History of Native Americans

I.     Course Prefix/Number: HIS 113

       Course Name: History of Native Americans

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course surveys history of Native American peoples in North America from 15th century contact with Europeans to the present. Content focus is on the historical struggle to retain cultures and autonomy while facing the continual expansion of both European nations and United States government and its citizens. Major themes and trends supplemented by case studies of specific tribes and documents that illuminate particular issues.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Describe the interaction between Native Americans and Europeans; and, Native Americans and the United States.
  2. Discuss the success and/or failure of Native American resistance to westward expansion by Europeans and the United States.
  3. Discuss the impact of Europeans and the United States on Native American cultures and sovereignty.
  4. Apply conflicting interpretations of Native American history
  5. Analyze primary and secondary sources of the Native American past

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Introduction
    Thinking about names and stereotypes
    Native American peoples and their traditions
    Narratives of creation stories

  2. European Invasion of America
    Contact and Disease: the Columbian Exchange
    Northern European Resettlement of Native American peoples
    Native survival and European imperialism

  3. Native Americans within the New United States
    Iroquois Confederacy and the Revolution
    “Inherent Sovereignty” of Native American peoples
    Jefferson and the Northwest Territory
    Tecumseh and Indian resistance
    The Cherokee nation, Georgia and Jacksonian policies

  4. Native Americans and Westward Expansion
    Black Hawk’s resistance
    Forced Removal to the Trans-Mississippi West
    Civil War, Peace, and Confinement

  5. Native American Resistance on the Great Plains
    Reservations, Civilizations, and Allotment
    Survival through Peyote, the Ghost Dance, and Religious Revitalization
    Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce
    Wounded Knee

  6. Native American People in the Early 20th Century
    Native Americans and Progressives
    A Native American “New Deal”
    Native Americans and World War II

  7. Native American Activism
    Termination and Self-Determination
    Alcatraz and Wounded Knee II
    American Indian Studies

  8. The Present and the Future
    Assimilation, Separation, and National Pride
    Native American Communities: What Do They Want?
    Contemporary Native American Experiences
    Native American Literature and Art

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Classes will include a variety of instructional methods such as: lectures, in class discussions, group activities, document and film analysis, and the use of new technologies.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students will be required to:

  1. Read a standard textbook and research materials
  2. Write outside of class the equivalent of 13 – 15 double-spaced typed pages in the form of a term paper, summaries of Journal articles, short research papers, and/or other kinds of writing.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

A standard survey of Native American history will be used, along with appropriate supplemental materials, such as:

Trafzer, Clifford. As Long as the Grass Shall Grow and Rivers Flow:  A History  of Native Americans. Harcourt College Publishers, 2000.

Calloway, Colin G. New Worlds for All:  Indians, Europeans, and the Remaking of Early America. Johns Hopkins University Press. 1998.

Nabokov, Peter (ed.), Vine Deloria, Native American Testimony:  A Chronicle of Indian-White Relations from Prophecy to Present, 1492-1992. Penguin USA, 1992.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

At least two exams will be given in addition to other required papers and assignments.

Papers will be evaluated based on how well they conform to the assignment and on how well they employ the historical method.

XI.   Other Course Information

Support Services: Tutoring is available at the Learning Center.

Important Dates: *

XX/XX: Last day to withdraw and have course dropped from record
XX/XX: Last day to change to Audit
XX/XX: Last day for students to submit materials to make up incomplete from the previous semester
XX/XX: Last day to withdraw from classes with a "W"

*These dates differ for each semester. You'll find the correct dates on the Academic Calendar.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.