Earning this broadly interdisciplinary minor reflects an awareness of the indigenous heritage as well as the issues which contemporary native communities and peoples confront. Students will focus on native peoples in the United States and Mexico but will have opportunities to consider the experience of native peoples in a global context. The native studies minor demands a range of knowledge focused in four areas: indigenous cultures, history, and the social and environmental contexts of native life. It makes use of the strengths of university faculty members in anthropology, communication, history, music, visual arts, biology, and economics.
The minor prepares students who expect to work with native communities to understand those communities in a broad cultural, historical, social, and environmental context. Students who earn the minor should have the particular knowledge and sensitivity necessary to work successfully as educators, administrators of businesses and tribal and other governmental bodies, and members of other professions serving native communities. Eighteen reservations are located all or in part in San Diego County, and the California and urban American Indian population is upwards of thirty thousand (not including members of indigenous communities based in Mexico). Much of that population is in the area served by the university. This minor serves as an essential link between the university and the diverse Indian communities within its area of responsibility; a central goal of the program is to strengthen relationships between the university and these communities.
To learn more about the Native Studies program at CSU San Marcos, please visit the Native Studies website.