Native American and Indigenous Studies

Christine DeLucia, Assistant Professor of History

Lauret Savoy, Professor of Environmental Studies

Overview and Contact Information

The Five College Certificate in Native American and Indigenous Studies provides students with the opportunity to acquire a knowledge and understanding of the development, growth, and interactions of the indigenous peoples and nations of the Western hemisphere. The program emphasizes the many long histories of Native American Indians as well as their contemporary lives and situations. A holistic and comparative inter- disciplinary approach underlies the program’s requirements, enabling students to become familiar with the diversity of indigenous lifeways, including cultural forms, institutions, political economies, and modes of self-expression. In addition to this broader perspective, the program places some emphasis on the Native peoples of the Northeast so that students can become acquainted with the history, culture, and presence of indigenous peoples in this region.

Requirements for the Certificate

A minimum of seven courses:

A foundation course 1
Six additional courses, with no more than three of the seven courses from any single discipline 2
Total Courses7

Offered at various levels, foundation courses provide an opportunity to hear Native perspectives and are taught from a philosophical perspective that reflects Native studies theories, pedagogies, and methodologies.


These courses must be selected from the courses currently approved by the Five College NAIS Committee as counting toward the certificate. That list is available at available on the program website. Courses not on this list may be approved for inclusion by campus program advisors in consultation with the committee.

Additional Specifications

  • A student’s program must be approved by the NAIS program advisor from Mount Holyoke.
  • Students must receive a grade of B or higher in all seven courses to receive the certificate.