other courses may count, and to learn more about how to plan a course of study that fits your interests and takes advantage of the breadth and depth of offerings across the five campuses.

Institution Instructor(s) Course Title Subj / Course #
Amherst Lisa Brooks Native American Literature: Decolonizing Intellectual Traditions ENGL 274 / AMST 274
Amherst Kiara M. Vigil Rethinking Pocahontas: An Introduction to Native American Studies AMST 240
Hampshire Ashley Smith Introduction to Native Studies CSI 163
UMass Sonya Atalay / Rae Gould Introduction to Native Studies ANTHRO 220
UMass Sonya Atalay / Rae Gould Contemporary Issues of North American Indians: Focus on the Northeast ANTHRO 370 / ANTHRO 670

Institution

Instructor(s)

Course Title

Subj / Course #

Amherst

Lisa Brooks

Global Valley

AMST 111

Amherst

Kiara M. Vigil

Rethinking Pocahontas: An Introduction to Native American Studies (Foundation Course)

AMST 240

Amherst

Lisa Brooks

When Corn Mother Meets King Corn: Cultural Studies of the Americas

AMST 280 / ENGL 273

Amherst

Kiara M. Vigil

Red/Black Literature: At the Crossroads of Native American and African American Literary Histories

AMST 320

Amherst

Kiara M. Vigil

Natives in Transit: Indian Entertainment, Urban Life, and Activism, 1930-1970

COLQ 246

Amherst

Kiara M. Vigil

History of the Native Book

FYSE 129

Smith

Christen Mucher

Trade and Theft: Colonialism in North America

AMS 226

Smith

Christen Mucher

Native New England

AMS 229

Smith

Christen Mucher

Native Literacies

AMS 253

Smith

Christen Mucher

Empire and American Studies

AMS 340

Institution Instructor(s) Course Title Subj / Course #

Hampshire

Ashley Smith / Jennifer Hamilton Indigenous Lands and Sovereignties in the U.S.  

UMass

Sonya Atalay / Rae Gould Introduction to Native Studies (Foundation Course) ANTHRO 220
UMass Jean S. Forward North American Indians ANTHRO 270
UMass Sonya Atalay / Rae Gould Contemporary Issues of North American Indians: Focus on the Northeast (Foundation Course) ANTHRO 370 / ANTHRO 670
UMass Jean S. Forward Indigenous Spring Break ANTHRO 397
UMass Sonya Atalay Indigenous Archaeology ANTHRO 597
UMass Sonya Atalay Indigenous Method and Theory ANTHRO 697
UMass Jean S. Forward Native American Nations of the Northeast FFYS 197

Institution Instructor(s) Course Title Subj / Course #
Amherst Lisa Brooks Native American Literature: Decolonizing Intellectual Traditions (Foundation Course) ENGL 274 / AMST 274 
Amherst Lisa Brooks American Origins ENGL 350 / AMST 350 
Amherst Lisa Brooks Indigenous American Epics ENGL 458 / AMST 358 
Amherst Lisa Brooks The Spiral of Time in Native American Novels ENGL 459
UMass Laura M. Furlan Introduction to Native American Literature ENGLISH 116
UMass Ron Welburn Native American Literatures ENGLISH 116
UMass Laura M. Furlan Autobiography Studies (Native Autobiography) ENGLISH 341
UMass Laura M. Furlan American Indian Literature ENGLISH 373
UMass Ron Welburn American Indian Literature ENGLISH 373

Institution Instructor(s) Course Title Subj / Course #
Hampshire Ashley Smith Indians and Environmentalism in the U.S. CSI 129
Hampshire Ashley Smith Indigenous Environmental Activism CSI 240
Mount Holyoke Lauret Savoy Perspectives on American Environmental History ENVST 317
UMass Stan Stevens Indigenous Peoples and Conservation GEOGRAPH 450
UMass Paul K. Barten Forests & People NRC 225 (with NRC 396 enrichment)
UMass Paul K. Barten Cree Culture, Environmental Studies, and Sustainability NRC 579

