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AIS 202 A: Introduction to American Indian Contemporary and Social Issues

Meeting Time: 
MW 4:30pm - 6:20pm
ART 003
Scott Pinkham

Syllabus Description:



AIS 202 A Winter 2020
Contemporary & Social Issuesa
Monday and Wednesday, 4:30pm-6:20pm, ART 003
Scott Pinkham, Lecturer 342 Loew Hall 206.221.7769
Office Hours Tuesdays Noon to 1pm


This course will cover issues of concern to today’s American Indian/Alaska Natives. Topics will include identification, demographics, government relations, treaty rights, and representation, as well as cultural and social issues contemporary American Indian/ Alaska Natives face. History and background on U.S.-Indian relations will be covered for reference. Lectures will be designed to provide for student interaction and comments, with one or more classes reserved for classroom debates on current topics. 


Required Textbooks-

  • Martinez, Urban American Indians: Reclaiming Native Spaces
  • Moore, Genocide of the Mind
  • Wilkinson, Charles, Blood Struggle: The Rise of Modern Indian Nations

Optional Textbooks-

  • Reyes, Lawney, Bernie Whitebear: An Urban Indian's Quest for Justice

Handouts (available on course website)-

  • As cited in General Schedule/Announced in class.

Web Resources:


Assignments and associated points (subject to change) are as follows:

Assignment Points Per Number Drop Total
Quiz 20 5 1 80 
Exams 50 2 0 100 
Debate 50 1 0 50
Research Project 150 1 0 150
Participation 1 20 1* 20
      TOTAL 400

Due dates and further information will be posted in the course calendar with any changes/additions announced in class or in respective handouts. Late assignments deducted 10% each day they are late unless prior arrangements have been made. 

If all assignments are turned in and complete, grades will be calculated based upon percentage out of 400 points. A 95% or higher will earn a 4.0 grade and a minimum 60% is needed to pass the class with a 0.7. 

Extra credit opportunities may arise during the quarter and could be done in class with no prior advance notice.  Volunteering at Native/Indigenous events during the quarter maybe used as well, but must be approved in advance.


Five quizzes will be given throughout the quarter.  They will be closed notes/readings and be done in class on the dates indicated.  Each quiz will be a combination of multiple choice, true/false and fill-in-the-blank questions.  The top four quiz scores will be used in determining the final grade.


Two exams will be given at the middle and end of the quarter.  The midterm will be on the date indicated and the second exam will be held on the last day of instruction.  There is no final exam for this course, only a final research project.  Exams will be a combination of multiple choice, true/false, fill-in-the-blank questions and short answers.  Notes and readings will be allowed during the exams.  Please bring exam books (blue or green) for submitting your exams. 


One class will be dedicated to an in class debate.  Class debate will take place on the date indicated with the class broken up into three groups.  Two of the groups will debate a topic and the third will serve as a judge for the debate.  Details on the debate topic are included in additional handouts.

Research Project:

Each student must do a research project on a topic selected from options provided in a separate handout (Research Project.pdf).  The total points for the research project include submitting a topic (10pts), resources (15pts), introduction (25pts)  and final project (100pts) on the dates indicated.


 As this class meets only twice per week, with two class times lost to holidays, being in class for lectures and discussions is important to learning.  Participation is being present to observe and learn from others as topics are discussed in class.  Participation will be monitored with a sign in sheet and Poll Everywhere surveys in class.  One absence is allowed before points will be deducted from participation.


Student experience in this course is important. If students have already established accommodations with Disability Resources for Students (DRS), please communicate their approved accommodations to the instructor or facilitator at their earliest convenience so they can discuss their needs in this course.

If students have not yet established services through DRS, but have a temporary health condition or permanent disability that requires accommodations (conditions include but not limited to; mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts), students are welcome to contact DRS at 206-543-8924 or or DRS offers resources and coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities and/or temporary health conditions. Reasonable accommodations are established through an interactive process between students, their instructor(s) and DRS. It is the policy and practice of the University of Washington to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law.


Catalog Description: 
Introduction to American Indian/Alaska Natives contemporary and social issues. Topics will include identification, demographics, government relations, treaty and water rights, Indian gaming, and treaty law.
GE Requirements: 
Diversity (DIV)
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Last updated: 
November 6, 2019 - 9:00pm