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American Indian Studies

News | September 1, 2020

After push from Native organizations, King County will add tribal affiliations to its homelessness database

For the first time since government officials began collecting data on the thousands of people living homeless in King County, a new category on people’s tribal affiliations will soon be added to the system. The move comes after a years-long push from Native homeless service providers to collect better information on Native people in the county’s federally mandated homelessness database. In recent years, these providers have demanded…


Alexandra Harmon

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Course | AIS 308 / ENVIR 308 / HSTAA 308

American Indians and the Environment

Examines the historical relationships American Indians have possessed with local environments, with special attention to the ways these peoples have adapted to altered environments and new conditions, including migrations, involvement with markets of exchange, overhunting, dispossession, conservation, and mainstream environmentalism.

Course | AIS 335

American Indians and the Law

History of laws governing American Indians: aboriginal law systems, U. S. laws, and contemporary tribal laws. Effects of laws and legal institutions on contemporary Indian identity and tribal status, self-government, land ownership and use, natural resources, religion, family life, cultural and spiritual practices, crimes and punishment, and federal responsibilities for Indians.

News | May 20, 2020

EarthLab announces Innovation Grant recipients for 2020

Research projects funded for 2020 by EarthLab’s Innovation Grants Program will study how vegetation might reduce pollution, help an Alaskan village achieve safety and resilience amid climate change, organize a California river’s restoration with tribal involvement, compare practices in self-managed indigenous immigrant communities and more. EarthLab is a University of Washington-wide institute connecting scholars with community…

News | February 1, 2024

History uncovered: UW research finds thousands of past racial restrictions in Kitsap

Reported in The Kitsap Sun By Peiyu Lin It’s not a secret that Kitsap County possesses a history of segregation, where some areas of the peninsula were only allowed to sell or rent to white people in the early and mid-20th century. But a specific geographic distribution of the over 2,300 properties that carry racial…

Course | AIS 425 / HSTAA 417

Indians in Western Washington History

Relations of Indians and non-Indians in the Puget Sound region, from the 1790s to the present, with emphasis on evolving ideas about Indian identity.

Course | AIS 385

Indigenous Ecologies and Climate Change

Diverse ways in which Indigenous peoples around the world understand, experience, and are responding to contemporary global climate change. Topics include: the politics of traditional ecological knowledge, Indigenous environmental justice movements, community-scale climate "adaptation" practice, as each is related to Indigenous health and wellbeing, cultural continuance, and political sovereignty.

Course | AIS 380

Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Food sovereignty within an Indigenous framework of decolonization and cultural revitalization. Demonstrates its potential to strengthen tribal autonomy, health, and wellness in Indigenous communities. How colonialism undermined Indigenous relationships to homelands, plants, and animals that sustained and nourished communities, leading to health disparities and inability to access traditional, nutritious foods.

Course | AIS 492

Indigenous Sovereignties

Indigenous challenges of ongoing European settlement across the globe, focusing on both the global legacies of colonialism and the continued socio-political movements of Indigenous populations. What colonialism looks like today and how Indigenous peoples are challenging its authority.

Course | AIS 202

Introduction to American Indian Contemporary and Social Issues

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.

Course | AIS 365

Native Nation Governance

Current issues important to Native nations today, using films and interactive case studies. Students research topics including: stereotypes, sovereignty, economy, citizenship, art, and politics. Provides an understanding of settler colonialism, seeks to understand challenges facing Native nations and look for creative solutions to those challenges.


P. Joshua Griffin

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Course | AIS 103 / JSIS 100

The Indigenous Pacific Northwest

Introduction to the cultures and governing structures of indigenous peoples of American Indian and First Nations tribal communities in the North, coastal British Columbia, and Pacific Northwest region as self-determining political actors in a contemporary multicultural and global region.

News | April 3, 2024

Urban@UW announces second cycle of Research to Action Collaboratory projects

Urban@UW is excited to announce the project teams selected for the second Research to Action Collaboratory (RAC) cohort. Throughout the next 18 months, Urban@UW will work with these teams to provide seed funds, dedicate time to building team cohesion and collaboration skills, and foster opportunities for peer support, shared resources, and learning. These two project…

News | August 18, 2020

Urban@UW Research Spark Grants awardees announced

Urban@UW is excited to announce the awardees for our Research Spark Grants program. The two proposals selected address urgent urban challenges in our region, with a strong focus on community engagement and vulnerable populations.   Co-creating an Adaptive Community-Science Network: Supporting Tribal and Grassroots Action through the Puget Creek Watershed Assessment Urban communities in the…

News | January 27, 2021

Washington tribes join lawsuit to stop sale of National Archives in Seattle

Concerned it would threaten their cultural preservation, history and treaty rights, 40 tribes in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska joined a Jan. 4 lawsuit with Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson to stop the federal government from selling the National Archives facility in Seattle and shipping its millions of boxes of records to California and Missouri….