Jill Falcon Ramaker with Buffalo Nations

NASX 515

Fall Semesters: in-person 

Spring Semesters: Online only

3 Credits, Graduate level

Spring 2024 instructor: Dr. Jennifer Santry

Fall 2024 instructor: Dr. Kristin Ruppel


Course Description

Using examples from across North America, this course will investigate relationships between Native American food, culture, knowledge and ecology. We will explore environmental stewardship techniques and agricultural innovations that provide plants and animals for sustenance; learn about the worldviews and values that guide these practices; and discuss the impacts of changing political landscapes on the health and food culture of Native peoples. This course will include a strong focus on contemporary food systems, including diverse efforts to protect, promote and revitalize Native foods. Through the lens of food systems, we will also engage topics that are integral to Native American Studies: tradition and modernity, cultural reclamation, sovereignty, indigenous knowledge and cultural property rights. Readings include creation stories, historic accounts, scientific articles, and popular writing, including works by prominent Native writers.

Reading for this course may include, but are not limited to:

*Resource and materials list subject to change. Check with the instructor before purchasing books!*

  • Anderson, Kat. (2013). Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California's Natural Resources. University of California Press.
  • Waheenee, Maxidiwiac. (1917). Buffalo Bird Woman's Garden: Agriculture of the Hidatsa Indians. 1987 Ed. Gilbert Wilson. Minnesota Historical Press.
  • Hogan Snell, Alma. (2006). A Taste of Heritage: Crow Indian Recipes and Herbal Medicines. Bison Books.
  • Davina, Fernando, and Marlene Davina. (2010). Foods of the Americas: Native Recipes and Traditions. Ten Speed Press.


Dr. Jennifer Santry

Jennifer Santry is a citizen of Choctaw Nation and Sicangu Lakota, Mdewakanton Dakota, and Yankton Dakota. She has been involved in food advocacy and education for the last 20 years. Jen has a doctorate in Educational Sustainability, a M.A. in Nonprofit Management, and a B.S. in Zoology. Through Lakota stories and relationships with food, she is collectively addressing the need for cultural preservation and land-based knowledge in sustainable agriculture education. Jen also teaches for UMASS Amherst and Peninsula College. She’s invovled in a number of collaborative projects that include working directly with SW and PNW Tribes in climat change planning and Native youth engagement.


Dr. Kristin Ruppel

Kristin Ruppel holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Columbia University, New York. Her major field of interest is ethnoecology, with an emphasis on the ways in which colonial and post­‐colonial institutions influence the life experiences of Indigenous and non‐Indigenous peoples alike. Her research has focused on American Indian allotted landowners, largely because of the enduring relationships formed during her own graduate school days with Indian allottees and their advocates.Her first book, Unearthing Indian Land: Living With the Legacies of Allotment, was published in 2008 by The University of Arizona Press.

Tuition and Fees

If you are accepted into a qualified online program, see the appropriate MSU Tuition and Fee table below:

For more information, view MSU Fee Schedules.

How to Register

You must be accepted as a student to Montana State University to take this course. Learn how to apply.

Students register for courses via MSU's online registration system, MyInfo.

Registration requires a PIN number. Learn how to find your PIN.

Once you have your PIN, learn how to register through MyInfo.


For course information:

Please contact Erika Ross at [email protected] or Jennifer Santry at [email protected] or Kristin Ruppel at [email protected],