Native American Studies

Dr. Gregory A. Cajete, Chair
Native American Studies
Mesa Vista Hall Room 3080
MSC06 3740
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
(505) 277-3917, FAX (505) 277-1818
Web site:

Mary K. Bowannie, M.A., Lecturer II, Native American Studies
Gregory A. Cajete, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies
Lloyd L. Lee, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Native American Studies
Tiffany S. Lee, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Native American Studies
Robin Minthorn, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership, Native American Studies
Beverly R. Singer, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Anthropology and Native American Studies

Native American Studies (NAS) was founded in 1970 as an ethnic studies center. Initially, it was established as a support program for Native American students at The University of New Mexico. In September 1998, Native American Studies became an interdisciplinary academic program housed in University College. In 1999, the minor in Native American Studies was approved. The Native American Studies minor is applicable to all undergraduate majors offered by The University of New Mexico.

In December 2004, the UNM Board of Regents approved Native American Studies as a major within University College. As an interdisciplinary academic department, Native American Studies is committed to native academic scholarship and research excellence. Our goal is to educate and inform students about the Native experience that comes from the rich cultural heritage of the sovereign Indigenous peoples of the United States. Another goal is to create a department that collaborates with Native communities and engages students in nation building.

UNM-NAS provides a range of academic resources for the student, the University community, and the larger Native American community. In keeping with the Memorandum of Understanding with New Mexico Indian Tribes, UNM-NAS program places particular emphasis on addressing community-based education, research and leadership development needs of New Mexico Indian communities. UNM-NAS is organized into three major components: Academic, Research and Community Outreach.

  • The Academic Component includes an extensive array of courses, internships, independent study and summer institutes.
  • The Research Component is a component of every Native American Studies course, and provides training and experience in doing research in a Native American context. The Research component also provides research opportunities and teaching assistantships to Native students currently in graduate degree programs. Incorporated into the Research Component is the NAS library. This collection of materials (2,800 volumes) by and about Native Americans (books, journals, articles, research papers, video and audiotapes) including the highly prized Reno Collection, is available to students, the University community and the larger Native community. The family of Philip Reno donated the Reno Collection to NAS. The collection consists of materials that Philip Reno utilized in his book, Navajo Resources and Economic Development ( 1988 ) University of New Mexico Press.
  • The Community Outreach component is the Institute for Native American Community Development (INACD), which through its research focus on issues pertaining to tribal leadership, self determination and community development, offers specialized courses, workshops and research via NATV programming and activities based on main campus and the UNM Extended University system.

Associated Programs

Undergraduate Program


NATV 109. Introduction to Comparative Global and Ethnic Societies. (3)

NATV 150. Introduction to Native American Studies. (3)

NATV 201. Introduction to Chicana and Chicano Studies . (3)

NATV 247. Politics of Native American Art. (3)

NATV 250. Sociopolitical Concepts in Native America. (3)

NATV 251. Research Issues in Native America. (3)

NATV 252. The Native American Experience. (3)

NATV 255. Topics in Native American Studies. (1-3 to a maximum of 6 Δ)

NATV 300. Research Methods in Native American Contexts. (3)

NATV 305. Indigenous Self-Determination in Education. (3)

NATV 311. Native Americans in Film. (3)

NATV 315. Language Recovery, Revitalization and Community Renewal. (3)

NATV 322. Principles of Federal Indian Law. (3)

NATV 324. Contemporary Approaches to Federal Indian Law. (3)

NATV 325. Tribal Government. (3)

NATV 326. Tribal Gaming. (3)

NATV 342. Native America Since 1940. (3)

NATV 348. Native American Activism. (3)

NATV 351. Individual Study. (1-6 to a maximum of 6 Δ)

NATV 352. Internship. (1-6 to a maximum of 6 Δ)

NATV 361. Native American Children's Literature. (3)

NATV 385. Indigenous Worldviews. (3)

NATV *402. Education, Power and Indigenous Communities. (3)

NATV *411. Indigenous Performing Arts Forum. (3)

NATV *417. Native American Music. (3)

NATV *418. Alaska Native Music and Culture. (3)

NATV *421. Treaties and Agreements. (3)

NATV *422. Indigenous World Music. (3)

NATV *423. Self-Determination and Indigenous Human Rights. (3)

NATV *436. Environmental Ethics and Justice in Native America. (3)

NATV *445. Politics of Identity. (3)

NATV *450. Topics in Native American Studies. (1-3 to a maximum of 12 Δ)

NATV *460. Language and Education in Southwest Native American Communities. (3)

NATV *461. Community-Based Learning in Indigenous Contexts. (3)

NATV *462. Native American Narrative. (3)

NATV *474. Seminar: Applying Traditions of Native American Philosophy [Traditions of Native American Philosophy]. (3)

NATV *480. Building Native Nations: Community Revitalization, Culture, Decolonization, and Indigenous Thought. (3)

NATV *486. Contemporary and Traditional Views on Indigenous Leadership. (3)

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Office of the Registrar

MSC 11 6325
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Phone: (505) 277-8900
Fax: (505) 277-6809