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Course Description

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9 - Midterm

Week 10

Week 11

Week 12

Week 13

Week 14

Week 15

Week 16

Week 17 - Final Exam

California State University, Fullerton - American Studies 337

Dr. Leleua LoupeOffice: H 730K Phone: 657-626-8729
Leleualoupe@hotmail.com Hours: M/W 10-11AM & by Appt.

** I will only respond to e-mails from the above account. I will not respond to e-mails on the campus e-mail.

CPRL/AFRO 337 American Indian Religions and Philosophy

337-01-19744 T/TH 2:30-3:45 PM H-224


Completion of GE C. 2 Introduction to the Humanities

Course Description:

American Indian Religious and philosophic perspectives. Religious interpretations and thought in various facets of belief, ranging from traditional Indian Religion to Christianity. Highlights contemporary religious activities.

This course will provide a multidisciplinary, multi-cultural approach, plurinational and pluricultural exploration of the nature, structure, and meaning of indigenous cultural practices, languages, landscapes, philosophies, and symbols in the religious and spiritual life of indigenous peoples in the Americas. In addition, this course will focus on indigenous peoples from the larger North American Continent, but students will be encouraged to examine the religious/spiritual traditions of other indigenous nations elsewhere. A cultural-historical method will be used in conjunction with a comparative thematic approach. The cultural approach emphasized the different indigenous nations and worldviews studies, whereas the historical approach is concerned with changes and continuities in Indigenous religious and philosophical practices over time. Finally, this course also highlights indigenous ways of knowing which focuses on the interconnected, interrelated, as well as cultural and personalized perspectives.

Goals & Objectives:

Students Completing this Course Shall

The student will be introduced to different American Indian Religions and philosophies demonstrating that these are the foundations of being a complete American Indian Person by lectures, interviews, videos, research, selected readings which will develop critical thinking with an understanding to the needs of a indigenous cultures verses a non-Indian predominant culture.

General Education Category

This course fulfills GE area C. 3 Explorations in the Humanities, and GE Z Cultural Diversity. (The “home” department for this course is AFRO; it is cross-listed with CPRL. Thus, if you are pursuing a Major in Religious Studies you can double count this course with GE and as one course toward your upper division “Development of Non-western Religious Thought” major requirement, because CPRL is not the home department. However, if you are a major in Ethnic Studies you may count this course toward your upper-division elective units for the major, but it cannot count for GE. If you are a Minor in Religious Studies, or a Minor in Afro-Ethnic Studies you can “double count” this course for GE and the Minor-up to nine units of GE courses from one department may be used to meet minor requirements.

General Education Learning Goals (UPS 411.201)

The learning goals for subarea c.3 include the learning goals for area c. 2. Namely:

1. Cultivate their intellectual reasoning skills, expand their capacity for creative imagination, develop their reasonable moral sensibilities, and increase their capacity for sensitive engagement through studying great works of human imagination and reason (which are to be primarily – although exclusively-written texts and literature).

2. Understand how the humanities have contributed to the development of culture, including the comparative study of the humanities in diverse cultures.

3. Understand how the humanities have sought to provide answers to complex problems facing humanity, including the relationship of the self to culture and the natural world, the nature of moral and legal obligations, and the meaning and purpose of human existence.

In addition, students taking courses in subarea C. 3 shall:

1. Understand broad, unifying themes from cross-disciplinary perspectives in the humanities.

2. Understand the relevance of the humanities for the thoughtful consideration of complex contemporary problems.

3. Appreciate the complex relationship and interaction between the humanities and other fields of learning, including the natural sciences, social sciences, and arts.

This course also fulfills the learning goals for GE Z Cultural Diversity:

1. Demonstrate understanding that culture is socially constructed and fundamental to social interaction

2. Demonstrate appreciation of the complex relationships that various factors such as gender, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, religion, and class bring to a discussion of society and culture.

3. Demonstrate understanding that because we live in an inter-connected world, we need to understand the diversity and relationships within and among cultures.

GE Writing Requirement:

The Written assignments for this course are designed to meet the General Education Writing requirement. The substance as well as the manner of organization and expression of the information and ideas will be evaluated. In other words, the content as well as the style and grammar of the paper will be graded. To encourage each student to advance his/her writing competence, the assessment of all papers will include suggestions for improvement on papers for future courses.

