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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: History and Political Science Department
Course Prefix and Number: HIST 372
Course Title: American Indian History
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Analysis of American Indian history from prehistory to the present. The course considers the integrity and viability of indigenous societies in North America, the dynamic process of cultural persistence and change, and the clash of cultures that began with European conquest. In particular, it traces the formation and operation of U.S. government policy toward the “first peoples” over the course of several generations. Particular attention will be given to the pre-contact traditions, survival strategies and tribal sovereignty exemplified by native communities in the U.S   Prerequisite: Junior standing. Course meets Multicultural graduation requirement. 

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): Junior standing.
Course Rotation for Day Program:

Offered even Fall.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

One of the primary source texts must be assigned and supplemented with at least two secondary source texts.  Additional primary and secondary sources may be assigned as well.

Other appropriate scholarly monographs may be assigned.

Major Problems in American Indian History
By Hurtado, Albert & Peter Iverson, eds. (Houghton Mifflin)
Category/Comments - Primary Source
American Indian History: A Documentary Reader
By Townsend, Camilla, ed. (Wiley-Blackwell)
Category/Comments - Primary Source
The People: A History of Native America
By R. David Edmunds, Frederick E. Hoxie, and Neal Salisbury (Houghton Mifflin)
Category/Comments - Secondary Source
American Indians in U.S. History
By Nichols, Roger (Oklahoma)
Category/Comments - Secondary Source
First Americans: A History of Native Peoples
By Kenneth W. Townsend, Mark A. Nichols (Pearson)
Category/Comments - Secondary Source
Native America: A History
By Michael Leroy Oberg (Wiley-Blackwell)
Category/Comments - Secondary Source
War Dance at Fort Marion: Plains Indian War Prisoners
By Brad Lookingbill (Oklahoma)
Category/Comments - Secondary Source
The Native Ground: Indians and Colonists in the Heart of the Continent
By Kathleen DuVal
Category/Comments - Secondary Source
Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Describe the significant people, places, and events of American Indian history.
  2. Analyze the historical forces that shaped the pre-contact traditions of the indigenous societies in North America.
  3. Explain the strategies of resistance and accommodation employed by different Indian nations.
  4. Analyze the factors shaping federal Indian policy from removal to self-determination.
  5. Evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, and trends in the historiography of American Indians.
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:

Because the course represents an upper level history elective, it bears a distinctive responsibility for teaching advanced knowledge within the discipline.  It must be distinguished as an advanced course by three structural components: extensive reading, intensive writing, and historiographical thinking.  It must require advanced students to complete both in class and out of class projects (i.e., exams, quizzes, papers). The course reading load should be at least 1000 pages; the course writing assignments should total 5000 words. Finally, it must develop student skills and abilities for researching diverse sources of knowledge.

  • Interpreting Indian People
  • Before Columbus
  • Close Encounters
  • Woodlands and Borderlands
  • Alliances and Trade on the Middle Ground
  • Spirited Resistance
  • Domestic Dependent Nations
  • Removal and Ethnic Cleansings
  • Indian Perspectives on the Civil War
  • The Buffalo Wars
  • Reservations and Allotments
  • Boarding Schools
  • New Deal for Indians
  • Termination
  • Red Power and Self Determination
  • Indian Country Today

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 35

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Brad Lookingbill Date: March 18, 2015
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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