Indigenous Storytelling As Resistance

Fall 2020
Sophomore - Senior
Class Size: 50
16 Credits per quarter
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This one-quarter program is intended for students committed to activism, ally-ship, and praxis.  Why do stories teach ways to survive as Indigenous people as both individuals and as people? We will study the Indigenous art of storytelling identifying ways tribal people have used language conceptually to tell each tribe’s history, moral precepts, and spirituality, passing down stories from one generation to the next. Using the River of Culture template we will study laws and policies impacting the lived experience of American Indians and students will conduct research.  In this research, students will pose and respond to essential questions about contemporary issues that continue to deprive American Indians of land economic opportunities, treaty rights, natural resources, religious freedom, repatriation, access to and protection for sacred places – looking at the history and stories behind the headlines.  Students will interview tribal activists, and read novels and poetry that tell stories of resistance in a personal way.

U.S. history will be studied in terms of the doctrine of discovery, steps of colonization, and court recognition and enforcement of the Indian Tribes’ legal, political property, and cultural rights as Indigenous peoples.  Workshops, films, readings, seminars, and student led text-based seminars will compose the primary structures used by this learning community.  Students will propose an academic project using an essential question format to report out findings and write up their research about “storytelling” as a form of resistance.  Introduction to art therapy, reclaiming of art traditions and protocols, and participation in the liberation theater component of the program requires students to make art products to extend their learning/leadership.  Liberation theater is a readers theater group stepping up to welcome visitors to programs hosted by the Longhouse Education & Cultural Center.  Students will have an opportunity to volunteer to assist with the making of art items for the annual Canoe Paddle Journey and for assisting with the Evergreen Canoe Family.

Students will engage in program service learning, volunteer projects, and environmental stewardship.  All students will participate in orientation to the program theme and issues, historic and political frameworks, and work respectfully with Tribal communities and organizations.  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 cross-cultural communication with co-learners.

To successfully participate in this program students need access to a computer and reliable internet. Students should expect a mix of synchronous and asynchronous work using Zoom and chat rooms. Students will have access to alternatives to synchronous participation if conditions require. There may be optional outdoor on campus activities, including supply kit pickups (mailed alternatives available to those who cannot come to campus).



Fall 2020 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16): 10177
So - Sr (1 - 16): 10180

Academic details

Preparatory for studies and careers in

K-12 teaching, social work, community/tribal theatre

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing

$100.00 for student art supplies.  Products will be owned by the student.


Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting



Date Revision
2020-08-13 This program is now fully remote