Dian L. Million
Cross-cultural survey of Indian child rearing, family structure, and related social issues. Includes historical changes in family structure, value orientation and adaptation to a bicultural environment, education, child welfare, health problems, and aging.
In this class we seek insight into the experiences of North American Indian families from several different perspectives, foremost, those of American Indian families themselves. The instructor takes a socio-historical approach in presenting the traditional and future strengths of tribal families to protect and nourish their children. The class focuses on their challenges but is also focused on the solutions that American Indian peoples have sought. Topics include: 20th-21st century American Indian family demographics, studies of traditional family structures, western nation-state interventions into marriage and family and social science and social welfare family and child management. We discuss in particular Indian Child Welfare practices in the United States with some comparison of programs and issues in Canada.
This class is by its nature interdisciplinary and will lend itself to an opportunity for readings across a gamut of history, anthropology, sociology, women's studies, social issues, health, political and economic concerns. Class texts, films, and music will be supplemented with speakers.
Student learning goals
Recognize tribal community and political diversity in the United States and Canada
Have a working history of main events in American Indian and Canadian First Nations and Aboriginal family history
Understand and be able to cite legislation and policy that forms the nexus of the tribes relationship with the United States and Canada from the late 19th century until now
Develop a personal, self-critical analysis in papers and discussion
Develop skills in critically writing, thinking and discussing the roles of race, gender and culture in Indian Country
Build skills in personal expression in small group discussion
General method of instruction
Lecture, writing exercises, and discussion, with a multimedia curriculum.
Some prior background in American Indian history and social/political issues would be helpful but are not absolutely necessary. Attentive reading, listening, and participation/discussion skills will be appreciated.
Class assignments and grading
Group discussions, in-class writing, and several short papers.
Engaged and informed participation in class and in discussion groups Completion of all written assignments with evidence of effort and thought.