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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Dian L. Million
AIS 340
Seattle Campus

Indian Children and Families

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.

Class description

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.

Recommended preparation

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.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
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Last Update by Dian L. Million
Date: 04/21/2013