About the Department

The American Indian Studies program at San Diego State University is dedicated to teaching a broad range of topics related to the study of Native American peoples, while focusing on individual elements that comprise American Indian life, heritage and culture. By using literature, art, history, and politics as touchstones, students come to understand both the individual as well as the tribal character of the Indian peoples, with emphasis given to the tribes of Southern California. Coursework also draws comparisons between American Indian life and the life of other members of American society.


Statement on the Settler Colonial Conflict in Gaza and Israel

As American Indian Studies and Indigenous scholars, it is our professional responsibility to educate our students and the general public about settler colonialism and the multi-generational traumas and horrors it produces. We teach this in our classrooms every day, but as violence escalates in Palestine/Israel, we lament the fate of civilians on both sides and feel compelled to speak out publicly.  We are horrified by the violence committed by Hamas radicals and are deeply saddened by all the hundreds of individuals who were killed by their attacks. Yet, we in no way see this as a justifiable premise for the continuing dehumanization of Palestinian people and state policies of apartheid and genocide. The settler colonialism we see in nation-state based Zionism mirrors what we teach every day in our classes about the Indigenous history of Turtle Island and continuing threats to contemporary American Indian life and tribal sovereignty. This is why we cannot stay silent as we witness the oppression and genocide of Palestinians.  Read more.

Established in 1971, NASA continues its mission as an active student organization promoting a Native American presence on campus. 

The center facilitates the academic and personal success of Native American and Indigenous identified students.