Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
ATH 231
Course Title:
Native Americans of the Northwest
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

An in-depth survey of the native peoples of Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Southwest Canada. Individual native groups are studied to depict cultural variation within the region. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

The Course begins by defining exactly what is an "Indian". It continues in describing the goals of Anthropology. A delineation of the earliest Northwest Native/European encounters and descriptions follows. Next, the history of Northwest Anthropological research is detailed. The prehistory of the Northwest is presented followed by first, a description of the major cultural and geographic divisions and then, the major linguistic phyla spoken within the Northwest Coast Cultural and geographic Area. What follows are in-depth descriptions of various specific native groups that best represent a specific region. Finally, a brief description is presented of the present nature and condition the Northwest's Indian population.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completions students should be able to:

Use an understanding of the prehistory of Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest to better comprehend the diversity of people in the community
or the workplace.
Use an understanding of the languages and cultures of Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest in order to better understand the diversity of people in the
community or the workplace.

Course Activities and Design

1. Examine the cultural history of Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest

2. Identify Native American language and cultures native to the Nrothwest region. 

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment strategies may include:

* exams (take home or in class)

* term papers

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  • Indian/Native American
  • Anthropology
  • Genetic Origins
  • Culture and Geography
  • Variation
  • Ethnic Group versus "Tribe"


  • Human Antiquity in the Northwest
  • Perception
  • Cultural Origins


  • Variation versus "Race"
  • Culture
  • Sociopolitical organization
  • Sociolinguistic organization
  • Culture Ecology
  • Linguistics
  • History


  • Study Northwest American Indian Anthropology at the college level
  • Learn the Anthropology of American Northwest Indian America