The Native American Studies Program is committed to studying the historic experience, the contributions, and the contemporary life of the Native Peoples of North America. The principles and values of the People of the Flathead Nation are as vital in modern life as they have been through the millennium. Students will discover an often unreported history while learning about a worldview that contrasts greatly with our modern technocratic, capitalistic society. The curriculum examines the history, language, art, and traditions of the Salish, Kootenai, and Pend d Orielle peoples. Course work also includes North American Indian history, federal policy, and the contemporary issues that shape the lives of Indians in today’s world.

Degree Objectives

Upon completion of Certificate in Native American Studies, 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.


 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)


Upon completion of the Associate of Arts degree in Native American Studies, a student will:

  • Synthesize aspects of humanities as it relates to culture, history, and literature of American Indians
  • Communicate orally and through scholarly writing the issues of federal Indian Policy and tribal government.
  • Contextualize the effects that Federal Policy has on Native Americans
  • Analyze historic and contemporary interactions between native and non-native populations
  • Describe the history and techniques used in Indigenous Science practices, traditional skills, technologies, language, and cultural practices