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.
The minor program is intended to serve as a 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 those communities.
Joely Proudfit has joined the Native Studies faculty as coordinator. Dr. Proudfit came to Cal State San Marcos from CSU San Bernardino, where she was director and founder of the Master of Public Administrative in Tribal Government program. Dr. Proudfit received her PhD in Political Science from Northern Arizona University in 2000. Her dissertation dealt with tribal gaming in Southern California. She is a long-time member of the Cal State San Marcos Native Advisory Council.