March 3rd, 2022 Last Updated on: March 3rd, 2022
Online Native American courses are popping up on every major e-learning platform.
You don’t have to be in college to continue learning. Not only have educational markets realized the potential and benefits of online learning platforms, but the pandemic also opened up a whole new world in that arena. Online course providers have been around for more than a decade, offering adults an inexpensive—and sometimes free—route to continuing their education. Platforms such as Udemy, Masterclass, Linkedin Learning, Coursera, Rosetta Stone, edX, and Khan Academy have shown that online learning isn't just the future—it's the present.
When prospective learners browse these websites, they will see that the providers offer a wide array of courses. From IT/software and marketing to photography, music, and personal development, there is something for everyone. Some courses are short, some take several months, and you can find a course in just about anything. Type in keywords, such as Native American, and you can see what they have to offer.
With all of that being said, let’s jump into some of the top online courses on Native American topics:
Udemy is one of the most widely used and highly rated online learning platforms. It's steadily grown since its 2010 inception and offers a broad selection of courses—over 183,000 to be exact—and you can search by category or by typing in keywords. Udemy often has discounts on their courses, such as one seen from time to time that offers learners certain courses for only $11.99. A little tip: if you type “free” into the search bar on the site, you’ll get thousands of free course options to choose from.
Here are four Udemy courses related to Native Americans that might interest you.
1. Introduction to Native American Mindfulness
During these chaotic times, understanding and learning mindfulness techniques can help calm and relax your mind and body. Mindfulness can also help with focus, concentration, and has numerous health and mental health benefits. This course in particular aims to help learners understand the “best-kept secrets of Native American philosophy” and to help them “find peace and happiness in life.” Those enrolled will learn more about the Native American medicine wheel and how it relates to meditation and mindfulness.
The Introduction to Native American Mindfulness course contains a one-hour on-demand video and three articles that learners can access from their computer, TV, or mobile device.
With a 4.9 out of 5-star average rating, it is obvious that online learners have enjoyed this Native American course and got something significant out of it.
The reviews speak for themselves: individuals who left reviews stated how much they appreciated the wonderful instructor, how the content resonated with them, and how interesting the information was.
2. Canadian Indigenous History and Cultural Sensitivity
This specialized course is geared toward anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of Canadian Indigenous history and culture. The information within the course is beneficial to help increase cultural sensitivity among learners. This is especially true for those who work closely with Indigenous populations.
The course is led by Holly Fortier who is Cree/Dene and from Ft. McKay First Nation, Alberta. She is well-known in her country for facilitating Indigenous Awareness training courses for organizations and educational institutions.
The Canadian Indigenous History and Cultural Sensitivity course contains four sections that add up to a little over an hour total that are divided into numerous mini-lectures.
So far, her course has had over 250 students and has a 4.7 out of a 5-star average rating.
3. The Native American Warrior’s Walk
The Native American Warrior Walk course has a similar theme as the Native American Mindfulness course. Each strives to bring the learner to a place outside of themselves and to help them find inner peace. This course aims at showing those enrolled how to stomp out fear, increase self-esteem, and re-energize their spirit. The course instructor, who also led the Native American Mindfulness course, wants to show others how to take control of their life the “traditional Native American way.”
By enrolling in this Native American course, you will:
- Understand the Circle of Foxes
- Begin the Dance of the Coyotes
- Rewrite the Story of Your Life
- Discover your choices with the wheel of Attitudes & Approaches
- Gain a deeper understanding of all medicine wheels with the Wheel of Life
This course allows learners to access over two hours of on-demand video, 25 articles, and downloadable resources. Pair this one with the Native American mindfulness course to gain added knowledge and benefits.
4. Native American Style Flute Courses
The final Native American-related course on Udemy we want you to know about is more on the creative side. Find your inner musician and follow along with Chase Trellert, whose entire business revolves around “the medicine of sound.” Have you ever heard of a sound bath? Sound healing and ceremony aren’t “new age.” They’ve been around for thousands of years, which Native Americans know about incredibly well. Flutes are just one common instrument that is considered traditional in Native ceremonies and celebrations. This course is an easy and inexpensive way to learn how to play one in this specific way.
In the course, you will learn about fingering, breath regulation, drone flutes, alternate tunings, playing with backing tracks, playing along with guitar, and much more. Chase also includes a buyer’s guide for those who do not yet own a flute. With 3.5 hours of on-demand video, learners will quickly improve upon their Native American style of flute playing. The instructor has additional flute classes as well if this one doesn’t seem to be on your level.
With 4.9 out of a 5-star average rating. Others who took this course are grateful for the instructor’s direction and thought it was a simple and clear way to learn a new instrument or way of playing.
Commercials and social media ads for the subscription platform Masterclass are ubiquitous. For as little as $15 a month, Gordon Ramsay can teach you how to be an ace in the kitchen, Timbaland can show you how to make chart-topping beats, and Margaret Atwood can help get your creative writing juices flowing. All in one place. Masterclass has over 150 instructors, with new classes being added every month. It truly is the only one-stop-shop where you can find such inspirational and successful (and famous) instructors.