Institution Instructor(s) Course Title Subj / Course #
Amherst Edward Melillo History of the Pacific World, 1898-Present HIST 410
Mount Holyoke Holly Hanson History of Global Inequality  HIST 216 
Mount Holyoke Holly Hanson Rural Prosperity in the African Past HIST 242
Mount Holyoke Holly Hanson African Women's Work  HIST 291 
Mount Holyoke Holly Hanson Power and Exchange in the African Past HIST 341
UMass Samuel J. Redman US History since 1876 HISTORY 151
UMass Alice Nash Indigenous Peoples of North America HISTORY 170
UMass Alice Nash Native American Activism in the Northeast HISTORY 393A
UMass Alice Nash Indigenous Women HISTORY 393I
UMass Alice Nash Indigenous Peoples in Museums and Archives HISTORY 491G
UMass Alice Nash Indigenous Peoples and the U.N. HISTORY 493P / 693P 
UMass Alice Nash Rethinking 1620  

Institution Instructor(s) Course Title Subj / Course #
UMass Donal Carbaugh Cultures in Conversation COMM 492G

Institution Instructor(s) Course Title Subj / Course #
Hampshire Jennifer Hamilton Landscapes of Indigeneity: Indigenous Peoples and Law in North America  
UMass Kathleen Brown-Perez Criminal Law HONORS 322H

Institution Instructor(s) Course Title Subj / Course #
Hampshire Ashley Smith Introduction to Native American Studies (Foundation Course) CSI 163

NAIS Mellon Grant

Five Colleges, Incorporated has been awarded a $2.5 million, four-year grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to help its member campuses transform how they approach Native American and Indigenous studies (NAIS), with the goal of enhancing teaching, learning and scholarship in the field. 

Called Gathering at the Crossroads: Building Native American and Indigenous Studies at the Five College Consortium, the effort will allow the campuses to develop and establish a set of new academic pathways for students interested in Native American and Indigenous Studies – supported by new faculty, new courses and new course modules. 

The Five College campuses are located in the Kwinitekw (Connecticut River) Valley, which has historically been a crossroads of Indigenous nations. Today it remains a central gathering place for NAIS scholars as well as for Native American and Indigenous leaders, artists, writers and activists.

Conveners

The current Faculty Convener for the Mellon NAIS Grant is: 

Christen Mucher, Associate Professor of American Studies, Smith College

The past Faculty Co-Conveners were:

Professor Kathleen Brown-Perez, Senior Lecturer II, Commonwealth Honors College, UMass Amherst
Professor Kiara Vigil, Associate Professor, American Studies, Amherst College

Mini-Grants and Residencies

Through the work of the NAIS Mellon grant, we aim to build a model of collaborative teaching and learning for Native American and Indigenous Studies centered in the Northeast region but with ties to a global Indigenous network by infusing Indigenous knowledge across disciplines.

To support this goal, the Five College Consortium is offering the opportunity for collaboration across campuses through mini-grants and residencies. Five College faculty or staff* (see eligibility requirements) are encouraged to apply for mini-grants to lead team projects to develop one or more course modules, a new course, or a cluster or sequence of courses (such as language study). Proposers should bear in mind that the Mellon Foundation's focus is on the arts and humanities and priority will be given to proposals that clearly connect with the Foundation's mission but proposals in STEM fields will be considered. Preference will also be given to proposals demonstrating a clear engagement with NAIS methods and materials.

This funding opportunity is also open to faculty with a more multi-disciplinary background and no prior experience in NAIS who are interested in infusing Indigenous approaches into their courses through collaboration with other faculty experts. Mini-grant projects should include multiple faculty and can also include the engagement of Five College staff, students, and community participants as collaborators.

