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Native American Studies and the Indigenous Cultures Center at Northland College, Ashland, WI

This blog contains direct quotes from websites as of 2023. Programs and policies do change, at colleges, from time to time, so please check with the colleges directly to receive any updates. These are not, necessarily, the biggest, best, or most popular programs at the college, but they are the ones that just “caught my eye” as unique, special, interesting, or just plain awesome. Enjoy!


From the Northland College website, 2023: “Proud of our history, Northland was founded with a unique ideal to fulfill the educational aspirations of both local immigrants and Native Americans—particularly the Ojibwe bands in the Lake Superior region. With Bad River, Red Cliff, and Lac Courte Oreilles tribes located within fifty miles of the campus, the College’s relationship and commitment has only deepened through our long history.



“In 1927, the Bad River community entrusted the College with a sacred Spirit Stone, used both in rites of passage and in traditional religious ceremonies. The Stone was given to the College for safekeeping and prominently displayed on campus for many years. In 1932, the Bad River Band adopted the College’s second president, Dr. J.D. Brownell, as a full member.


“Northland initiated and implemented a Native American studies program in the 1970s at a time when there were few programs. We’ve since created a Native American Museum on campus. We also support an active Native American Student Association and support and help coordinate year-round events including a Spring Powwow.


“In 2011, we created the Indigenous Cultures Center to support and focus these activities under one umbrella as a way to continue to honor the commitment we made at our founding and to support the interests of our students.


“Native American Studies---Relating to Indigenous nations. The Native American studies major focuses on indigenous culture and traditional teachings at the core of the program, with particular attention given to Lake Superior regional native history. The program includes first-hand contact with local tribes and native Ojibwe communities alongside a rigorous academic curriculum. The curriculum includes native worldviews and indigenous ways of knowing as a rich complement to the environmental mission of the college.


“This major helps you understand the social, economic and environmental situations related to the everyday lives of Native communities today. Upon graduating, you’ll be well prepared for work in tribal government and related businesses, careers in living history centers and museums, outdoor recreation and interpretation programs, social-service agencies, and advanced academic work in native culture studies.”


Northland College is one of the featured colleges in my new book (click image for additional information):



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