Breaking Ground 2013-14


Winter 2014 quarter

Taught by

education, Native American studies, political science

“He brought me to the Elwha River every morning to bathe… And it was to make you strong, not only in your body, but in your mind and spirit. And I believe that’s what helped me to survive everything that was to come.”
Johnson Charles, Jr., Lower Elwha Klallam

This program is intended for students wishing to analyze a modern day dilemma: American Indians have standing in their land, cultural protocols, and legal relationships with the U.S. Government; the State of Washington wants/needs to repair a bridge and provide jobs; and local community people plan to develop a waterfront. Students will use the text Breaking Ground , related print/non-print documents, the case study “Tse-Whit-Zen: An Ancient Klallam Village Reclaimed…Territory Taken but no Forgotten,” and interview WSDOT employees and Lower Elwha Klallam tribal members to formulate cross-cultural communication models. Students will build an academic foundation in law and public policy as they move from theory to praxis using the following texts: Understanding Indian Treaties as Law , Documents of United States Indian Policy , and Encounters .

We are interested in providing an environment of collaboration in which faculty and learners will ask essential questions, identify topics of mutual interest and act as partners in the exploration of those topics. Learners will be exposed to research methods, the politics of ethnographic research, interview techniques, writing workshops, and educational technology. Students will effectively use Bloom’s Taxonomy, develop essential questions, and commit to Paul’s 35 Elements of Critical Thinking. Students will also use the expectations of an Evergreen graduate and the five foci as a guide to their development.  Students will have the opportunity to improve their skills in self- and group-motivation as well as communication (including dialogue, email, resources on the Web and our moodle site).

Students (in groups) will propose, undertake and evaluate a three-week ethnographic interview project to understand how student groups have formed on campus and the politics of their existence. Students will present their academic project during week ten.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

law, history, social justice, American Indian studies, political science, ethnic studies, multicultural studies, and ethnographic study.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


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Online Learning

No Required Online Learning

More information about online learning.


Date Revision
August 2nd, 2013 New opportunity added.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Winter)

Variable Credit Options

variable credit options available with permission from the faculty.

Class standing: Freshmen–Senior; 25% of the seats are reserved for freshmen

Maximum enrollment: 24


Course Reference Numbers

Fr (16 credits): 20302
So - Sr (16 credits): 20305
(1-16 credits): 20360

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