This course is designed to provide students with basic background in North American Indian life and culture from prehistoric times to the present day. It consists of an overview of the rich variety of cultures across the continent with an emphasis on comparison and contrast. Emphasis is placed on both Great Lakes and Plains cultures. Archeological sites and study of contemporary issues in areas such as health and education round out the course. Students have the opportunity to enhance their educational experience and earn additional credit by participating in optional field labs.
This course covers different cultures, particularly preliterate ones, and includes food-gathering and settlement patterns, status and kinship systems, economic and political organization, religion, language, art and special concepts and methods used by cultural anthropologists.