Native Pathways Program: Indigenous Knowledge Keepers, Educators, and Scholars (Olympia)

Winter Open
Native Pathways - Olympia
Class Standing
Dawn Barron
Kyle Pittman

In this program, we will trace the history of cultural education, US government Indian education & schooling, and the ascent of Indigenous Studies. We will look at cultural knowledge keepers before and outside of the concept of Western schooling and examine early knowledge workers who sought to influence formal education such as Sarah Winnemucca and Zitkala Sa. This program will explore historical and contemporary attempts to imposes assimilation practices on Native populations in context of federal policy and education reorganization, including boarding schools, progressive reforms, and self-determination.

By engaging with theoretical frameworks in Native Studies, we will imagine the next phase of meaningful education reform in Indian County from an Indigenous/ist perspective. Can the history of imposed schooling ever be undone? How can modern scholars alter and influence the trajectories of Tribal life? How can we understand relational accountability when discussing traditional cultures and the academic study of the humanities? When and how does scholarship serve larger movements? We will read authors such as Sandy Grande, Vine Deloria, Jr., Audra Simpson, and Daniel Wildcat as we seek to explore the answers to these questions and build on foundations of Native and Critical Indigenous studies. Grande says,"The hope is to imagine political/pedagogical strategies that go beyond simply resisting settler relations of power and work to re-center formations of knowledge, not contingent on the management or control of imperial interest, but rather enhance well-being." By considering the history and consequences of education, students will think through the theory and practice of schooling--and education more broadly--with an eye towards liberation and sovereignty as epitomized by "survivance" and resistance within the academy.

This program is writing and research intensive. Students are expected to critically analyze and synthesize material by participating in student-led seminars, responding to free writes, engaging with discussion responses, practicing rhetorical précis and annotation methods, delivering a high quality visual essay, and completing a research proposal and critical research paper. Core classes are on Tuesday and Thursday evenings 6-9:30pm and two full weekends, Saturday and Sunday 10am-4:30pm at the "House of Welcome" Longhouse on February 4 and 5, March 4 and 5.


Course Reference Numbers
(12): 20281
(1 - 16): 20282

Academic Details


4, 8, and 16 credit variable options


$35 fee for NPP cultural meals and materials


Hybrid (W)

See definition of Hybrid, Remote, and In-Person instruction

Evening and Weekend
Schedule Details
Native Pathways - Olympia


Date Revision
2022-03-31 confirmed