Major Overview

Before Christopher Columbus and the colonization of the new land, the Native Americans were the first inhalants of the Americas. There were thousands of different tribes with their own languages, cultures and traditions. If you are interested in learning about America's past, majoring in Native American Languages is ideal.

While studying this major, you will focus on one or more of the native languages of the Western Hemisphere. The emphasis of this program will be placed on American Indian languages, in addition to other Native American languages. You will study oral and written literature of the Inuit and Aleut, Hawaiian and North American families. These languages include, but are not limited to, Athabascan, Siouan, Iroquoian, Algonkian, Yuman, Xapotecan, Mayan, and Uto-Aztecan. Some programs include languages in the South American families, which include Andean-Equatorial, Marcro-Chibchan, and Ge-Pano-Carib.

During the course of the program you will take courses in Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Language, Native American Philosophy, Gender and Sexuality in Native North American, Tribal Service Learning, and Tribal Governance and Leadership.

Required Skills

An open mind and love for storytelling are good traits to have in order to fully appreciate and grasp Native American Language. The majoring of their culture and history was passed down by word of mouth in the practice of oral storytelling. Students with an ear for languages will do well in this major.

You can prepare for this major while still in High School. Students are advised to take courses in U.S History, Geography, Humanities, Political Science, and Language. These courses would help potential students learn the fundamentals of Native American Languages and culture.

Careers

Majoring in Native American Studies provides graduates with a broad set of skills applicable in many different job fields. Some students choose to continue their education in order to become a University Professor. Another option is to become an Anthropologist or Archeologist. Both of these fields examine the past of different cultures. As an Anthropologist you will examine the elements of human culture and society. As an Archeologist, you would examine the relics from the past to recreate history and culture accurately. Grads may also be interested in becoming a Historian and spend their time researching, analyzing and explaining past events to people. Historians have the potential to get their research and work published in textbooks, newspapers, journals, and other publications.

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Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Native American Languages might open up.

Foreign Language and Literature Teachers, Postsecondary
Interpreters and Translators
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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