Required Texts:

Peggy Beck, The Sacred: Ways of Knowledge, Sources of Life (Navajo Community College Press) 1996. ISBN: 0-912586-24-9

John Marshall III, The Lakota Way: Stories and Lessons for Learning (Penquin Books) 2002 ISBN-13: 978-0142196090 Laura M.

Ramirez, Keepers of the Children: Native American Wisdom and Parenting (Quality Books) 2004 ISBN 0-9748661-0-5 Joseph Epes

Brown, Understanding Native American Religious Traditions (oxford) 2010 ISBN978-0-19-973900-4
Electronic Version: http://site.ebrary.com/lib/fullerton/docDetail.action?docID=10269052

Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, A Toltec Wisdom Book (Amber Allen Publishing) 1997 ISBN 978-1-1934408-01-8

Suggested Readings (available on website TBA):

Micheael Bopp, Recreating the World: A Practical Guide to building Sustainable Communities (Four Worlds Press) David Kaonohiokala

Bray, The Kahuna Religion of Hawaii (Borderlands Science Research Foundation) 1960. ISBN 0-945685-05-x

Recommended Readings

Deloria Jr, Vine, God is Red: A Native View of Religion. (Fulcrum Publishing, 2003).

Mails, Thomas E., The Hopi Survival Kit: The Prophecies, Instructions, and Warnings Revealed by the last elders.(Penguin, 1997).


The Salt Song Trail

The Canoe Way

Crossing the Rainbow Bridge

More Than Bows and Arrows

A History of American Indian Achievement. http://xerxes.calstate.edu/fullerton/books/results?field=title&query=%22History+of+American+Indian+Achievement%22.

Tecumseh's Vision
Trail of Tears
Native American women

Course Requirements:

25% Attendance and participation (Required assignments due 4 and week 11)
25% Reflection Journal
25% Midterm Paper (Due week 10)
25% Final Paper( Due Finals week)

Click to download the Participation Rubric
Click to download Journal Rubric
Click to download paper rubric
Critical Thinking & Reading Guide
Presentation Rubric

I will use the +/- system for the final grade.

If you are fully engaged in the class but still desire extra credit you may attend a Native American function and discuss with me how you will present what you learned for an additional 5%.

Participation In Class participation is paramount to your verbal and social development. In this class we are exploring philosophies of others as well as our own. Talking about ideas, people and events allows us all to explore them and bring our understanding of them and ourselves to higher levels. If you are just beginning to learn to use your voice and be comfortable with learning out loud consider presenting art projects of some kind that express your ideas and thoughts. You will still need to present them to the class, but it will be in the manner that you construct. (songs, poems, prayers, dances, stories, visual art work) There will be two presentation assignments due by the end of the semester that will be incorporated in your participation grade.

First presentation: What is your belief system? Create a visual representation, song, or story that conveys your
religion or belief system. You may do what ever you may feel comfortable with or try something new, but be creative in your presentation. On the due date turn in a one page summary and short description of your presentation. I will then create a presentation calendar so each person knows when they will present beginning the following week. Keep your presentation to 15-20 minutes. Consider the presentation rubric when you present. Click on this link for a copy: Presentation Rubric

Second presentation: Medicine Wheel

Final Presentation: Personal Shields

Shields are traditionally constructed and given following a vision quest and consulation with four spirtitual leaders who might interpret the vision quest experiences in a way that would reflect on the seekers character and medicines. Since you may or may not have had such an experience, ask the people who know you best for insight. For the sake of thsis class reflect on your own experiences and construct it in a way that reflects your medicines, the communities you identify with (clans), what your loves, fears and dreams are at present. You may choose to reflect your achievements and challenges, strengths and weaknesses. They might reflect your spiritual and blood families, medicines or names. Create a visual representation to display so that everyone may see them and learn from them. Women often carried their signs on their dresses, bead work, belts or in some way that they wore them everyday. Think of this project as conducting a self-evaluation of what have you achieved so far, what and who you identify with, what your challenges are and what vision you have for yourself and the rest of your life.

