The Department of Native American Studies was established to provide and advance quality education for and about American Indians of Montana, the region, and the nation. In fulfilling this mission, the Department is committed to meet the changing needs of Montana's Indian tribes and all Montana citizens through excellence in teaching, research, and service.
Native American Studies has assumed a uniquely broad responsibility to serve a number of constituencies. In doing so, it is committed to a balance in its four major roles: teaching, research, public service, and student services. In its academic program, the Department provides concentrated study through a Master of Arts, an Online Graduate Certificate in Native American Studies, and a minor in Native American Studies, as well as opportunities for students to gain a multicultural perspective in pursuing a general education through the University's Core curriculum. The Department, through its research and other creative efforts, actively pursues interdisciplinary scholarship in the field of Native American Studies. At the same time, the faculty seeks opportunities to develop programs which address the needs of its campus and off-campus constituencies. In its service function, the Department has a special responsibility to Indian tribes, communities, and organizations to assist self-directed educational, socioeconomic, cultural, and community development. In addition to fulfilling the traditional role of an academic unit, Native American Studies also assumes a commitment to the educational advancement of Indian people and in doing so, the Department performs a vital student service function to increase the academic achievement and retention of Native American students at Montana State University.
Native American Studies reflects an Indian voice in the University's teaching, research, and service functions. In pursuing its mission and goals, the Department will continue to serve as a vital link between the University and Indian people.
The department's curriculum, research and creativity, service, and student programs are described in the College of Letters and Science portion of the catalog under the Minor in Native American Studies.