Academic Programs

    American Indian Studies

    The American Indian Studies Associate of Arts degree program seeks to be a doorway for students, particularly American Indian students, to explore their future in a welcoming community of learners that honors and values the language, history, worldview, and methodologies of the Ojibwe-Anishinaabe people.

    American Indian Studies at FDLTCC

    Schedule a Tour


    45% of Associate of the Arts graduates continue their education upon graduating.


    Native Americans are Carlton County’s fastest growing ethnic demographic, over 133,000 Minnesota residents are Native American


    American Indians Studies graduates earn a median salary of $53,611 as postsecondary teachers in NE Minnesota.

    About the Program

    The American Indian Studies Program (AIS A.A.) fulfills the ten transfer goal areas and credits necessary for completion of a general, liberal arts associates degree, thereby allows students to deepen their breadth of knowledge in a particular subject area, American Indian Studies, while thoroughly preparing them with the liberal education necessary to baccalaureate programs at public or private four-year colleges and universities.

    The AIS A.A. provides the foundational courses needed to prepare students for transfer into related disciplines, such as American Indian history, tribal leadership, pre-law, or American Indian Studies. Knowledge of American Indian contributions to social, political, economic and scientific development enables students to acquire a broader view and deeper appreciation of American Indian heritage while providing students with the educational requirements necessary for transfer.

    Like all undergraduate Associate of Arts degree programs within Minnesota State system, the AIS A.A. meets the general education components of Minnesota Transfer Curriculum.

    Gidizhitwaawinaanin (Our Cultural Standards)

    Gidizhitwaawinaanin (Our Cultural Standards) guide the AIS A.A. program. The cultural histories, traditions, and worldview of the Ojibwe-Anishinaabe people are not only acknowledged but recognized as a valued asset and serve as the fundamental backdrop on which all courses in the AIS A.A. program are built. Upon competition of the AIS A.A. program, the student will have met all goal areas of gidizhitwaawinaanin.

    Goal 1: GIKENDAASOWIN – Knowing knowledge
    To develop human beings who value knowledge, learning, and critical thinking and are able to effectively use the language, knowledge, and skills central to an Ojibwe-Anishinaabe way of knowing. Students are encouraged to initiate the building of gikendaasowin, their educational foundation early in their collegiate studies.

    Goal 2: GWAYAKWAADIZIWIN – Living a balanced way
    To develop balanced human beings who are reflective, informed learners who understand the interrelatedness of human society and the natural environment, recognize the importance of living in harmony with creation, and are able to apply a systems approach to understanding and deciding on a course of action. Gwayakwaadiziwin is an integral piece to lifelong learning that is reinforced throughout the curriculum.

    Goal 3: ZOONGIDE’EWIN – Strong hearted
    To increase the students’ capacity to live and walk with a strong heart, humble and open to new ideas and courageous enough to confront the accepted truths of history and society. Zoongide’ewin is the foundation on which we build and strengthen each student’s resilience, tenacity, and determination.

    Goal 4: AANGWAAMIZIWIN – Diligence and caution
    To develop students’ capacity to proceed carefully, after identifying, discussing, and reflecting on the logical and ethical dimensions of political, social, and personal life. Aangwaamiziwin encourages students to more fully participate in their communities and nations as ethical, informed citizens.

    Goal 5: DEBWEWIN – Honesty and integrity
    To increase students’ capacity to think and act with honesty and integrity as they understand and face the realities of increasingly interdependent nations and people. Debwewin encourages students to develop a deeper appreciation for their own worldview and the worldview of others.

    Goal 6: ZAAGI’ IDIWIN – Loving and Caring
    To encourage students’ development of healthy, caring relationships built on respect for all. When we care for others and ourselves in everything we do, we are living the value of zaagi’idiwin.

    Goal 7: ZHAWENINDIWIN – Compassion
    To expand students’ knowledge of the human condition and human cultures, and the importance of compassion especially in relation to behavior, ideas, and values expressed in the works of human imagination and thought. Zhawenindiwin is developed by understanding the human experience.

    WINHEC Accreditation

    Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College’s Anishinaabeg Gikendaasowinan (all American Indian focused programs including American Indian Studies, Elementary Education, Early Childhood Development, Fine Arts, Ojibwe language, and community outreach and extension programs) are accredited by the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC). For a list of WINHEC Accredited Institutions, visit


    My favorite thing about FDLTCC is the people. I’ve met fantastic students, faculty and staff who go above and beyond what I expected.

    I chose FDLTCC because of its size and the curriculum. When I first came here in 2019, I was just looking for what I needed to volunteer, perhaps in a crisis shelter. I met with Don Jarvinen, and the rest is history.

    It is awesome here at the FDLTCC Education Program because it is like a family here, if you need help or are struggling with anything, you have quite a few people who will help you out.