PSU To Offer State's First Major In Indigenous Nations And Native American Studies This Fall



PSU To Offer State's First Major In Indigenous Nations And Native American Studies This Fall

Portland State University students will have the option of majoring in Indigenous Nations and Native American Studies starting this fall, the first major of its kind in the state, according to the university.

The University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences announced the major Wednesday, calling it an effort “years in the making.”

“It just is so important to finally recognize, intellectually, the bedrock significance of indigenous experiences,” said Winston Grady-Willis, director of the School of Gender, Race and Nations. “Not only historically, not only in this ongoing effort to stave off genocide, but also contemporarily in terms of the complexities that comes with even beginning to have a sense of indigenous ways of knowing.”

The university says the major aims to offer native and non-native students alike with opportunities to study the history, values and contemporary issues of Native peoples. The major will cover critical studies, tribal race theory, decolonizing methodologies and traditional and cultural ecological knowledge, among other topics.

PSU has offered a minor in Indigenous Nations Studies since 2002. The major was approved by the school’s board of trustees in May and Oregon’s Higher Education Coordination Commission in June.  Approval from the board and the HECC were among the final hurdles in the major’s approval process after the university’s Faculty Senate approved the major in April.

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