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American Indian Studies

American Indian Studies

We are still here! Native Communities in America

In American Indian Studies students learn about the contributions and perspectives of the indigenous peoples of the Americas from an interdisciplinary perspective. Our courses explore ancient civilizations, historical experiences, and contemporary issues.
Current research at USM examines such diverse topics as Ancient Mesoamerica, the emergence of modern Southeastern US tribes from the Shatter Zone, and current health disparities in Indian Country.
Indigenous peoples of ancient, historical and modern cultures still have much to teach us today. From the Aztec Legend of the Five Suns, through the Southeastern Green Corn Ceremony, to modern day powwows, Native cultures still resonate in our world.


What will I learn?

Our Native American ancestors were resilient. They had to be. They lived on the edge. Their communities depended on constantly changing streams, creeks, bayous, rivers, lakes, gulfs and oceans. Water brought vitality, but too little or too much could also wreak devastation. Their communities were also constantly changing as a result of internal strife and external forces.

Through AIS courses, students will study:

  • Historical pressures that influenced community structures;
  • Struggles to preserve Native languages, cultures, health, wellbeing and sovereignty;
  • Native arts, games, clothing, foodways and other cultural practices;
  • And other aspects of Indigenous American cultures.


Faculty Affiliates


Do you have a question about the American Indian Studies program? Click above to get the contact information for the director. 


Faculty Spotlight


Dr. Joshua Haynes


Patrolling the Border focuses on a late eighteenth-century conflict between Creek Indians and Georgians. Dr. Joshua S. Haynes argues that the period should be viewed as the struggle of non-state indigenous people to develop an effective method of resisting colonization. Using database and digital mapping applications, Dr. Haynes identifies one such method of resistance: a pattern of Creek raiding best described as politically motivated border patrols. Read more


Career Pathways

A minor in American Indian Studies can be paired with any major, and in many cases, students can get an American Indian Studies minor without taking any more credit hours than they would need to take for their major alone.
The minor prepares students to work in settings that require: cross-cultural understanding, interaction with diverse populations, civic engagement and community development, and creative solving skills. In many career fields, having the ability to interact more effectively with diverse peoples is increasingly important. 

Some majors that work well with this minor are:

  • Social sciences: Sociology, Political Science, Anthropology, Psychology, Nonprofit Studies, Legal Studies
  • Applied social sciences: Social Work, Criminal Justice, Public Health
  • Human Sciences:  Child and family studies, Archival and library science
  • Humanities: Languages, History, English, Philosophy
  • Communications:  Public Relations, Media, Communication Studies,
  • Business: Management, Business Administration, Entrepreneurship
  • The Arts: Art and Design, Dance,  Music, and Theatre
  • And many more!



Photo of powwow, native american

Center for American Indian Research and Studies

The center facilitates partnerships between the faculty of Southern Miss and regional tribal governments in order to better serve the needs of the American Indian people in our area.


Photo of American Indian


Golden Eagle Inter-tribal Society

The USM Golden Eagle Inter-tribal Society (GEIS), host of the  Southern Miss Powwow, is a student organization at USM devoted to maintaining the culture of Native American groups. Whether your heritage, studies, or friends have given rise to an interest in Native American culture, we welcome you to join us.



Minor Plan Availability
American Indian Studies Undergraduate Minor Hattiesburg


Contact Us

School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

110 Elizabeth Harkins Hall (EHH)
118 College Dr. #5112
Hattiesburg, MS 39406


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