Reflection Journal Use this as first a notebook to master the ideas and content presented in the reading assignments and then to reflect upon them. If you complete the readings and write down your notes and thoughts you will be amply prepared for participation and for your writing assignments. Compare and contrast your personal beliefs and ideas to those presented over the course of the semester. I will provide prompts every week to guide your focus. click to download Journal rubric

First Entry: What is your belief system?

Papers Guide to Writing and Grammar

Midterm paper Rubric

basic format

Create a ceremony, ritual, song or dance that serves a practical function in child rearing, environmental and resource management or in healing. Provide the rationale, describe its significance and purpose and the impact you want it to have on your life and/or others. Cite sources using Chicago style foot notes. 12 font, double spaced, typed, 5-10 pages.

Final Paper

Answer the questions below, citing the chapters that you use to answer the questions in text Using Chicago Style. (Authors last name date, page number (Beck 1996, 3-5).

1. What is the value in using indigenous traditions as a model to re-evaluate our modern beliefs and traditions? (Brown, Ramirez, Marshall)
2. What are the 6 major concept’s  shared among The People? (Beck Ch. 1, 12, 13)
3. What are the elements of ritual and what is the purpose of ritual? Provide and explain an example (Beck, Ch. 2, 3, 8-10-12; Brown; Ramirez)
4. What are traditional ways of obtaining knowledge, and what is the goal of a traditional education system, what is the nature of knowledge attained? What is the purpose of a vision quest, or an initiation ceremony (Beck, Ch. 4, 5, 8-10, 13; Brown, Ramirez)
5. How has colonization by Catholic/Christian nations disrupted indigenous systems of understanding the world? How have people responded to colonial impact? (Beck Ch. 6-8, 10-12, 14; Brown Ch. 7)
6. What is your role and responsibility as a parent from an indigenous perspective? What makes you a mother or father? (Beck, Ramirez, Ruiz)
7. Explain the concept of the Red Road and how a medicine wheel can help guide you to find it, stay on it, or get back to that good path when you stray. (Beck Ch. 8, Bopp & lecture)

Common Types of Disruptive Classroom Behavior that you may be penalized for:
Grandstanding: Use the classroom for themselves by monopolizing class discussion, speaking protractedly and bombastically on favorite subjects with no regard to relevancy to the discussion.
• Sleeping in Class: While passively disruptive, it sends a message to the other students about the quality of the class or teaching. It is disrespectful to the instructor and the other students.
• Prolonged Chattering: Small cliques of 2-3 students who engage in private conversations or pass notes to each other.
• Excessive Lateness: Students who not only come in late, but make an entrance speaking to friends, walking in front of the professor, arranging their belongings.
• Noisy Electric Devices: Beepers and pagers going off in class or students talking on the telephone during the class.
• Disputing the Instructor’s Authority or Expertise: Students may be disappointed or frustrated over a grade and may debunk or devalue the instructor’s judgment, authority, and expertise. This may take the form of comments in the class or memos to department chair or dean.

If you display any of the above behavior I may ask you to leave the class for the day, week, or permanently or deduct points or value from your final grade.

Make-up PolicyUnless you have pre-arranged an alternative test with me NO MAKE UP EXAMS will be allowed after exams have been taken by the class unless PRE-ARRANGED with me. Do Not Ask.

Academic Integrity: All students are expected to do the work for this course with honesty and integrity. To do otherwise is to break one’s implicit contract with the instructors or with one’s fellow and sister students. Accordingly, anyone who cheats on an examination in any way or who submits work that is not wholly his or her own work will fail this course in its entirety. I REALLY MEAN THIS!
Academic Integrity Policy

Classroom Management: ELECTRONICS ARE PROHIBITED. If I find a student using any kind of electronic device you will be asked to leave for the day, upon a third classroom removal I will ask the Dean to intervene. Points will be deducted from your participation grade as I decide is appropriate. If you are tardy or late to class I will also deduct participation points at my discretion. IF YOU DO NOT ATTEND CLASS and COMPLETE ASSIGNED COURSE WORK, YOU WILL NOT PASS.  I will drop students from class for excessive absences.

