Montana State University

MSU offers online Native American Studies course on indigenous planning

August 11, 2017 -- MSU News Service

Pow wow grand entry from the planner's view. Amskapi Pikuni, Niitsitapi Territories, 2017. Photographer Christopher Carter will teach an MSU online course on indigenous planning. Photo courtesy of Christopher Carter / MSU Native Land Project.

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Tel: (406) 994-4571

Montana State University offers a Fall 2017 online Native American Studies course called Indigenous Planning. The course is open to undergraduate or graduate students enrolled at MSU, including professionals working in the field of community planning.

The course focuses on contemporary strategic planning and Indigenous community and economic development including political perspectives, legal and cultural protocols, values, social structure, development economics and traditional knowledge of American Indian, Alaska Native and Pacific Islander peoples. The course provides a substantive introduction to the field of strategic planning and offers both professional skills and a completed portfolio project. Community planning professionals are welcome to enroll in the course as a non-degree MSU student.

The instructor is Christopher Carter, a regional planner who works with indigenous governments, cities, counties and non-governmental organizations on land use, water, flood risk, economic development, climate adaptation and environmental planning. As a researcher, he is active at the United Nations level, working on the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage, Indigenous Peoples Platform and the Nairobi Work Programme on Adaptation at UNFCCC climate talks since COP20 Lima and at the UN University Resilience Academy. He earned a bachelor’s degree from MSU and a master’s degree in community and regional planning from the University of British Columbia.

The course runs from Aug. 28 to Dec. 15 and is fully online. Bozeman-area students participate in three face-to-face roundtables, and distance students will join in by Skype or other virtual technology.

Two more Native American Studies online courses are offered this fall, as well: Contemporary Issues in American Indian Studies (NASX  524) and Native America: Dispelling the Myths (NASX 550). All three courses may apply toward MSU’s online graduate certificate in Native American Studies.

The complete course descriptions may be found at

To learn more about the courses and application processes visit or contact Francesca Pine, at or 406-994-3881.

Francesca Pine, MSU Native American Studies Department, (406) 994-3881,