American Indian Studies is an interdisciplinary field of study that focuses on the histories, experiences, languages, arts, and cultures of peoples indigenous to the lands that now comprise the United States of America. It seeks to broaden students' understandings of the diversity and complexity of American Indian identities, communities, and nations; to make connections between Native peoples and cultures in the U.S. and Indigenous peoples and cultures across the Americas and around the globe; to provide comparative and intersectional approaches to issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, and citizenship; and to encourage linking educational and research initiatives to community and political concerns.
Indigenous people have been coming to what is now the state of Ohio for thousands of years, and the series of large-scale geometric, boundary, and effigy earthworks still visible in central and southern Ohio bear witness to our region's historical importance as a center for economic, spiritual, artistic, and intellectual endeavor and exchange.
Central Ohio is a traditional homeland of the Shawnee Nation; Delaware, Wyandot, and other Indigenous nations also have strong ties to these lands.
One hundred years ago, in October 1911, the Society of American Indians (SAI), the first American Indian activist association organized and run by Native people themselves, held its first meetings on the campus of The Ohio State University.
Today, individuals from a broad range of Indigenous backgrounds call Columbus and central Ohio home.