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Why minor in Native American Studies?

WVU Native American Studies minors have applied their NAS education in a variety of successful professional roles, serving as educators, artists, researchers, interpreters at historical sites, engineers, legal consultants, in health care, and other meaningful careers. 

The Medicine Wheel

Medicine Wheel

The iconic NAS medicine wheel was designed by the late WVU Professor Emeritus Urban Couch (of Cherokee descent), a longstanding member of the NAS Committee.

The four points of the medicine wheel represent the cardinal directions and the four Great Powers of the wheel; the wheel represents universal harmony.

Professor Couch, former Chair of WVU’s Division of Art, was an award-winning visual artist, curator, and educator.

To all friends of the WVU Native American Studies Program,

Please be assured that our commitment to the NAS academic and social justice mission remains strong. Our purpose includes honestly addressing both contemporary issues and historic injustices, including the disease of racism, through education, public scholarship, community outreach, and dialog with Indigenous scholars, leaders, writers, and activists.

As we all know, the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd, and the innumerable other recent examples of nationwide racial violence, have ignited protests condemning racial injustice and calling for action throughout the U.S. and around the world. Our NAS Program wholeheartedly joins in this condemnation of violence and continually advocates for justice and equity. WVU's Institutional Statements appear here.

Coupled with the epidemic of violence are health disparities that likewise threaten the lives of Native Americans and other people of color. Currently, the Covid-19 pandemic is inflicting tremendous suffering and loss throughout Indian Country and intensifying acts of intolerance and hate against Native individuals and communities. Examples of this, carried out by those who wish to scapegoat Natives, are found in various news reports and social media posts.

One small way that our Program is assisting Native people is by sending home-sewn face masks to hospital staff serving Navajo and other Native patients battling the coronavirus. I ask each of you to continue to engage and serve in your own ways as we collectively make our way toward a healthier future.

Though the fall semester will be rife with new challenges, the current crises also provide exceptional opportunities to address crucial matters at the heart of our educational focus. Consult this link for ongoing updates re: Fall 2020.

Don't forget to address your own physical and mental health needs as we move forward. This general tip sheet from the Centers for Disease Control includes a helpline phone number and other resources.

In addition, WVU students, faculty, and staff have resources available within the university.

Be well and safe, friends!
Sincerely, Bonnie M. Brown, Coordinator, WVU Native American Studies Program


Intro to Native American Studies
(on campus and online)
                                          Photo by Pax Ahimsa Gethen.

The 2020 Peace Tree Ceremony is set for the week of Oct. 25. 

Guest of honor:


Mr. Merv Tano, 2020 Peace Tree Guest of Honor
President, International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management
and adjunct faculty, Haskell Indian Nations University

The Peace Tree is located between Martin Hall & E. Moore Hall. The annual Peace Tree events are free and open to the public.

peace tree bald eagle


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