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AIS 475 A: Special Topics in Indian Studies

Human/Nature: Coast Salish Perspectives on Being Human in Nature based in Story, Art and the Environment

Summer Term: 
Meeting Time: 
MTWTh 3:00pm - 5:00pm
EEB 042
Photo of Professor Cynthia Updegrave
Cynthia Updegrave

Additional Details:

How are we preparing the world for the people to come with our current relationship with the natural world? 

At their heart, Coast Salish Transformer stories teach about preparing the world for the people to come. What can these mythic stories teach us about being human in the context of the natural world?  The stories ask us to compare and contrast world views of humans living within nature and those that consider humans outside of nature. Can we define our own connection with the natural world through our modern stories? Is it consistent with the teachings of the indigenous people's myths and if not, how do we explain the differences?

The Waterlines Project Map will provide a visualization of the natural world as it existed at the time of the treaties. Storytelling is central to this learning experience. In class we will focus on stories such as the Epic of North Wind’s Fishing Weir; Moon the Transformer; Tootsaleetsa is a Leader; and the Maiden of Deception Pass. Learning will be enriched with a visit to a site associated with a story. Further connections will be made through art-making; experience of traditional songs; geology, plant and ecosystem study; and community relationships.

Catalog Description: 
Covers current research in American Indian and indigenous studies content areas.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Last updated: 
August 2, 2019 - 9:00pm