The University of North Carolina at Pembroke was established in 1887 as an institution for Native Americans. Since 1953, it has had a multi-racial student body. Because of its heritage, the University, through this Department, offers a program to educate students about the rich diversity of American Indian history and culture, to promote research and scholarship concerning American Indian issues, and to prepare students for professional or scholarly careers.
The Department offers a Bachelor of Arts, a minor, and an academic concentration in American Indian Studies. Students are encouraged to select courses that touch on as many different aspects of American Indian history and culture as possible.
Voices of the Lumbee Documentary
Produced by UNCP professors Jason Hutchens (Mass Communication) and Michele Fazio (English, Theatre, and Foreign Languages), Voices of the Lumbee is a documentary film that raises awareness about the ongoing struggles of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina in the wake of decades of economic downturn in the coastal plains region. The narrative thread weaves through historical and cultural aspects of the Lumbee Tribe that have led to modern-day socioeconomic challenges faced by Robeson County, North Carolina—the home of the Lumbee. Individuals and groups committed to improving conditions in the area share their efforts to bring positive change to the region. Despite decades of economic and political struggles, the Lumbee continue to uphold a strong sense of pride and devotion for their culture. Told through their voices, this is their story.
Click here to view the trailer.
Why Major in American Indian Studies?
American Indian Studies majors are people with curious, critical, and open minds who are eager to understand the holistic histories and contemporary concerns of American Indian and Indigenous peoples regionally, nationally, and globally. The AIS major at UNCP offers an interdisciplinary education providing both breadth of knowledge about the extensive diversity of Native peoples throughout the Americas, and specific courses concerning regional Southeastern Indian peoples. With the option of focusing in three areas – Peoples and Histories, Social and Cultural Issues, Stories and Literatures – or creating a General focus from courses within the other three focus areas, AIS majors may tailor their studies toward a specific area of interest while also taking required core courses.
Through examining issues of sovereignty, nation building, colonization, social justice, and the historical roots of American Indian lives as they are lived today, an American Indian Studies major cultivates a powerful educational foundation for graduates to pursue a variety of career paths. With the cross-cultural understanding and creative problem solving skills gained by majoring in AIS, graduates will leave UNCP prepared to enter graduate school programs or careers in health care, education, fine arts, digital and media production, non-profit organizations, business and entrepreneurship, tribal governance, environmental resource management, law and policy, and many others.
If you are interested in an undergraduate education whose core values strive to provide a meaningful education that supports local American Indian communities and larger Native American constituencies, consider a major, minor, or concentration in American Indian Studies. Please contact the AIS Department with any questions you may have.
Dr. Rose Stremlau’s book, Sustaining the Cherokee Family: Kinship and the Allotment of an Indigenous Nation, was awarded the Willie Lee Rose Book Prize from the Southern Association of Women Historians.