Tribal Program Curriculum

The Evergreen State College Native Pathways Program curriculum is built upon the program's philosophy that it best meets students' needs by creating and delivering a well-defined, consistent program that balances personal authority, indigenous knowledge and academics.

  • Personal authority challenges students to be personally accountable for their attendance, engagement and learning, and to declare the nature of their own work.
  • Indigenous knowledge honors the founding principles of the program and its commitment to involving our community's keepers of cultural and traditional knowledge as teachers and valuable human resources.
  • Academics give breadth within the liberal arts through reading, writing, research and other scholarly pursuits that complement personal authority and community knowledge.

This Liberal Arts curriculum is a repeatable three-year cycle built on the following themes and core courses:

2017-2018: Rebuilding Native Nations: Strategies for Governance and Development

  • Fall core course: Tribal Administration
  • Winter core course: Ethics for Tribal Vitality
  • Spring core course: Profiles in Leadership

2018-2019: Foundations for Sustainable Tribal Nations

  • Fall core course: Sovereignty and Indian Law
  • Winter core course: Setting the Stage for Leadership
  • Spring core course: Reclaiming, Protecting and Practicing Sustainability

2019-2020: Contemporary Indian Communities in Global Society

  • Fall core course: Indigenous Pathways to Rich and Thriving Communities
  • Winter core course: Building Healthy Communities
  • Spring core course: Comparing Indigenous Societies through Social and Political Movements

The 5-credit core courses are taught through face -to-face classes at each site (classes meet 2 nights a week), with the same core course readings and assignments at each site. (Quinault, Peninsula College and Evergreen Tacoma campuses) An online core course is also available.

Students typically earn up to 9 credits for work done through site classes. Advanced students may propose additional work for additional credit.

Students also meet for class 4 Saturdays per quarter at the Longhouse on the Evergreen campus. Here's the breakdown for the Saturday portion of the curriculum:

  • Saturday morning: Students earn up to 2 credits through successful completion of strand courses, which meet 4 Saturday mornings throughout the quarter. These courses are designed to provide the breadth of a Liberal Arts education. Samples of recurring courses include Coastal Art Design and Application, Birds Afield, Human Services, Salish Art, Collaborative Management, Writing Stories of Our People, Public Speaking, Ethnobotany, and many others.
  • Saturday afternoon: Students earn up to 1 credit for successful completion of course requirements for Battlegrounds, a series of workshops built around case studies of contemporary issues in Indian country. Battlegrounds combines the Evergreen Native Pathways Program students and students from the Grays Harbor College and Peninsula College Bridge program in activities and discussions relevant to Tribal communities.