The Native American Studies Program provides the opportunity to study the historic experience, the contributions, the culture, and the contemporary life of Native Peoples of North America. Course work spotlights the culture, language and traditions of the Peoples of the Flathead Nation, while studying Native history from tribes across the United States. The curriculum examines history, Native languages, art, sciences, literature and traditions of the Salish, Pend d’Orielle and Kootenai Peoples. It includes North American Native history, federal policy, and the contemporary issues that shape the lives of Native people throughout the United States. Students will have the ability to observe the integrity with which Native People led their lives in the past and today with cultural traditions that have sustained them for generations. Students will discover perspectives that significantly contrast with the modern Western worldview.

Career Opportunities

Students completing the Native American Studies Certificate or Associate degree program have a solid foundation that they can utilize when entering into or transferring to higher level degree programs in Native American Studies. This foundation is also very valuable in providing a solid historical and general cultural background to anyone living and working in Indian Country as a great companion program for any other degree program.

Degree Objectives

Certificate of Completion, Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the Certificate, students will:

  • Explain how the history of Indians post-contact relates to the Flathead Indian Reservation
  • Demonstrate basic traditional arts and technologies of the Salish and Kootenai cultures.
  • Analyze how Federal Indian Policy affected the Salish and Kootenai tribes
  • Recognize and pronounce basic vocabulary in the language of the Salish or Kootenai Tribes.


Associate of Arts, Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the Associate of Arts Degree, students will:

  • Analyze aspects of humanities as it relates to culture, history, and literature of American Indians;
  • Communicate orally and through scholarly writing issues of federal Indian Policy and tribal government;
  • Contextualize the effects that federal policy has on Native Americans;
  • Investigate historic and contemporary interactions between native and non-native populations.
  • Investigate the history and techniques used in indigenous science.


 Program Goals

The AA in Native American Studies curriculum emphasizes the following competencies:

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, active listening skills, and cultural appropriate communication abilities. (Communication)
  • Increased knowledge of the Salish and Kootenai cultures as well as ability to discuss other Native American groups in the United States. (Cultural competency)
  • Proficiency in discussing history, cultural beliefs, norms, languages, and attitudes that contribute to the strength, self determination, and survival of Native communities. (Citizenship)
  • Ability to analyze current issues affecting tribes and individual members of tribes. (Critical Thinking)


Students must receive a “C” or better in all required courses while maintaining an overall grade point average of 2.0 to graduate.