Welcome to HTY/SSC 110HM, Native American History and Life.
This course is part of Saint Leo University’s General Education Program which is called University Explorations. University Explorations courses introduce students to a broad range of ideas that will provide them with the writing, reading, conversational, critical thinking, and analytical tools they will need to be successful in today’s global society. Native American History and Life is one of the courses offered under the Human Mosaic category. This is the section of University Explorations that requires students to become familiar with issues related to diversity in America and in the world today.
Native American History and Life will provide a forum within which students will develop important knowledge and skills related to cultural awareness and the diverse nature of life within what is now the United States of America. Understanding the history and plight of Native American peoples, including their triumphs as well as their tragedies, will allow students to view American history from an often-ignored perspective. Once they have completed this course, my hope is that they will have learned to question any standard recitation of events and to seek to learn the truth from all perspectives.
One of the most difficult aspects of teaching Native American history is to help students to conceptualize Native Americans as real people who had families and friends, happiness and sadness, just like people of today. Conceptions of Native Americans are so wrought with larger than life stereotypes that it is important to quickly disavow students of these preconceived notions by introducing them to Native American life prior to the arrival of Europeans. The course then moves to the arrival of Europeans and their interactions with Native Americans, Native American removal, Native American rebellion, efforts to assimilate Native Americans, and the Native American experience in 20th Century America to the present.
In order to ensure that students become familiar with Native American culture, the course begins with an in-depth look at the Iroquois and the Algonquians, two Northeastern tribes. Students will also study in depth the Southeastern Five Civilized tribes (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole) as well as the Comanche and Apache of the Southwest and the Sioux of the Northern Plains. Onground instructors are free to bring other tribes from the Far West and from other geographic areas into the discussion though lecture and by assigning additional readings, films, etc. Online instructors can accomplish this through discussion questions and by encouraging students to choose tribes not discussed in the class to research for their end of term presentations.
The textbook for this course is called First Americans: A History of Native Peoples (Combined Volume) by Kenneth W. Townsend and Mark A. Nicholas published by Pearson. Students will be required to purchase the book in hard copy or in ebook form together with access to the My Search Lab online resource companion for the text (www.mysearchlab.com). Instructors will need to contact the publisher in order to gain access to the Mysearchlab content for this textbook. For the onground version of this course, I have included on the master syllabus several activities that can be accessed through Mysearchlab. These activities are embedded in the online versions of this course. The textbook serves as an overview of the subject matter for the students and must be assigned. However, instructors are free to augment student learning by adding to the syllabus additional articles, primary source documents, and films.
Because so much of this course involves tracing the movements of Native Americans, Europeans and Americans across the continent, it is important that students become familiar with the geography of North America. For this reason, map work is a component of the course and students will be tested on the physical and political U.S. map.
I hope you will enjoy teaching this course as much as I have enjoyed creating it.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
Heather R. Parker, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History
Chair, Social Sciences
Students will be required to complete the following work for this course.
For online sections, there is one embedded exam that includes material related to geography and the content of the modules. For onground sections, Exam 1, the Midterm exam, and the Final exam must include at least one essay question that requires students to demonstrate critical thinking skills. In addition to the essay question(s) exams can include short-answer questions. Multiple choice questions are not permitted for exams in this course.
QEP Assignment (Critical Thinking + Values = Decision Making):
This 2-page assignment is located within Module 2. For this assignment students will be asked to reflect on what price Native Americans paid for the benefits that came with adopting European trade goods. They will then look at our society and ask the same questions about the benefits and detriments of the modern conveniences upon which we have become dependent in 21st century America.
8 Critical Thinking/Values Discussion Questions:
These critical thinking and values discussion questions are imbedded within each of the 8 modules. Assign these questions to students for homework in preparation for discussing their answers in class for onground classes or within discussion boards for online classes. For onground classes, these assignments work best if students prepare informal written answers to these questions and bring these to class with them so that they will have something substantial to contribute to the class discussion.
Toward the end of the course, onground students will create a Power Point or Prezi presentation related to the past and present of the Native American group of their choice and also present it to the class. Students must demonstrate that they are an “expert” on the material and must not read the information to the class. They must speak clearly and concisely. Students should be prepared to address questions or comments from classmates and the instructor after the presentation. Online students must prepare the Power Point or Prezi presentation required within the online course. Students will be required to demonstrate their facility with the material and their communications skills by recording their voice with the presentation or by engaging in a phone conversation with their instructor about the material within the presentation or through a Collaborate session. Classmates will be required to post questions or comments related to each student’s presentation to which the presenter must provide informed responses.
This essay is a 5-7 page essay related to the Indian Boarding Schools (Module 6).
NCAI (National Congress of American Indians) Representatives, 1944