Faculty can also apply for residencies to host Indigenous artists, authors, activists, and community historians. Awards are $10,000 for a short-term residency of 1-4 weeks, $30,000 for a one-semester residency, and $60,000 for an academic year residency. Most of the allocation should support the artist in residence who will organize the various activities.

Please note that campus policies during the pandemic will severely restrict residencies and we recommend that you check your campus' policy before submitting a residency application. Priority will be given to projects that take place virtually if in-person events are not possible.

Before the completion of their projects, grantees will be expected to fulfill a number of requirements, such as submitting syllabi or reporting progress in a public presentation, providing expense reports, submitting receipts for reimbursement and completing a project status report.

Proposals that demonstrate cross-campus collaboration are particularly welcome.

Info Sessions

Information sessions will be offered on Zoom a couple weeks before each application deadline to answer questions and provide guidance to applicants in crafting their proposals. The information sessions will be held on the following dates:

  • Next date TBD

To request an invitation to a specific information session, please contact Bea Cusin at bcusin@fivecolleges.edu.

Eligibility Requirements

Five College continuing faculty or staff members responsible for creating curriculum can apply.

Awards
  • Up to $10,000 per mini-grant 
  • Up to $60,000 per residency (see details above)
Deadline

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Please note that funding opportunities are not currently being reviewed.

To Apply

Applicants must complete an online application form and submit a budget template. For the application, click on the link below. For the budget, download the template below before filling it out. 

Note: We recommend that applicants review the Frequently Asked Questions below before submitting their online application and budget to Bea Cusin at bcusin@fivecolleges.edu.

Project Status Report

All award recipients are expected to submit project status reports as defined in the award letters. The project status reports will inform the reports that Five Colleges, Inc. submits to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation annually during the duration of the NAIS grant. Grantees can find the reporting form here

Contact

Please contact Bea Cusin for questions or more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

All applicants will be notified of the decision made regarding their application following the review committee’s meetings and subsequent FCI review (to ensure compliance with campus, FCI, and Mellon requirements). Because the duration of the review process varies, a specific date is not available.

Because the Mellon Foundation's mission is to support the arts and humanities, priority will be given to proposals that clearly connect with the Foundation's purpose, although proposals in STEM fields will be considered. Preference will also be given to proposals demonstrating a clear engagement with NAIS methods and materials. 

No.

In January 2020, The Andrew Mellon Foundation awarded FCI an NAIS grant on behalf of the Five Colleges and that grant is being redistributed to the campuses in the form of mini-grants and residencies and other initiatives. Because this is not a sub-award, the awarded grants will not be allocated to each Grants and Sponsored Research office or the individual applicants but to the appropriate departments based on the funds’ purposes. For example, if a mini-grant is given for a course buyout, the funds will be administered by the Provost Office; for a grant awarded to purchase equipment, the funds will be given to the department needing the equipment. The respective offices or departments will then apply their institutions’ rules and regulations regarding management of the funds.

Some budget items will be paid directly by Five Colleges, inc. while others will be covered by each institution, which will in turn request reimbursement from FCI. FCI will work with each campus to allocate or reimburse all approved budget lines. 

The grant funding will support the work as proposed and therefore must abide by each campus’ grant regulations. The lead faculty member on each mini-grant will be responsible for reporting on the funded work and for coordinating with their campus personnel and FCI personnel to ensure compliance with all relevant regulations.

Applicants from the Five Colleges do not need to apply through their respective grants offices; however, proposals need to comply with each institution's guidelines regarding travel, stipends, etc. when applicable. Prospective grantees with specific questions about the applicability of these regulations are encouraged to contact Ray Rennard, the Five College Director of Academic Programs.

Faculty from within the Five Colleges may apply for mini-grants and for funding to host residencies, as these are intended to support scholars and artists who join the Five College community for a short period of time (anywhere from a few days to an academic year).

Only full-time, continuing faculty from the Five College Consortium can officially be the lead applicant but they can collaborate with non-Five College faculty or Indigenous artists, authors, activists, and community historians.

