Document 18027430


AMIND 320 American Indians in Contemporary Society

Professors Linda Rose Locklear

Office: A&L 331 Office Hours: Wednesday on these dates from 10am -12pm

Jan/25, Feb/15, March/14, April/18, May/2

Phone: 619-594-6991or 760-701-0038

E-mail: [email protected]





This course explores the similarities and distinctions among the over five hundred contemporary American Indian communities in the United States and Canada. We will look at specific tribal communities as well as more recent pan-tribal American

Indian communities and identities. The class takes a dynamic and inter-disciplinary approach to contemporary Indian communities by examining history, literature, economic development, law, political systems, religious practices, ecology, language use, and identity formation.





Our goal is to understand how Native communities blend “traditional” and non-Native practices to maintain distinct cultures, communities, and governments within the larger U.S. society. The assigned texts offer different perspectives on contemporary American Indian life by speaking from distinctive tribal, geographic, economic, socio-political, and cultural communities and perspectives. At the same time, it is our job to find the significant overlapping subjects of the course material in order to generate fruitful discussions, on the discussion board, of comparisons between various Native communities and ways of perceiving community.

Success in this class will rely on student participation and open discussion online. Your ideas matter and it is important that you share them with the class so that we can learn from one another. In order for this to work it is imperative that you read the assignments and post on the class discussion about them. It is critical to foster a positive environment for discussion—one that generates respectful attention to classmates and critical analysis of course material. In order to accomplish this I will always urge you to approach the course subject matter and your classmates with mindfulness: to be precise, honest, humble, and rigorous; to say or write nothing you can’t stand behind; to respect difference, your classmate, the instructor, and the complexity of the material; to be self-interrogating but also generous; to be detail-attentive and imaginative.



Native American Voices: A Reader, 3 rd

. Edition, Talbot, Lobo and Morris

Indian Country Today (On-line Weekly Newspaper)


Quizzes = 30%


Bi-Weekly quizzes over reading, course material


30 point each) MC and T/F, short answer and essay questions will be used.

Final Exam = 20%

Your final will consist of M/C question, T/F, short answer and essay questions. 50 points

Discussion Board Post (5 points each) =25%

Students will be responsible for posting a brief reaction to a discussion questions posted on the discussion board regarding the topic covered and responding to another students post for full points.

8 - Indian Country Today Discussions

(5 points)

= 5%

Every other week students will post a discussion presentation online on a current events relating to American Indian communities. These discussions will be based on an article of the student’s choice from the native newspaper

Indian Country Today

found at:

. Discussion will be evaluated on thoughtful preparation, accuracy, and responding to another student’s post for full points.

4 Research Project / Paper = 20%

The main goal of this project is for you to create a real-world application for the knowledge that you have learned in class. Think about how the information you have learned in this class is useful to the world outside of this classroom, and then create a plan of action to make the information relevant and important to the larger community. Choose the topic/issue on current issues in Indian Country (such as health, economics, government, enrollment, etc.), research it, and decide how to materialize or operationalize this topic/issue. You will have lots of the semester to work on this. For this project you will write a 1-page group proposal (

Due February


) and a 5-page-minimum final report (

Due on April 30).

This is an online class, but you may present in person if you wish at a scheduled group meeting the week of April 30-May 4. You will receive a handout going into much greater detail on how to go about this project and what I expect.

Total: 100 %

Grading will be on a percentage basis and will be cumulative:

90% of total points for the semester = A

80%= B

70%= C

60% = D


All papers and tests must be completed on or before the due date as indicated on this syllabus or as announced by the instructor. Late work or exams will be accepted only in unusual circumstances and then ONLY BY PRIOR ARRANGEMENT with the instructor. In addition,

2% will be taken off for each week late. There will be no make up for the final exam.

Extra Credit:

Throughout the semester there will be opportunities for limited extra credit, generally based around events in the area. I will keep you posted as to when these events happen. The amount of extra credit will be up to my discretion.






SDSU defines plagiarism as follows “using others’ ideas and words without clearly acknowledging the source of information.” Plagiarism will result in a failing grade for the assignment and possibly in broader consequences. If you have any questions about what constitutes plagiarism or about proper documentation, please see me and the university’s information at:







SDSU provides accommodations for students with learning disabilities. For assistance, please contact Disabled Student Services at (619) 594-6473, visit the website at

, or see me.

Instructor Philosophy

: I believe students learn best by cooperation and collaboration, not by competition. Your grade in this class depends entirely on yourself, not on how well you do in comparison to other students.

Addressing the Instructor:

I am a very informal person; please feel free to call me Linda. Unless you have an objection, I will address you by your first name.

Expressing Ideas and Emotions Appropriately

: Critical thinking, which is absolutely essential to learning, requires the free exchange of ideas and opinions. Like your classmates, I truly want to hear what you think. I promise you that I will not penalize you for your ideas or opinions, even if they are in conflict with my own, but you need to express them in a civil manner and make no personal attacks on your classmates or me. I hope it goes without saying that ethnophaulisms (derogatory words or phrases which refer to a racial or ethnic group) and epithets referring to a person's gender or sexual orientation are unacceptable on the discussion board. Please remember that your right to express an idea or opinion does NOT mean you have a right to have your ideas and opinions go unchallenged. Your classmates will be allowed to respond to your ideas and opinions, and you may be asked to offer evidence to support your arguments.