MSU offers online Native American studies courses for spring

Gayathri | Wednesday, December 21, 2016 12:03 PM IST

BOZEMAN – Montana State University will offer online Native American Studies courses in the spring, including a graduate course on indigenous literature and the West and native food systems, which can be taken as either an undergraduate course or a graduate course. Registration is open now.

NASX 553, Indigenous Literature and the West, explores Native American and First Nations literature and its relation to the American and Canadian West. Supplemental readings from classic American literature, historical non-fiction and film will be used to challenge or reflect upon what we mean when we refer to the West, both as a place and an evolving idea.

The instructor is Carol Miller, an award-winning professor emeritus of American Indian Studies and American Studies from the University of Minnesota who has taught for MSU’s Native American Studies program for several years. Miller is a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

In NASX 415/515, Native Food Systems, students will look at examples from across North America to investigate relationships between Native American food, culture, knowledge and ecology. The course will explore environmental stewardship techniques and agricultural innovations that provide plants and animals for sustenance; the worldviews and values that guide these practices; and the impacts of changing political landscapes on the health and food culture of Native peoples.

The instructor is Michelle Baumflek, who received her Ph.D. from Cornell University, where her research focused on the use of gathered plants and fungi as it relates to choices about health, food and cultural expression in indigenous communities of Maine and New Brunswick. Previously, she was the non-timber forest products research specialist at the University of Vermont.   

The online courses run from Jan. 11 – May 5, 2017.  Complete course descriptions may be found at 

Students may take these courses for teacher professional development and/or lifelong learning, but must apply as a non-degree graduate student at MSU. Courses are also part of the Native American Studies graduate certificate program. 

For more information, visit or contact Francesca Pine, Graduate Program coordinator, at (406) 994-3881 or [email protected]

Contact: Janine Hansen, MSU Extended University, (406) 994-6683, [email protected]