5. Joy Harjo on Poetic Thinking
Most of you have heard of the acclaimed Indigenous (Muscogee (Creek) Nation) poet, Joy Harjo. She is the 23rd U.S. Poet Laureate and has written multiple books of poetry including memoirs about her life. In her Masterclass, she “teaches you how to find the language to express yourself and approach your art with deeper meaning.”
In her own words:
In my class, I'll be sharing my experience to help you honor your own story and unlock your innate creativity…We'll explore poetry writing skills such as the revision process and the use of rhythm and imagery to bring your poems to life. I will also show you ways to define your motivations to create, move through creative blocks, and ultimately find confidence and joy in your writing…Poetry goes where words cannot, speaks what words can't speak. In my class, we'll learn to create images and music with language and explore imagination beyond the thinking line. Whether you're beginning or furthering your artistic journey, we'll hone your unique, creative perspective together.
Rosetta Stone is a popular education technology company that was founded in the early 90s. The engaging program is used within schools, organizations, businesses, and the home. It provides learners with real-world, immersive language experiences to help them become fluent in one or more of at least 25 languages.
6. Endangered Languages
Rosetta Stone not only offers courses on basic languages such as Spanish, Greek, and Italian but also has an endangered language program. Over the years, and especially after the pandemic hit, more Indigenous languages are heading toward extinction if something is not done about it. Rosetta Stone has partnered with several Indigenous communities around America to preserve and revitalize at-risk languages.
Some of the communities that have partnered with Rosetta Stone include Chickasaw Nation, Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, Iñupiat Tribe, and the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.
Coursera is another online learning platform that offers a variety of courses to help individuals build new skills and reach their potential. One of the main differences between this platform and others is that you can earn an actual online degree through various colleges and universities.
7. Indigenous Canada
The course, Indigenous Canada, is offered on Coursera by the University of Alberta. Dr. Paul Gareau, an assistant professor of Native Studies, guides learners through “key issues facing Indigenous peoples today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations.”
These types of courses can be for non-degree seekers. Many people love history, culture, and want to know more about the land and people they live in and near. Anyone can enroll in this Native American course. While it takes about 21 hours to complete, it is a go-at-your-own-pace kind of class.
Indigenous Canada has been rather successful during its time on Coursera with a whopping 16,000+ reviews and a 4.7 out of 5-star average rating!
8. Race and Cultural Diversity in American Life and History
While this course isn’t specifically geared toward or is about only Native Americans, it is highly relevant in this day and age. In Race and Culture Diversity in American Life and History, “Learners will deepen their understanding and appreciation of ways in which race, ethnicity, and cultural diversity have shaped American institutions, ideology, law, and social relationships from the colonial era to the present.”
James D. Anderson from the University of Illinois aims to provide learners with the history of race and identity in America as well as how it is currently affecting us today.
Not one person from any race or culture is perfect. A course such as this can only broaden our understanding and increase our cultural sensitivity toward other groups of people.
Similar to Coursera, edX also offers a multitude of online courses, which includes online degrees through various universities. Hundreds of thousands of people learn through edX each day. Learners can choose from dozens of categories and learn from instructors who teach at top universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Berkeley.
9. Foundations for Transforming Teaching and Learning about Native Americans
This course is hosted by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and is geared toward educators. While race, diversity, and cultural sensitivity are big topics in education right now, the Smithsonian sees the need to help educators learn how to effectively teach on the topic of Native America. Their main goal is to help those who enroll in this course gain new ways to teach the complete narrative of Native America to their students.
Instructors say the Foundations for Transforming Teaching and Learning about Native Americans is beneficial for…
“Educators whose primary teaching focus is social studies, English language arts, or library sciences and who work with students in grades 4–12 are encouraged to enroll. Homeschoolers, parents, and others looking for digital educational resources about Native Americans can also register.”
This Native American course takes about four weeks on average and is self-paced.
10. Indigenous Peoples’ Rights
Columbia University hosts this 10-week, self-paced Native American course that focuses on the global movement of the Indigenous people. Follow along with Columbia’s director of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights program and a professor of Political Science and you learn about the following:
- The Indigenous Peoples' Rights Movement
- Right to Self-Determination
- Right to Land, Territories, and Resources
- Cultural Rights
- UN Indigenous Peoples-Related Mechanisms: The Power of Advocacy
Benefits to Learning Online
There are several benefits to learning online, both intrinsically and extrinsically.
Most people choose to seek out an online course because they want to grow in the career field they are in, earn hours toward a certificate, learn a new hobby, or brush up on specific skills. Online learning offers flexibility and convenience that an in-person course does not. And because courses are all online, the range of choices a learner has to choose from is much greater. Over the years, especially during the pandemic when so many were forced to work from home, online platforms have significantly improved. This is especially true in the areas of virtual communication and collaboration. This has made the online learning experience much more engaging.
In addition to those benefits, there are also intrinsic benefits to learning online. Continuous learning is important in that it can boost knowledge, skill, and self-esteem, and in turn, increase chances of moving forward in a career. Learning can help one to change their perspective on important issues, helps people stay relevant and up-to-date, and helps spark new hobbies and ideas. Overall, continued learning can help the brain stay healthy, connect people to others, and help them feel fulfilled.
Be sure to browse through some of the Native American courses mentioned and see if one or more sparks your interest.
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