Native American Studies

Nature of Program

Native American Studies (NAS) is an interdisciplinary academic program in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.  The NAS minor curriculum is designed to help students develop a greater respect for and understanding of diverse Native cultures by providing historical context and contemporary perspectives.

Students who complete the NAS minor enhance their ability to think in nontraditional, non-Western ways and interact more effectively with diverse populations.  NAS students learn about some of the many cultures, languages, histories, and traditions of indigenous Americans, as well as the challenges and successes of Native nations in the 21st century.  Experiential and hands-on learning, travel and immersion-style courses, as well as lectures and dialogue with highly-regarded Native American leaders, authors, scholars, activists, and artists, are at the heart of the NAS curriculum.

Admission Requirements

Any student admitted to an undergraduate degree program at WVU may complete a minor in Native American Studies.  An "area of emphasis" in NAS is available to Regents Bachelor of Arts majors.  Students who choose the NAS minor come from a variety of academic majors as far-ranging as business, engineering, art, English, history, anthropology, and health sciences, to name a few.  Our graduates find practical ways to apply their NAS education, working in fields such as cultural resource management, education, law, health care, and government.

Native American Studies Minor


Students wishing to earn a Native American Studies minor must complete requirements as listed below, with a grade of C or better in each course. Please visit for more details.

Core Courses: 9
Introduction: Native American Studies
Literature of Native America
American Indian History
Upper-Division Electives:9
Select 3 courses:
Professional Field Experience
Independent Study (no more than 3 credits may count toward the minor)
Topics in Native American Literature
Governments of Latin America
Total Hours18


NAS 200. Introduction: Native American Studies. 3 Hours.

Overview of the diverse social and cultural institutions of indigenous tribal societies in North America. Historical materials provide the background for understanding the range of issues affecting contemporary tribal groups.

NAS 293A-Z. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

NAS 393. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

NAS 491. Professional Field Experience. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Supervised interdisciplinary experiences focused on Native Americans. May be tribally based or related to agencies and projects serving Native Americans. This course is not open to freshman.

NAS 492A-B. . 1-3 Hours.

NAS 493A-Z. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

NAS 494. Seminar. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Presentation and discussion of topics of mutual concern to students and faculty.

NAS 495. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

NAS 499. Global Service Learning. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Theory and practice of global service-learning. The main objective will be to pair the experiential aspects of meaningful and sustained service in the host community with work from the student's anchor course by offering a methodological framework for cultural immersion and community service as well as adding to the content of the anchor course.



  • Bonnie M. Brown - M.A. (University of Texas at Austin)

Teaching Instructor

  • Bonnie M. Brown - M.A. (University of Texas at Austin)
    Interests: Contemporary Native American Issues; Native Women in Leadership; Tribal Sovereignty


  • Robert Pirner
    Interests: Lakota Studies; Indian Country Economic Development; Warrior Culture Then and Now; Native Music and Dance
  • Angela Grabuloff - Ed.D. (West Virginia University)
    Interests: Native Youth Education; Indigenous Communities; Yup'ik Culture and History, Subsistence Living
  • Travis L. Henline - M.A. (West Virginia University)
    Interests: Eastern Woodland Indians; Cherokee History and Culture; American Indian Interpretation/Public History
  • John Joseph "Joe" Candillo (Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona) - A.B.D. (University at Buffalo)
    Interests: American Indian Material Culture and Practices; Wilderness Immersion and Traditional Native American Ecology
  • Ellesa Clay High (Mekoce Shawnee) - Ph.D. (Ohio University)
    WVU Assoc. Professor of English. Interests: Literature of Native America; Native American Film; Culture and Tradition
  • Karen Manzo - Ph.D. ABD (West Virginia University)
    Interests: American Indian Health; Native Youth Suicide Prevention; Cultural Resilience; Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Carol Markstrom - Ph.D. (Utah State University)
    WVU Professor of Child Development and Family Studies, Dept. of Technology, Learning and Culture, College of Education and Human Services. Interests: Native American Children and Families; Apache Culture and History; American Indian Education
  • SilverMoon - Ph.D. (Duke University)
    Interests: Indigenous Intellectuals; Native American Images-"New World" Film; Latin American History; Native American Studies; Ethnohistory; Mesoamerican Studies; Pre-Conquest America; Colonial Latin America; Modern Latin America; Early Modern Transatlantic Studies; World History and Globalization
  • Thomas Keopuhiwa - Ed.D. (West Virginia University)
    Interests: Native Hawaiian Culture and History; Immersion Learning in Hawaii
  • Darla Spencer - M.A. (Marshall University)
    (Registered Professional Archaeologist) Interests: Moundbuilder Cultures; Native American Cultural Preservation