Student Outcomes

Students in AIS will gain comprehensive knowledge in four key areas: 1) tribal policy, politics, and administration 2) indigenous environmental science, health, and management 3) cultural resource management, indigenous knowledge, and expressive culture and 4) sustainable economic development and indigenous entrepreneurship.

Tribal policy, politics, and administration

AIS graduates will be able to effectively serve as administrators of key government service departments and programs within tribal governments, such as planning departments, environmental, education, and related social service departments.

Tribal governments are distinct from federal, state and county governments, requiring knowledge and skills beyond those taught in topic specific areas such as education, environmental science, or planning. The focus area in tribal policy, politics and administration provides students with the necessary knowledge and tools in federal Indian policy and intergovernmental relations to operate effectively within a tribal government. Students will be prepared to serve as policy analysts for elected tribal officials, or Indigenous non-governmental organizations at the local, regional, or national level.  Students will also be able to assert and implement the administration of treaty rights and rights of Indigenous peoples under international laws and norms, including those spelled out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Indigenous environmental science, health, and management
AIS graduates will be able to apply the distinct laws, policies, regulations and executive orders applying to tribal nations and American Indian and Indigenous lands and jurisdictional areas. Graduates will be able to effectively work with federal and international agencies necessary for their department’s particular jurisdictional and subject area, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, Indian Health Service, or equivalent counterparts in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other countries with Indigenous populations. AIS graduates will also demonstrate the ability to effectively engage Indigenous communities in crafting solutions to challenges that combine the best practices in specific subject fields with traditional knowledge, yielding strategies and solutions that are culturally appropriate and effective. 
Cultural resource management, indigenous knowledge, and expressive culture
AIS graduates will be able to apply laws, policies, regulations and executive orders unique to American Indian tribal nations in the United States as well as international legal standards applicable to Indigenous peoples worldwide to manage and protect culturally significant sites and resources.  AIS graduates will also be able to engage traditional knowledge keepers in processes of developing and implementing laws and policies unique to a specific tribe or Indigenous community that are appropriate to that particular community and ensure cultural continuity and sustainability, such as protection of and access to natural resources. Students will also develop an appreciation and understanding of the rich variety of Indigenous expression rooted in cultural lifeways, including music, film, dance, art, literature, language, and spirituality.
Sustainable economic development and indigenous entrepreneurship
AIS graduates will be able to develop and implement economic development strategies that are culturally appropriate and feasible for Indigenous individuals, communities, and nations using the three distinct models of Indigenous entrepreneurship: general tribal and Indigenous government entrepreneurship strategies, Indigenous community-based and owned entrepreneurial enterprises, and programs designed to support individual Indigenous entrepreneurs. Students will be able to assess and implement economic development opportunities that are ecologically sustainable in specific communities and economically beneficial­– such as renewable energy projects, Indigenous cultural and ecotourism enterprises, sustainable agriculture and sustainable manufacturing.  AIS graduates will be able to analyze the potential benefit of combining enterprises in these critical areas, and to design strategic economic plans that utilize the synergy among those enterprises as regional economic drivers.