Native American and Indigenous Programs

Native Studies is not a place to study Indians, but rather a place to study the world from a Native perspective. —Mary Ellen Hillaire (Lummi)

Native American and Indigenous Studies

In programs on the Native American and Indigenous Studies Path, you’ll learn to pull from your lived experiences to cultivate your voice and gain skills that will set you up for success after college.

Get involved with Evergreen’s visionary Native leadership and tribal relationships through the Americas, the Pacific Rim, and the world. Learn about the effects of colonialism and decolonization and explore enduring Indigenous ways of knowing.

Programs on this Path are open to all Evergreen students with an interest in Native and Indigenous Studies. This Path addresses responsibilities and protocols for non-Native students to follow.

You can get involved in the Indigenous arts at Evergreen’s the s'gʷi gʷi ʔ altxʷ: House of Welcome Longhouse Education and Cultural Center, the fiber arts studio, the carving studio, and more on the Indigenous Arts Campus.

Native Pathways Program (NPP)

Some offerings on this Path are part of the Native Pathways Program. NPP is built on positive mentorship, academic rigor, community service, and Indigenous empowerment. Programs are hosted at different sites across western Washington, including at Evergreen’s Olympia and Tacoma campuses.

NPP course offerings span subjects from creative writing to environmental history and much more, but always through a lens that honors Indigenous knowledge and culture.

Explore the Native Pathways Program.

Highlights of this Path

Rigorous, flexible, dynamic learning

Programs on this Path are offered on the Olympia campus during daytime, evenings, and weekends. Native Pathways Programs also offer classes at various locations throughout Western Washington.

Whether you’re working during school or committing to your studies fulltime, you can create an academic curriculum and schedule that works for you.

This Path offers flexible options for both in-person and online learning.

Indigenous Arts Campus

The Indigenous Arts Campus is a one-of-a-kind resource. The campus includes s'gʷi gʷi ʔ altxʷ: House of Welcome Longhouse Education and Cultural Center, a fiber arts studio, and a carving studio.

With these facilities and the amazing faculty and staff on this Path, you’ll learn about Indigenous arts and cultures, craft your own works, and expand your understanding of Indigenous histories and cultures.

Comprehensive Indigenous studies

You’ll get to focus your studies through a Native lens. You can study treaty relationships, the global effects of colonialism and decolonization, tribal law, the diversity of Indigenous communities, cultural preservation efforts, and much more. 

Programs on this Path are rigorous and comprehensive. You’ll gain skills in:

  • Collaboration
  • Critical thinking
  • Cultural competency
  • Independent research
  • Leadership
  • Quantitative reasoning
  • Writing
  • and more

Build lasting connections

Programs on this Path put you in close collaboration with your peers. A student-centered community will drive you forward, support you as you pursue your passions, and help you make real connections that will last far beyond college.

You’ll also have opportunities to work with Indigenous tribes throughout the region that connect with Evergreen on a regular basis, giving you the chance to learn from and work with them as a student.

Community service

This Path gives you lots of opportunities to make a difference in the community. Many students find internships or volunteer work through the Center for Community-Based Learning and Action (CCBLA). You can also work with the Center for Climate Action and Sustainability to support climate work with Indigenous nations.

Eyes on the future

Faculty and staff are deeply invested in your future and helping you pursue what you’re most passionate about. Whether you’re interested in education, environmental studies, natural resource management, tribal law, or anything else related to this Path, you’ll find the freedom and support you need to pursue your goals after graduation.

This Path is also excellent preparation for the Tribal Governance concentration of Evergreen’s Master of Public Administration program.

This Path can prepare you for careers in

  • Community-based learning
  • Education
  • Environmental policy and natural resources
  • Ethical writing and research
  • Ethnic studies
  • Government
  • Human services
  • Indigenous food sovereignty studies
  • Indigenous literature
  • Indigenous research
  • Indigenous visual arts
  • Public administration

Graduate school opportunities beyond this Path

  • Education
  • Fine Arts
  • Humanities and social sciences
  • Law
  • Native American, American Indian, and critical Indigenous studies
  • Public Administration
  • Social Work
  • Teaching
Faculty on this Path
Title Expertise
Ackley, Kristina Native American studies
Aguilar-Wells, Michelle public administration, Native American studies, art
Eloheimo, Marja Ethnobotany, Indigenous Studies, Climate Justice
Grossman, Zoltan geography, Native American studies
McCarty, Alexander 3D studio art
Pavel, Susan
Peterson, Gary social work
Peterson, Yvonne education, Native American studies, political science
Rains, Frances V. Native American studies, history, women's studies
Catalog Offerings for 2021-22
Title Paths Class Standing Credits
American Frontiers: Homelands and Borderlands
  • Sophomore
  • Junior
  • Senior
8, 16
Creative Writing: "Savage Conversations"
  • Freshman
  • Sophomore
  • Junior
  • Senior
Critical Indigenous Studies (CIS): Rooted, Legacies of Food Justice
  • Freshman
  • Sophomore
  • Junior
  • Senior
Critical Indigenous Studies (CIS): Rooted: Food Players, Policy, and Power
  • Freshman
  • Sophomore
  • Junior
  • Senior
Culture, Community, and Cosmos: Health Sovereignty and Self-Determination
  • Freshman
  • Sophomore
Foundational Studio Projects in the Visual Arts
  • Freshman
  • Sophomore
Indigenous Storytelling: Cultural Political Performance
  • Freshman
  • Sophomore
  • Junior
  • Senior
8, 12, 16
Native Digital Design: Layout and Typography
  • Freshman
  • Sophomore
  • Junior
  • Senior
Native Pathways Program: Tribalography (Olympia)
  • Sophomore
  • Junior
  • Senior
The Power of Stories: Language, Communication, and Leadership for Creating Change
  • Freshman
  • Sophomore
  • Junior
  • Senior
Tradition and Innovation: Northwest Coast Indigenous Digital Design and Printmaking
  • Freshman
  • Sophomore
  • Junior
  • Senior

Programs planned 2021-25


  • Introduction to Environmental Studies
  • Catastrophe: Community Resilience in the Face of Disaster
  • American Frontiers: Homelands and Borderlands
  • Reality Check: Indian Images and (Mis)Representations
  • Even When Erased We Exist: Native American Women Standing Strong for Justice
  • Place, Memory, Narrative: Northwest Coast Native Art and Literature
  • Indigenous People and the Pacific World
  • Creative Writing: Short Fiction and Poetry (4 credit course)
  • Critical Indigenous Studies I and II (4 credit courses)


  • Conceptualizing Place: Pacific Northwest Native Art and Geographies
  • Art as Archive: Indigenous Material Culture
  • Language and Power
  • Indigenous Storytelling as Resistance
  • Thinking In Indian: Democracy, Civic Engagement, Resistance
  • Filming Stories of the Land
  • Native Pathways Program
  • Critical Indigenous Studies III (4 credit course)

Fields of Study related to this Path