Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies

Native American and Indigenous Studies celebration

The study of Native American and indigenous peoples raises issues that are critical for a meaningful liberal arts education. Concepts such as power, citizenship, culture, identity, justice, and sovereignty take on new meanings in the context of colonialism and the struggles, past and present, of indigenous peoples.

Faculty, staff and students meet regularly to discuss concerns of tribal people, culture and histories, with emphasis on the heritage of the tribes of the Northeastern region of North America.


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The Five College NAIS listserv is open to all community members who are interested in learning about local events, current news in Indian Country, and professional opportunities. To subscribe, click here and enter your name and email address. In the event that you no longer wish to receive email notifications, the same form may also be used to unsubscribe from the listserv.


Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies Certificate

Students in this certificate program draw on the resources of not one campus but five, benefiting from a wide variety of courses exploring Native American and Indigenous issues that are taught within the consortium each year. Learn more.

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 adviser to design an individualized course of study.

Interested in pursuing the certificate? Please let us know.

Areas of Faculty Expertise

The campuses of the Five College consortium include noted scholars of Native American and Indigenous studies, ethnic studies and other disciplines whose approaches can be applied to this field. Specialities include:

  • U.S. Indian law
  • Global Indigenous rights
  • Intellectual and artistic traditions
  • Critical race theory
  • Protecting sacred sites and landscapes
  • Resilience, well-being and mental health
  • Digital community-based research
  • Ecological knowledge
  • Local to transnational histories
  • Literature and languages
  • Museums/public history

"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