Indigenous People and the Pacific World

Spring 2024
Freshman - Sophomore
Class Size: 35
16 Credits per quarter
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We will place Indigenous people and the Pacific world at the center of our narrative on the “Red Pacific” through a focus on art, literature, and history. The Pacific Ocean is not only a conduit for the physical movement of people and ideas, but also serves as a highway for connections between cultures. How can we understand a sense of place that is based both on landscape and on seascape? We will learn about the multiple histories of the Pacific world, considering in more depth the connections between the Indigenous people of the Coast Salish region, Hawai’i, Australia, and Aotearoa.

We will examine the “Red Pacific” as part of a larger story of globalization and the worldwide movement of Indigenous people and their technologies, ideas, and material goods. We will particularly work to understand the canoe as transportation, cultural artifact, and symbol of sovereignty and nation-building. Students will analyze contemporary examples of Indigenous connections such as the Tribal Canoe Journeys, Gatherings of Indigenous Artists held at Evergreen in 2001 and 2017, and recent voyaging of the Polynesian triangle by double-hulled waka.

Students will be expected to integrate extensive readings, lecture notes, films, interviews and other sources in writing assignments. Students will learn about the different ways that Native communities have employed images and objects as links to history, identity, culture, function and ceremony. Students will develop the foundations of studio art practice in Northwest Native design and woodcarving techniques. Students will explore and research the use of woodcarving by Indigenous artists of the Pacific and will learn how to use traditional Northwest Coast carving tools. Faculty will work with students to develop different forms of literacies, including visual, cultural, and political. These skills are often prerequisites for those who wish to be involved with artistic practice or plan on teaching.


Spring 2024 Registration

Academic details

Preparatory for studies and careers in

the arts, education, government, non-profit organizations, and public history.

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing
Special Expenses

Students can expect to pay up to $100 for woodcarving materials and 2D design supplies.


In Person or Remote
In Person
Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule