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American Indian Studies Professor

Teach university students about American Indian people and culture.

What does an American Indian Studies Professor do?

As an American Indian Studies Professor, you study and teach the history, culture, language, and religion of American Indians, who lived in America for centuries before European settlers discovered the “New World,” and then claimed it as their own.

Employed in the American Indian Studies department of a college or university — or, if your school lacks one, the History or Anthropology department — you’re at once a Teacher and a cultural steward, charged with developing knowledge about Native American cultures while also honoring them.

Like most Professors, your duties as an American Indian Studies Professor include advising students, planning curriculums, choosing textbooks, preparing syllabi, teaching courses, assigning homework, and giving and grading exams, not to mention performing and presenting — at conferences, in journal articles, and at other venues with your fellow American Indian Studies Professors — research in your field of expertise. Because of your focus on Native Americans, however, everything you do is a unique combination of academic study, cultural literacy, and social advocacy. For instance, you might teach courses on Native American languages, art, literature, music, philosophy, or socio-economics.

Your goal typically isn’t teaching American Indian “trivia.” Instead, it’s giving students an opportunity to see the world through a Native American perspective.