Reading and Writing Assignments: I expect students to complete readings BEFORE the class for which I list them. You are responsible for summarizing and analyzing the reading each week.  You do not turn it in; rather, you use them to study for the exams.

Grading Papers/Exams: I will respond to e-mails during office hours and grade papers once a week, I require a 2 week turnaround time to return papers back to you given my workload.  I may respond more frequently and get your papers back to you sooner but you can expect me to be available and respond to your inquiries as explained above.

Students’ rights to accommodations for documented special needs: http://www.fullerton.edu/disabledservices/

Actions students should take in an emergency: http://prepare.fullerton.edu/


Class Schedule:

Week 1

January 22, 2014 (Monday,Martin Luther King Day-Campus Closed)

Introduction to Class: The Diversities of Indians
Reflection Journal discussion:
Journal Prompt 1: What is your belief system?
Begin Reading Brown, Ch 1.
Film: More Than Bows and Arrows

Week 2 January 27 - 31, 2014

Discussion: Beck, Chapter 1, “Seeking Life: Definitions of Religion and the
Brown, Ch. 2-3.
Journal Prompt 2:
What is the sacred for you? Who is included or excluded?
Film: The Snowbowl Effect: When Recreation and Culture Collide. Who Pays the Price?

Week 3 February 3-7, 2014

Discussion: Beck, Chapter 2, “Ritual Drama and Prayer;”
Brown, Ch.4: ;Silence,
The word and the sacred evoking the sacred through language and song.”
Journal Prompt 3:
What rituals and ceremonies do you participate in, what is
their significance and purpose?
Film: The World of American Indian Dance
Hoop Dance

Northwest Spirit of the Mask

Hopi Corn Dance

Week 4 February 10-14, 2013
Discussion: Beck,Chapter 3 “Learning the Way:Traditional Education;”
Brown, Ch. 5: “There is no word for art,” The Creative process”
Journal Prompt 4:
What ways do you learn best? Who do you recognize as your teachers? What modes of learning do you recognize as valuable or not? How do incorporate createivity into your worldview?
Film: The Salt Song Trail
“What is your belief system?” Visual Representation Due
Week 5 February 17-21, 2014
Monday - President's Day- Campus Closed
Discussion:Beck, Chapter 4, “The Boundaries of the World: Seasons, Origins
 and other worlds"
Brown, Ch. 6: “Relationship and Reciprocity, A Metaphysics of Nature”
Journal Prompt 5:
Are animals and natural phenomenon incorporated into your world view? If so, How? or Why not? What role does artistic expression play in your life?
Crossing the Rainbow Bridge
Week 6 February 24-28, 2014
Discussion: Beck, Chapter 5, “Shamanism and the world of the spirits: The oldest Religion;” Brown, Ch. 7: “A Unity of Experience, Purification:” Begin reading Bopp and thinking about creating your own model.
Journal Prompt 6:
What is the central function of healing and ceremony? What is the role of humor in indiegnous world views?
Dream Keeper
Week 7 March 3 - 7, 2014
Discussion: Beck, Chapter 6 “The Changeable Earth: Colonizers and Genocide;” Ramirez, Ch. 1. “Raising Your Child with Vision;” Marshal, Ch. 2: Perseverance.”
Journal Prompt 7:
What policies have encouraged the cultural genocide of The original People of America? What motivated European policies? How have some people persisted in their pre-European beliefs and life-ways?
Canary Effect
Week 8 March 10-14, 2014
Discussion: Beck, Chapter 7 “The World Out of Balance;” Ramirez, Ch. 2 “Raising Your Child with Vision;” Marshal, Ch. 3: “Respect.”
Journal Prompt 8:
What factors have led to a "World out of Balance"? How did communities respond to this process? What are examples today that are examples of this and what steps can be taken to begin reaching equilibrium within your family or community?
Film: The Canoe Way /
   “Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change”: http://www.isuma.tv/en/inuit-knowledge-and-climate-change
Week 9 March 17-21, 2014
Discussion: Beck, Chapter 8 “The Path of Life” & Chapter 9 “Girl’s Puberty Ceremonies;” Ramirez, Ch. 2: “Embracing Your Sacred Role as Guardian;” Marshal, Ch. 6: “Sacrifice.”
Journal Prompt 9:
What was the status of children and of the old aged? How did the people percieve death?
Film: Kinaalda: A Navajo Rite of Passage
Week 10 March 24-28, 2014
Discussion: Beck, Chapter 10, “The Peyote Spirit;” Ramirez, Ch. 3 “The Nature of Identity.”
Journal Prompt 10:
What is the nature of identity? How might Peyotism provide a sense of identity?
Additional Reading: Spider Woman Article
Sex and gender segment
The Peyote Road: Amcient Religion in Contemporary Crisis