No, only continuing faculty can apply, though adjunct faculty may collaborate on mini-grant projects. Because the project is intended to have a long-lasting impact on curricula, only faculty who are eligible to shape campus curricula (e.g., by submitting proposals for new courses or academic programs) may lead a mini-grant project.

Students cannot apply or co-apply but may play a role in the actual project and applicants are encouraged to define what roles and responsibilities students will have, how many hours they are expected to work, etc.

$10,000

Awards for residencies vary based on the duration of the planned activities. Residency awards are $10,000 for a short-term residency of 1-4 weeks, $30,000 for a one-semester residency, and $60,000 for an academic year residency.

Mellon Foundation funding may not be used to purchase equipment or supplies other than books (up to $500), conference materials, and curriculum development materials. This funding also does not support projects exclusively in the social sciences or STEM fields, one-time conferences, undergraduate tuition, food, or major equipment. Journal subscriptions will be reimbursed for up to one year and only if the publication is unavailable from a Five College library.

Faculty are encouraged to collaborate but there is no requirement regarding the number of team members. Because this is a Five Colleges project, preference will be given to projects that involve participants from multiple campuses or can otherwise demonstrate that outcomes will extend beyond a single campus.

The goal of the mini-grants is to integrate Native American and Indigenous Studies into the Five College curricula. Applicants are invited to define their own paths and methods to achieve that goal in their proposals. All projects are expected to have deliverables that can be reported to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as contributing to the curriculum development goals of the funding.

Yes. A single proposal may include both of these components (to occur simultaneously or in sequence) or separate proposals may be submitted.

Funds awarded in a given year can be carried over to the next calendar year.  All proposals should include a timeline for funded activities. Funding will be available in multiple rounds during the duration of the grant.

Yes. Projects can span multiple semesters. Awardees are required to submit a project status report mid-way through the project and at the completion of the project. All proposals should include a timeline for funded activities. Funding will be available in multiple rounds during the grant's lifetime.

Faculty stipends refer to any payments to be made to any faculty collaborators and are subject to the policies of their respective institutions, which also apply to faculty from outside the Five Colleges. Note that faculty typically cannot receive payment for work that is considered part of their normal job duties. Payments to faculty need to be included in the budget if they’re necessary to the project and will  be considered on a case by case basis during the review process. 

Note: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation does not fund benefits. Benefits should not be included in proposals and should be funded from a different source.

In keeping with the campus policies, payments to individual faculty members should not exceed a rate of $2,500 per course.

For the FCI Mellon NAIS grant, the rate for payments to individual class visitors has been set at $350. Please contact Bea Cusin (bcusin@fivecolleges.edu) with questions on payments to speakers.

The approved limit for materials and supplies is $500 unless the awardee submitted documented needs.

Student involvement in grant-driven curriculum development projects is not required. That line is optional. If the faculty envision student engagement as part of their projects, applicants are expected to explain in detail the roles they see students having and the number of hours they anticipate students to contribute, etc. In some cases, students may participate for academic credit rather than for pay.

Grantees will be expected to fulfill a limited number of requirements, such as submitting syllabi and/or a project report, give a public presentation, providing expense reports, and completing Project Status Reports mid-way through the project and upon its completion.

Residencies may be, for example, Indigenous artists, authors, activists, and community historians, and may be housed at FCI or on one of the member campuses, as appropriate to the residency. As noted above, preference will be given to residencies that benefit multiple campuses, though they may be “housed” on a single campus. Campus and FCI policies severely restrict on-site residencies during the Covid-19 pandemic, therefore we recommend that you check your campus' policy regarding in-person residencies before submitting an application. Priority will be given to projects that take place virtually if in-person events are not possible.

Curriculum development is an essential part of The Mellon Foundation’s expectations for this grant and should be the primary purpose of the mini-grants, though they may also include co-curricular activities.

