Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2023

Course Description

This course is an intensive study of Lakota culture & society from the pre-reservation period to the present day. Through an ethnohistorical framework, this course incorporates both Indigenous and anthropological approaches to understanding Lakota culture and society by drawing on the works of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals and scholars. By extension, this course also explores some of the foundational developments and personalities of American anthropology. Course materials and lectures draw upon various subfields, theoretical approaches, and worldviews, to offer students opportunities to explore a range of topics (e.g., tribal history/origins, subsistence strategies, gender roles, religion, kinship, political organization, relations with colonial settlers and the U.S. Federal Government, etc.) from different vantage points; sometimes coinciding and sometimes at odds with each other.

Student Outcomes

This course seeks to provide students with:

  • a comprehensive, yet nuanced, understanding of Lakota society and culture, past and present,
  • an introduction to foundational individuals and concepts in American anthropology, and
  • opportunities to critically evaluate anthropological scholarship and Indigenous perspectives regarding the production of knowledge and understanding of Lakota society and culture.

These objectives will be achieved through:

  • critical reading and analysis of the literature, film, and material culture,
  • lectures, class discussions, and activities,
  • short writing assignments, and
  • the completion of an independent research project on a relevant topic of your choice.

To be successful in these objectives you are expected to:

  • attend class regularly,
  • actively participate in class discussions, activities, readings, and assignments, and
  • complete research and assignments in a timely manner