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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Community, Environment and Development (CED)

CED 401 (US) Exploring Indigenous Ways of Knowing Among the Ojibwe (0.5) Through an intensive cultural engagement students will learn skills important to the pursuit of ethnographic research in cross-cultural contexts.

CED 401 Exploring Indigenous Ways of Knowing Among the Ojibwe (0.5)

Exploring Indigenous Ways of Knowing among the Ojibwe—CED 400B, a 2-3 week field experience, transports students from the classroom to the Red Lake, Leech Lake, and White Earth Nations in northern Minnesota. During travel, students will follow part of the 800 year Great Migration route of the Ojibwe from their ancestral home around the St. Lawrence River estuary to western Lake Superior and the headwaters of the Mississippi River. This field experience will immerse students in the Anishinaabeg community, the largest of the “three fires” (Ojibwe, Odawa, Potawatomi) of the Great Lakes region. While most Americans learn history facing west, history will be presented through the experiences and memories of people facing east. Early Ojibwe history will be outlined while the period of contact, colonization, and restoration (late 1700 to the present) will be covered in greater detail. Ojibwe cultural codes and spiritual values will be explored through “the teachings” and participation in important ceremonies (sweat lodge, pipe, big drum, wiping the tears, shake tent, intertribal traditional powwow). The political and social injustices of colonialism will be examined, including removal, allotment, religious oppression, and the boarding school era. To experience family and social life, students will live for two days with Ojibwe host families on the Red Lake Nation (one of 2 closed reservations in the US). Students will be introduced to indigenous science and environmental justice (climate change, water quality, biodiversity and endangered species, traditional and sustainable agriculture, fish and game, wild edible and medicinal plants, forest management, etc.). Finally, a canoe trip through the headwaters of the Mississippi River will focus on nature and environmental health. The five key IK themes explored in the classroom—local knowledge, relational knowledge, empirical knowledge, spiritual knowledge, and traditional knowledge—will provide a framework for engaging with and understanding Ojibwe culture and knowledge production and their unique contributions to western science and American culture. Students will meet and learn from more than 25 prominent Ojibwe elders, educators, scientists, political leaders, medicine men/women, environmentalists, ethnobotanists, storytellers, and host family members. Students will also learn listening, observing, attending, respecting, critical thinking, and recording skills, all important to the study of cultures and the pursuit of ethnological research in cross cultural contexts. Exploring Indigenous Ways of Knowing among the Ojibwe—CED 400A, offered during spring semester, is a prerequisite for this field experience.

General Education: None
Diversity: US
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Summer 2015
Prerequisite: CED 400A or comparable course

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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