Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

A.M. Cvancara


This dissertation, which includes a sourcebook of pertinent reference materials, sample lesson plans, and natural science roadlogs, is an initial attempt at providing an Indian Studies field course in natural science. It also includes a syllabus which stresses natural science processes and serves as a unifying factor for field work, lecture, and course discussions. The dissertation stresses geographical and ecological concepts, climatic and geological processes, and the natural habitats of North Dakota. It includes discussions of North Dakota vertebrates and early man and his relation to his environment; discussions of_ the geologic features, geologic history, vegetation and animal life of each reservation; and sample lesson plans and roadlogs for each reservation.

The need for natural science field courses is especially acute for American Indian college students. Despite average or above-average intelligence, Indian students often find the social environment and value orientation of colleges and universities alien and they either fail or have difficulty in adjusting to college life. The need for Indian Studies courses in the humanities, social sciences, and education is being met at the University of North Dakota and elsewhere, but Indian Studies courses in natural science have not been developed. This dissertation is an attempt to meet such a need.

In preparation for the actual compilation of this dissertation, I made extensive field observations during the summers of 1968 through 1972 throughout North Dakota. Since then, I have conducted research and read extensively on the geology and biology of North Dakota's four Indian reservations. In the years since 1972 I have taught various courses in natural science, biology and geology to Future Indian Teachers enrolled at the University of North Dakota, on the university campus, in the field, and on the reservations. During the summer of 1975, I taught a course which closely paralleled the content of this dissertation (Arts and Sciences 250, four semester hours) to Future Indian Teachers on the Standing Rock Sioux and Fort Berthold Indian Reservations in North Dakota. The students were able to relate the course content to their home environments.

Natural science deals with the activities and interrelationships of all living and non-living things and it includes such topics as field geology, climatology and meteorology, soils, astronomy and field biology. A well-integrated natural science. Course should deal with several of these topics. It should enable students not majoring in science to gain a balanced perspective of the essence of natural science and its importance to them. American Indians identify strongly with natural science concepts because their cultures have traditionally reflected the interrelationship between man and nature and man's dependency on nature.

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