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Native Pathways Program - Mediated: Indigenous Rhetoric, Identity Politics, and Public Spaces (Salish Sea Hybrid)

Spring 2020
Native Pathways - Olympia
Evening and Weekend
Junior - Senior
Class Size: 24
12 Credits per quarter
Variable credit options, see below
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Taught by

Native Pathways Program (NPP) Mediated:  Indigenous Rhetoric, Identity Politics, and Public Spaces is designed to explore and act on contemporary political/politicized speech through Indigenous lenses, with a focus on rhetoric, social media, and productive & healthy communications. This course will build on real-world examples of conversations—in person, over time, online, and/or memorialized—that have the potential to inspire Indigenized communication patterns that bring desired effects in a multi-cultural world.

The author Sidner Larson says, “It is one thing to thoroughly analyze a conversation, but it is another to put it into historical context, identify the current manifestations of the issues, and synthesize effective action for the future.”

In this his hands-on exploration, students will investigate public conversations in real time, with an eye to communicators such as scholars, politicians, experts, activists, healers, pundits, and artists. The program will consider representation, power, and tradition in order to make positive contributions to Indigenized futures. How can we be more effective in using words and images to meet goals? Are there political answers to pressing issues such as climate change, MMIW, violence, and poverty? How do Traditioneity and Indigenous Futurisms coincide? Should you be on social media? What is an Indigenous/ist analysis? This program will present these questions and more to learn across cultures and strengthen interdisciplinary, intersectional, and Indigenous thinking.

This program is grounded in storytelling, critical and contextual analysis, and foundational skills in Western academics even as we seek to deepen and empower the academy through decolonization. Students are expected to participate in seminar and longhouse gatherings, write reflections (formal and informal), annotate readings, analyze, think freely, submit an academic statement, work with visual images, and craft research analysis essays that are driven by Indigenous research methods. In most cases, students will be able to choose the best formats for their particular investigations.

NPP facilitates learning by using Western and Indigenous pedagogies and presenting materials through an indigenous lens (and encouraging students to bring their own lenses). Students are expected to attend classes with their site faculty during the week and meet at the Evergreen Longhouse on two Saturday & Sunday weekends  and a closing Saturday to earn full program credits.

Common Texts:  Watchman’s Rattle and Talking to Strangers



This program is designed for students with strong social, cultural or economic ties to local tribal communities, on or off Indian reservations.  To be formally admitted to the Native Pathways Program, prospective students must meet the following criteria:

Spring 2020 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

(12): 30302
(1 - 16): 30303

Academic details

Variable Credit Options

One 12 credit CRN, no signature 

1 variable, signature required

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing

$35 for a cultural meal


Time Offered
Evening and Weekend
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting

LONGHOUSE 1007A - Workshop
Native Pathways - Olympia