American Indian Studies courses provide rich opportunities to scaffold workplace-ready skill sets for our graduates, in an economy increasing geared toward cultural competency. It is interesting to note that the largest employers in 14 Wisconsin counties are American Indian enterprises. Our graduates, whether an AIS major, minor or certificate holder, are well served by courses which provide the background and cultural knowledge needed to engage with American Indian colleagues, supervisors and employers.
One example is in the Ho-Chunk Nation in Western Wisconsin, which finds that it must provide introductory cultural orientations for all non-Native employees in order to create respectful and informed relationships in the workplace. Even just one course in the AIS offerings, such as AIS 101, Introduction to American Indian History & Cultures, can provide invaluable insights for graduates who end up surprised to find how applicable this cultural knowledge can become.