American Indian and Indigenous Studies (AIIS) seeks to build how we understand:
American Indian and Indigenous cultures,
American Indian and Indigenous identities,
The many roles of American Indian and Indigenous peoples in today's world,
And the changing demands of American Indian and Indigenous peoples in the pursuit of cross-cultural diversity.
We believe these are issues that transcend traditional boundaries between academic disciplines. These issues likewise transcend university settings. AIIS’s interwoven curriculum empowers students to understand complex Indigenous topics and respond thoughtfully.
The undergraduate Minor and graduate Certificate each feature specialized courses on American Indian and Indigenous issues. AIIS-affiliated courses are wide ranging across MSU departments.
Examples of previous AIIS-affiliated courses and topics include:
Anthropology offers “American Indian Prehistory,” “Contemporary Indian Communities,” “American Indian Women” and a variety of other classes.
Issues of community involvement, language retention and preservation are of personal and academic importance to AIIS faculty, and the list of academic offerings is always growing.
Michigan State University is one of twenty member universities in the Newberry Consortium in American Indian Studies (NCAIS). NCAIS offers many opportunities for faculty and students to participate in scholarly activities with peers from universities across the US and Canada.