Indigenous Studies

The indigenous studies minor offers students an interdisciplinary exploration of indigenous cultures and the unique issues and opportunities they face today. The program focuses on the processes of colonization and decolonization, cultural transformation and nation-building. Pacific’s history, location and population are well-suited for the program, and students who complete the minor gain an understanding and respect for indigenous cultures that they carry into social sciences, healthcare and education careers.


  • Enjoy an interdisciplinary program rooted in the liberal arts, featuring courses in anthropology, political science, history, dance, music and more
  • Explore the intersection of imperialism/colonialism and indigenous peoples
  • Critically inquire what constitutes indigeneity and the role of indigenous rights in the discourse of civil rights
  • Complement to any major, from social sciences and education to healthcare
  • Gain the understanding to work well as a liaison with indigenous cultures through social sciences, healthcare, education and other career fields


Students study history, identity and mythology, as well as a host of region-specific topics, such as Oregon natural history, conquest of the Americas, or racism and ethnicity in Hawai'i. Courses from anthropology, history, political science, sociology, fine arts, dance and music meld in the indigenous studies minor.


Students who complete the indigenous studies minor foster an understanding of and respect for indigenous cultures in the Americas and around the world. They are better prepared to work to resolve current issues in indigenous nations and to promote social justice and equality. Students gain a perspective to deepen their success in fields of anthropology, social work, politics and the law, health services, teaching and environmental studies.

Associate Dean for College of Business and College of Arts & Sciences