Native American Studies (NAS) is currently being established as an academic program as part of IUPUI American Indian Programs within the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. The program is interdisciplinary, combining the efforts of faculty throughout the university. Native American Studies offers students an opportunity to learn about Native American Cultures - literature, philosophy, anthropology, values, lifeways, spirituality, and social and political institutions. The program was created and built on a tradition of activism on contemporary issues.
Native American Studies introduces students to differences in the perspectives of Native American cultures on a wide variety of topics, including issues relating to communication across the cultural boundaries of both past and present eras. Students gain an awareness of humanistic knowledge within the framework of North American human experience. Some students are of Native American descent, but most are not.
Classes often are taken by students from a number of fields to satisfy cultural-diversity requirements. Students also include NAS courses in programs leading to degrees in medicine, law, education, public administration, social work, and criminal justice. Native American Studies undergraduate students support the student organization called Native American Student Alliance (NASA) which provides and supports education awareness and program development on campus. Graduate students, staff and faculty work together to enhance educational, professional and cultural opportunities for members of the Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis Native American community through the Native American Faculty Staff Council (NAFSC).