Four program learning objectives implement the department’s mission:
- Understand the complex histories, politics, and social issues confronting Native peoples in the context of U.S. colonization, imperialism, and globalization. This understanding will include awareness of the diverse political and creative strategies used by Native peoples to confront the historical legacies of dispossession, genocide, and social inequity and discrimination, including legal action for land restoration, cultural conservation/revitalization efforts, and multiple media of creative expression.
- Compare and contrast the uniqueness of Native epistemologies and their articulation in multiple practices — from land and water care, foodways, cultural resource management, literature, music, and the arts.
- Appreciate experiential knowledge through community service learning, as a way of connecting classroom education to career preparation and advisement.
- Develop the necessary analytical, oral communication, information literacy, and writing skills to prepare them for careers or graduate school in areas related to American Indian Studies.
Theresa Rocha Beardall (Oneida/Sault Ste. Marie/Mexican)
B.A. Latina/o Studies + American Indian Studies (2005)
Assistant Professor - Virginia Tech
Theresa Rocha Beardall (Oneida/Sault Ste. Marie/Mexican) graduated from the College of Ethnic Studies and went on to receive her Ph.D. from Cornell University in Sociology and her J.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Theresa’s research investigates contemporary social ruptures, which she organizes into two interrelated spheres.
In the first sphere, she examines the role that labor law and community activism play in shaping local law enforcement practices, police discipline, and police behavior toward communities of color. In the second sphere, she examines the role of state and federal courts in shifting the legal meaning of tribal sovereignty over time, and the implications of this change for the status of American Indians. Theresa is also a partner and mom of two curious kids that love to hike, bike, and support students at regular campus events. They all travel home to be with family in California as often as possible!