Absorbing culture first-hand
Each year, there are multiple opportunities to participate in various levels of immersion into Indian culture — some one campus, some in regional Indigenous communities, and groups have traveled throughout the U.S. to interact and conduct service-learning projects. Sometimes the immersion experiences can be woven into regular coursework, while others take place through the student organizations in the AIS program.
From year to year, the opportunities change, but there will always be multiple chances to get out into Indian communities and learn about history and culture in ways that just aren't possible in Blugold classrooms.
Here is a sampling of immersion experiences offered in the current and recent academic years:
- AIS 491: Contemporary Indian Communities: First Nations & Elder-in-Residence Program at UW-Green Bay
- AIS 322: Native Geography: Menominee Tribal Enterprises and Menominee Cultural and Logging Museums
- AIS 343 Contemporary Indian Communities: Prairie Islnad Reservation, MN (Sp '14)
- AIS 343 Contemporary Indian Communities: Oneida Nation, Tsyunhehkwa Program, Green Bay
Making the cultural connections
Many AIS courses have a a field trip component, getting students out of the classroom on occasion and into the communities they are studying. Our state offers a wide variety of native communities to visit, and the richness of these interpersonal interactions is immeasurable for student growth.
These fields trip are used as a way to allow students to apply what they have learned in classrooms, within a community. All of these immersion experiences are followed by an essay assignment, asking students to reflect on the community as it stands today in relation to the history and culture they've studied. Additionally, students need to be able to relate the importance of the traditional culture and values of communities, and how those are expressed in contemporary times.