Jackie Hendry: Support for Native American studies lacking

Jackie Hendry on the "disappointing" Native American studies program at the University of South Dakota:
Whenever I tell people I’m from northern Illinois, I tend to hear one of two questions: “What brought you to South Dakota?” or “Is that near the Quad Cities?”

As far as the Quad Cities are concerned, I have no idea. We Illinoisans tend to be more Chicago-central. But the reason I chose the University of South Dakota is simple: There was no better place to simultaneously pursue my interests in media and Native American studies.

Or so I thought.

Google “Native Studies” and there’s USD, second only to Wikipedia. After a few clicks around the page you see an advertisement of the university’s uniquely superior access to Native history and culture, the benefits of a background in the discipline to many career paths and a course catalog of interesting class titles. As a high school senior far removed from the everyday campus atmosphere, it made sense to me that USD was the place to be.

The reality was much more disappointing. Ours is a department with one professor, a handful of students and little credibility in the eyes of the administration. Friends of mine have had to defend the purpose of a major in Native Studies in the first place even to faculty members.

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Jackie Hendry: Native studies is falsely advertised (The Volante 4/3)

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