Our goal has been to create a curriculum based on a series of courses currently offered among the four collaborating universities. Each institution already teaches key courses, and taken together, NAU and KU have enough existing coursework to complete a 15-unit curriculum in Indigenous Science. Our intention is to integrate these courses into a program that will provide undergraduate STEM majors the opportunity to 1) have an area of concentration in Indigenous science which compliments other majors at KU (e.g. Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Studies, Geology, Geography), 2) fulfill requirements for an extended major in Environmental Studies within AIS at NAU, and 3) initiate development of coursework in Indigenous science at UAA and other universities and colleges around the nation.

The courses that have been integrated into the curriculum all have a common goal, using similar thematic approaches (e.g. definitions of TEK, assumptions about relatedness and connection) to focus on Native ways of knowing science, but are directed toward different content specific areas (e.g. ecology, botany, forestry). The learning activities for each course vary but all are designed to help students compare Native and Western scientific language, concepts, cultural values, and biases, giving credence and value to Native understandings of the environment. Learning activities and assessments have content, process (critical reading, viewing, writing, self-reflection), and technology objectives, as well as rubrics to guide students’ self-assessment. These courses have no prerequisites or necessary sequence, so that students can begin their program at any point of the course offerings, enhancing our ability to coordinate between campuses.

Our goal is to make this a living curriculum, and we are continuously expanding and updating materials with the help of our faculty and educational specialists. We hope that our materials can be of use in many varied and innovative ways by others for their own purposes.