Five Colleges in the Kwinitekw Valley

The northeast region’s Kwinitekw (Connecticut River) Valley sits at a crossroads of Indigenous nations and continues to be a central gathering place for Native American and Indigenous Studies scholars as well as for Native American and Indigenous leaders, artists, writers, and activists.

map

Statement on the Indigenous Heritage of the Land on which Amherst College and the Five Colleges Reside

Compiled by Bixie Eutsler AC'20 and Ian Miller AC'19
For Manuela Picq's class "Indigenous Women in World Politics"

Suggested Language

"I'd like to begin this event by acknowledging that we stand on Nonotuck land. I'd also like to acknowledge our neighboring Indigenous nations: the Nipmuc and the Wampanoag to the East, the Mohegan and Pequot to the South, the Mohican to the West, and the Abenaki to the North."

People of Nonotuck

The Nonotuck are one of the many Indigenous groups from Kwinitekw, the Connecticut River Valley. Their territory historically encompassed what is now Hadley and Northampton, MA and much of the land eastward toward what we now call the Pelham Hills.1 In the early 17th Century, English and Dutch forces pitted various Algonkian groups from throughout Kwinitekw against other regional tribes. These wars decimated a population that was already ridden with European diseases to which the indigenous population had no immunity. Due to these "beaver wars," as well as the colonial wars of the 17th and 18th centuries, the Nonotuck people folded in with Abenaki people throughout Northern New England and Southern Quebec, and have continued journeys through the area. Many have family connections with current Kwinitekw residents.2 Nearby territories belong to the Nipmuc to the East, and the Abenaki and Pocumtuck to the North.3

Lord Jeffery Amherst, the namesake of Amherst, MA, and former mascot of Amherst College

From 1763 to 1766, Lord Jeffery Amherst, the General who led the British in its conquest of Canada from the French, directed the British colonial forces' action during Pontiac's War, an indigenous rebellion ranging throughout the colonies. During this time, letters he wrote show that he advocated for the dissemination of smallpox-laden blankets to the native population.4 While it is unclear whether the plot was ever completed,5 Amherst did, in an exchange with a subordinate, write, "You will Do well to try to lnnoculate the Indians, by means of Blankets, as well as to Try Every other Method, that can Serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race. - I should be very glad [if] your Scheme for Hunting them down by Dogs could take Effect; but England is at too great a Distance to think that at present."6

--

1 Brooks, Lisa. "Map 3: Kwinitekw." The Common Pot , Amherst College, 2008, lbrooks.people.amherst.edu/thecommonpot/map3.html

2 Bruchac, Marge. "Abenaki Connections to 1704: The Sadoques Family and Deerfield, 2004." In Captive Histories: English, French, and Native Narratives of the 1704 Deerfield Raid, edited by Haefeli Evan and Sweeney Kevin, 262-78. University of Massachusetts Press, 2006. http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt5vk658.29.

3 Brooks, Lisa. "Our Beloved Kin: Northern-Front-Native-Place-Names-Full-View-MAP-PPip89.Jpg." Our Beloved Kin, ourbelovedkin.com/awikhigan/northern-front-native-place-names-full-view-map-ppip89.jpg

4 "Amherst and Smallpox," accessed April 10, 2018, https://people.umass.edu/derrico/amherst/lord_jeff.html

5 Miranda, Christine. "Tracing Lord Jeff." Beyond Lord Jeff, Wordpress, 14 May 2015, beyondlordjeff.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/tracing-the-mascot/.

6 "Amherst and Smallpox," accessed April 10, 2018, https://people.umass.edu/derrico/amherst/lord_jeff.html.

Contact Us

Certificate Program Chair:

Professor Kathleen Brown-PerezSenior Lecturer II, Commonwealth Honors College, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Five College Staff Liaison:

Ray Rennard, Director of Academic Programs (Certificate and NAIS Committee)
Bea Cusin, Administrative Assistant for Sponsored Programs (Mellon NAIS Grant)

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