Sociology 321

Contemporary Issues of the American Indian

   Spring, 2002




Class Meetings:  TR  9:30‑10:45

                          BOL  B84

Instructor:           Donald E. Green

Office:                706 Bolton     

Office Hours:     TR 11:00‑12:00 or by appointment

Office Phone:     229‑4259


Web Site:  


Reflector Address:


Also see our web site at:    


The Course:  This course will employ the sociological perspective to examine the development of the institutional structure of American Indian affairs, current economic and social problems of the American Indian population in the U.S., as well as contemporary manifestations of American Indian Spirit, e.g., activism and cultural experiences transcending institutional structures and problems.


Class Attendance:  Class attendance is strongly encouraged, as it affords you the ability to participate in class discussions and small group activities, as well as be exposed to lectures (which may cover materials not included in required readings) and video‑tape presentations.  You will have the opportunity to earn 50 points through class participation.


Examinations:  The course will include two 50 point examinations.  Both examinations will be based on multiple choice questions.


Make‑Up Examinations:  Make‑up examinations will be given only with prior approval by the instructor.  Should you miss an examination, be prepared to provide the necessary documentation to account for you absence.


Research Paper: You will be required to complete a research paper on a contemporary issue facing American Indians.  Papers will follow the format of a statement of the problem or issue being addressed, a review of the existing literature on the issue, and a concluding statement that includes suggestions for future research to better understand or resolve the issue.  You also will be required to give a short in class presentation of the paper.  More discussion of the paper assignment will follow throughout the semester.



Class Grades:  Students' grades will be based on the total points obtained on the two 50 point examinations, the research paper, and the two unannounced quizzes.  The breakdown of points in the class are as follows:


                                                     Exam 1                        50

                                                     Exam 2                        50

                                                     Research Paper          100

                                                     Class Participation        50

                                                     Total Points                250


Grades will be distributed according to the following ranges:


                         94‑100 %    A 

                         90‑93  %     A‑

                         87‑89  %     B+

                         84‑86  %     B

                         80‑83  %     B‑

                         77‑79  %     C+

                         74‑76  %     C

                         70‑73  %     C‑

                         67‑69  %     D+

                         64‑66  %     D

                         60‑63  %     D‑

                          0‑59  %      F


Please Note:  Distribution of final grades will be based on the highest point total for the class. There will be no extra‑credit opportunities and no deviation from the above breakdowns.




Required Texts:


1.  Contemporary Native American Cultural Issues, Duane Champagne (ed.). Alta Mira Press, Walnut Creek, CA (1999).


2.   Contemporary Native American Political Issues, Troy R. Johnson (ed.).  Alta Mira Press, Walnut Creek, CA (1999).




Course Outline


Section 1:  Contemporary Native American Cultural Issues




Jan.   22/Introduction/C/J  Intro


Jan. 24, 29, 31/Native Identity/C 1-2


Feb. 5,7/Gender/C 3-5


Feb.14/Contemporary Powwow/C 6-7


Feb. 19,21,26,28/Film and Other Media/C 8-10


Mar. 5,7,12/Health/C 11-13


Mar. 14/First Examination                     


Mar. 17-22/Spring Break


Mar. 26,28/Environmental Issues/C 14-16              


Section 2:  Contemporary Native American Political Issues


Apr. 2,4/Nationalism and Sovereignty/J 1-2


Apr. 9,11/International Indigenous Rights/J 3-4


Apr. 16,18/Economic Development/J 5-6                     


Apr.  23,25,30/Law and Justice/J 7-8  


May  2/Repatriation/J 9-10


May 7/Activism/J 11


May 9/Second Examination


May 11, 10:00-12:00/Final Examination




If you require any special accommodations in order to meet the requirements of this course, please contact the Instructor or the Teaching Assistant as soon as possible.