Midterm Paper due

March 31 - April 6 Cesar chavez Day & Spring Break - Campus Closed
Week 11

April 7-11, 2014

Discussion: Beck, Chapter 11, “Sacred and Secular: Seminole Tradition in the Midst of Change;” Ramirez, “Ch. 4: “Your Child – Your Disciple.”
Journal Prompt 11:
How has acculturation impacted the Seminole & how have they negotiated those changes?
Film: Seminole History

“Medicine Wheel” Visual Representation Due

Week 12 April14-18, 2014
Discussion: Beck, Chapter 12, “Navajo Traditional Knowledge;” Ramirez, “Chapter 5: “Creating Integrity Through Humane Values;” Marshall, Ch. 1: “Humility”
Journal Prompt 12: What impact has colonization had on the Dine' and what sacred knowledge has been maintained concerning birth, childhood and parenthood?
Season of the Navajo
Week 13 April 21-25, 2014

Discussion: Beck, Chapter 13, “Sacred Fools and Clowns;” Ramirez, Ch. 7: “Teaching Your Child to Thrive;” Marshal, Ch. 4: “Honor” & Ch. 7 “Truth”
Journal Prompt 13:
What Role does Humor play in sacred traditions? How do you teach your child to Thrive?
Film: Dream Keeper/ American Indian Comedy Slam http://www.hulu.com/watch/508544

Tim, Johanna, Cole, Charliewill display their wheels. Keep your discussion to 10 minutes each max
Week 14 April 28- May 2, 2014
Discussion: Beck, Chapter 14, “The Wandering Ground;” Ramirez, Conclusion; Marshal, Ch. 5, “Love” & Ch. 8. “Compassion.”
Journal Prompt 14: What is the Truth? What are the differences between the Sacred Way and the Way that has become dominant? What are the morals and values of each? What is at the center of Indian identity?
Film: The People of the Water
Charlie, Jennifer, Yarub, Rashonna(10 minutes each max)
Week 15 May 5-9, 2014

Discussion: Marshal, Ch. 11 “Generosity” & Ch. 12 “Wisdom” Ruiz, The
Four Agreements: A Toltec Wisdom Book.
Journal Prompt 15:
The Four Agreements

Britney, Ivan, Joey, Julio(10 minutes each max)


Week 16

Thursday, May 15, 2014 2:30 - 4: 20PM

Final Presentations (Sheilds)

Final Exam due:

1. What is the value in using indigenous traditions as a model to re-evaluate our modern beliefs and traditions? (Brown, Ramirez, Marshall)
2. What are the 6 major concept’s  shared among The People? (Beck Ch. 1, 12, 13)
3. What are the elements of ritual and what is the purpose of ritual? Provide and explain an example (Beck, Ch. 2, 3, 8-10-12; Brown; Ramirez)
4. What are traditional ways of obtaining knowledge, and what is the goal of a traditional education system, what is the nature of knowledge attained? What is the purpose of a vision quest, and an initiation ceremony (Beck, Ch. 4, 5, 8-10, 13; Brown, Ramirez)
5. How has colonization by Catholic/Christian nations disrupted indigenous systems of understanding the world? How have people responded to colonial impact? (Beck Ch. 6-8, 10-12, 14; Brown Ch. 7)
6. What is your role and responsibility as a parent from an indigenous perspective? What makes you a mother or father? (Beck, Ramirez, Ruiz)
7. Explain the concept of the Red Road and how a medicine wheel can help guide you to find it, stay on it, or get back to that good path when you stray. (Beck Ch. 8, Bopp & lecture)