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AFR/SOC 132: Burnside (Fall 2022)

Introduction to Race in America

Step 1: Understand some of the recent chronology of Native America

Step 2: Choose a Native American Nation

Not sure where to start? Below is a list of just a few Native American Nations. Choose one to focus on:

Arapaho Apache Cherokee
Choctaw Navajo Ojibwe
Sioux Oneida Mohawk
Lakota Iroquois Hopi
Omaha Comanche Huron
Blackfeet Pawnee Ponca
Seminole Pontiac Creek
Shawnee Ottowa  


Step 3: Consider the assignment

AFR/SOC 132: Intro to Race in America                                                     Fall, 2022

Instructor:  Dr. Burnside; Reference Librarians: Ms. Amanda Peach and Mr. Angel Rivera        

Documented Research Assignment:   Due: Sept 19th

Cultural Facts:  A Report About Indigenous Groups (10%)

Purpose:  This exercise, started during our library work-session, is designed to provide an opportunity to develop these student learning outcomes (SLO):

  • Students will be able to describe, and discuss, how race and ethnic identifications are part of our learned social behaviors, including their own perceptions and attitudes. 

  • Students will enhance their ability to understand others by stepping outside of themselves in order to see ways to learn through other people’s eyes.

Instructions:  Select one Native American tribal nation and research, using Hutchins library resources, social facts* to complete a Cultural Context Fact Sheet about social conditions and cultural elements of interest as these tribal nations have encountered structural racism. 

For your Fact Sheet reporting, use in-text citations with Works Cited list of three sources (minimum); typed, word count = 750-800.  Along with a Peer Review completed form, submit on Moodle, due September 19th by 7:00 AM.  In class, your brief oral presentation (three to four minutes), if not already done, can include visuals, such as two to three power point slides.

*French sociologist Emile Durkheim developed the concept of social facts to include values, cultural norms, and social structures as elements of society that can be measured, often in empirical means, so we can observe and study these facts' effects of social control on individuals and groups.

Look at this site for tips about which terms to use for various race and ethnic groups: accessed August 26, 2021.


Rubric for Grading with a rating scale:  (Very Good = 20-19;  Good = 18-16; Fair = 15-13;

 Insufficient quality = 12- 10; Poor 9 - 0):

An emphasis will focus on quality of key details about your group (e.g. social facts and folklore), application of concepts, theoretical perspectives and your ideas.  A few points will be detracted if grammar and mechanics interfere with readability, so remember to proofread and use in-text citation (include page numbers, if available) with your Works Cited list.  Use a Peer to Review strategy and submit a completed form or other confirmation of your Review with your work.

_________  Title and introduction announces subject in memorable way.

_________   Selected important points are clearly presented, and explanations show good comprehension.

_________   Concepts provide relevant aspects that clearly support each fact & lead to thoughtful interpretations.

_________   Sentences flow smoothly from one to another & are clearly linked to each other.  The reader can follow the line of reasoning.

_________  Writing mechanics (grammar, punctuation, spelling, citations):  The writing is free or almost free of errors and has a proper word count.

__________  Quality and quantity of sources satisfactory; and appropriate citations style (APA, MLA, Chicago) for in-text and Works Cited list;

__________  Writing was peer reviewed (e.g. form attached or other evidence).

__________ Grade: _____________________________________________________________


Step 4 :Choose a social fact

Possible Social Fact Topics

pursuit of sovereignty land rights activism climate change activism
artifacts burial mounds commercialization and appropriation
of Indigenous art
kinship language coming-of-age rituals
holidays/traditions food education
folktales/creation stories religion/spirituality attire
music art/crafts social organization

Step 5: Look for 3 Sources

Source Type # 1: ARTICLES 

Ethnic Newswatch is a great place to search because it includes newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journal articles written by the actual Native American tribes you are researching.

Source Type # 2: background information:

We also have an online database of electronic encyclopedias, called Gale Virtual Reference, which you can search, as well as an anthropology database.

We have print encyclopedias, listed below, which you can find in the Reference Area on the main floor of Hutchins. 

Source Type # 3: BOOKS

We have many print books, including children's books, related to Native American culture: