Editorial: Don't cut Native American studies
"Four hundred years ago, Algonquin North American Indians fished, farmed and ruled on the lands where we now study. The English settled the state in the 17th century, and through a long string of land deals and wars, early Englishmen eventually overtook the region.

As a university, we can hardly bare responsibility for this conquest. But as an academic institution, we are responsible for learning about the history and culture of the people today's Americans displaced. Next semester, students here won't be able to.

Because of budget cuts across academic departments, the university will not offer any Native American studies classes next semester. While the university offered two this semester - one in anthropology, one in American studies - the chairs of both departments said they had to focus on saving required classes amid financial strain. The Native American classes were electives.

The cuts come at a time when the field of Native American studies is growing. For decades, it was muddled in obscurity as the few academics who focused on the field struggled to find and preserve records. But recently, evolutionary biologists have turned to the study of indigenous peoples to explore humanity's early history. Agronomists and environmental scientists have found new relevance in Native Americans' relationship with land in a time of global warming and worldwide food shortages."

Get the Story:
Editorial: A course of action (The University of Maryland Diamondback 4/23)

Earlier Story:
AISU to protest course eliminations (The University of Maryland Diamondback 4/22)

Online Petition:
Immediate reinstatement of Native American Courses (American Indian Student Union)