By ZHAO PENG
Capital News Service
LANSING — Northern Michigan University will provide the state’s first university-level Native American studies major in beginning next fall, an action that may draw attention to a long-overlooked academic area that has been thriving in recent years, according to a professor at Central Michigan University. “The education of Native American studies has been neglected far too long,” said Timothy D. Hall, the associate dean of the College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences at Central. “It is always a good thing when new programs are developed to offer students the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge and understanding of Native American history and culture.”
Hall said Native American studies is thriving in Michigan. Most colleges and universities in the state offer at least some courses in the field, and the larger research universities all have positions dedicated to Native American history, culture and literature across a variety of departments. Hall said the field is “robust” and generating extensive scholarly research each year.