Reflecting on Activism: Custer Died for Your Sins


Fall 2014, Winter 2015 and Spring 2015 quarters

Taught by

education, Native American studies, political science
social work

This program is intended for students committed to activism and praxis. We’ll study the scholarship of American Indian author Vine Deloria, Jr., who drew attention to Native American issues since the 1960’s. We will focus on some of Deloria's essential questions to guide research, seminars, independent projects, and community service. Students will explore ways in which American Indians have been deprived of land, economic opportunities, treaty rights, natural resources, religious freedom, repatriation, and access to and protection for sacred places. We will conduct ethnographic interviews, historical research, and write a series of plays for tribal schools. During fall quarter we will examine how knowledge becomes a tool of social change. We will pay special attention to the differences between the knowledge bases of indigenous peoples and the dominant European-American model. How do these differences influence the political and economic realities faced by Native communities? How does one “word smith” activism and praxis for young indigenous learners? During fall and winter quarters, we will study U.S. history, critically considering the “doctrine of discovery”, colonization, and court and government decisions regarding indigenous peoples. Indian activists, tribal leaders, and scholars from the Vine Deloria, Jr. symposium will enrich the work of this program through live appearances and media presentations.

Lectures, films, readings, and student-led text-based seminars will compose the primary structures used by this learning community. Quarterly, students will complete an academic project related to the theme of the program and will work in groups to explore shadow liberation theatre for Indigenous youth. Students will have the option to engage in service learning volunteer projects and internships during winter and spring quarters. Participation in this program means practicing accountability to the learning community, other communities, interacting as a respectful guest with other cultures, and engaging in constant communication with co-learners.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

K-12 education, social work, Indian law, tribal and non-profit management, public policy, and early childhood education-related fields.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day and Weekend


Buy books for this program through Greener Bookstore.

Online Learning

No Required Online Learning: No access to web tools required. Any web tools provided are optional for students.

Required Fees

$75 in winter and spring for indigenous theater arts project supplies.

Internship Possibilities

Winter or Spring: Tribal/non-profit organizations, tribal education prorams, and/or social work agencies with faculty approval


Date Revision
March 3rd, 2015 This program will not accept new enrollment spring quarter.
November 7th, 2014 This program will not accept new enrollment winter quarter.
August 5th, 2014 Fee has been added ($75 in winter and spring).
August 4th, 2014 Joe Tougas will be teaching in Business for Good.
March 5th, 2014 New opportunity added.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Fall); 16 (Winter); 16 (Spring)

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

Maximum enrollment: 48


Course Reference Numbers

Fr (16 credits): 10207
So - Sr (16 credits): 10210
(1-16 credits): 10404

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Enrollment Closed

Course Reference Numbers

Fr (16 credits): 20148
So - Sr (16 credits): 20149
(1-16 credits): 20259

Go to to register for this program.


Enrollment Closed

Course Reference Numbers

Fr (16 credits): 30109
So - Sr (16 credits): 30110
(1-16 credits): 30172

Go to to register for this program.

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