Humboldt State University

Native American Studies


Unique among CSU campuses in its close proximity to several thriving Native American communities, Humboldt provides a rich environment for studying the Native American heritage and for preparing for careers in areas such as Indian education, counseling, and cultural and natural resource management.

Humboldt State offers a Bachelor of Arts in Native American Studies, and minors in Native American Studies; Tribal Leadership; and Indigenous Peoples Natural Resource Use and the Environment.

Emphasis Areas for Bachelor of Arts

  • Law & Government
  • Environment & Natural Resources
  • Language & Literature
  • Society & Culture

Goals for Native American Studies major

  • One is to help students realize the objectives of an undergraduate major as defined at Humboldt State, "to attain an understanding of and disposition toward a disciplined examination of human experience…." Toward this end, the curriculum helps students develop a critical perspective as well as cultural breadth through the study of Native American perspectives and world views. Most courses are taught from a Native American perspective, while the transdisciplinary approaches enable students to
    1. acquire the concepts and methods of social science disciplines;
    2. gain insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the disciplines themselves
    3. acquire an understanding of a cultural heritage different from that of the dominant culture of the United States and thus a critical perspective on that culture
  • The second goal is to provide Native American students with an opportunity to study their own cultural heritage as well as to acquire the capacity for a disciplined examination of that heritage and of their experience.
  • The third goal is to provide a foundation of knowledge, analytical skills, understanding and sensitivity for individuals who may wish to seek careers that relate to Native American communities. There are careers in the areas of federal Indian law, tribal governments, Native American education, cultural and natural resource management, and human services.

Outcomes for students completing program

  • knowledge of and the ability to communicate significant information regarding Native American cultures, histories, federal and tribal law and government, community development, language and tradition, stewardship, sovereignty, and other issues affecting life in Indian country, especially from a Native American perspective
  • knowledge of research and application to research issues affecting life in Indian country by using academic support services, library materials and personnel, computing services, media services, and ancillary services (e.g. museum and health related facilities)
  • the ability to recognize and utilize the academically-obtained resources and capabilities to respond to and assist local, regional, and national tribal efforts at meeting tribal needs in dealing with the community and interacting with all levels of government, as well as society as a whole
  • knowledge of basic native environmental relationships and issues through their awareness of diverse Native American cultural imperatives and scientifically-derived perspectives, as well as an ability and desire to become respectful caretakers of the environment through cultivating and sustaining environmentally safe livelihoods, thus ensuring ecological unity, responsible use of land, policies free from discrimination, and protection of sacred and historical sites
  • the ability to recognize the scope of tribal sovereignty as it relates to tribal, federal, and international laws (legislative and judicial), including the structure of federal/ tribal relationships, indigenous autonomy, and self-governing behaviors.