Indigenous Ways of Knowing

Indigenous Ways of Knowing

Technical Certificate

The Indigenous Ways of Knowing certificate honors the culture, history, language, and sovereignty of the tribal nations of the western Great Lakes region. By connecting with local communities and Indigenous knowledge holders, students will undertake a personal learning journey and gain an understanding of how Indigenous people continue to persevere and prosper despite historical and continued oppression. The certificate provides a firm foundation for individuals looking to advance their educational and career goals relative to the Indigenous peoples within Wisconsin and specifically provides curriculum on the culture, history, language, and sovereignty of Indigenous nations, developed and influenced by tribal experts from the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, Oneida, Ho-Chunk, and Menominee people.

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    Program Outline

    Term 1
    Course # Course Title Credits
    2080922200 Our Ways - Indigenous Culture

    To honor and preserve the culture of the sovereign Indigenous nations, this course will explore the foundation and evolution of culture, heritage, and identity of Indigenous peoples. Students will evaluate the roots of Indigenous cultures and how they have changed over time in response to historic eras, and relationships with other tribes, communities, and state/federal governments. Students will assess the ties of Indigenous people to the land, how land has influenced culture, and how those ties have changed over time. This course will examine past, contemporary, and future issues that have, are, and will influence the past, present, and future condition of Indigenous cultures.

    2080923500 Our Sovereignty - Indigenous Governance

    To acknowledge and promote indigenous sovereignty, this course will apply a critical lens and cultural perspectives while analyzing the sovereignty, inherent rights, and the effects decision making has had on indigenous governance and communities. Students will examine and reflect on topics including treaties, intergovernmental relationships, trust responsibility, economic development and diversity, and environmental systems to nurture indigenous leadership, strengthen self-determination and self-governance.

    2080224000 Indigenous Language

    To honor and preserve the language of Indigenous nations, this course centers language and storytelling in Indigenous culture, identity, and community. Students will learn vocabulary, phrases, conversation, and writing in the identified language, as well as examine its history and status, and similarities and differences among Indigenous languages.
    The specific language will be identified when the course is scheduled. This course is designed for students with no previous training in Indigenous Languages.

    2080320500 Our Story - Indigenous History

    To honor and preserve the history of sovereign Indigenous nations, this course engages the past on the premise that we were active agents shaping our story before and after Europeans entered it. This class will examine the diverse and complex cultural, economic, political, and spiritual systems of Indigenous peoples, the dynamics of Indigenous-European encounters, the changing relationship between sovereign Indigenous nations and the United States, and the (re)construction of Indigenous identity. Engagement with Indigenous and Western epistemologies will allow us to analyze them both as valid forms of conferring historical knowledge as well as to seek new ways of telling our story.


    At A Glance

    How You'll Learn


    On Campus


    Online Classes

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    Optional Lab Support

    Term Start Dates

    Summer 2024: May 6 Fall 2024: August 26 Spring 2025: January 13

    Start dates represent the beginning of a new term. Certain programs or courses may not be available to start every term. Please view the course schedules for a list of upcoming classes or contact the Welcome Center at 715-365-4493.

    Program Tuition*


    Books & Supplies*


    *Total cost for degree completion is estimated by current course requirements, books, and supplies. Tuition and fees are set by the Wisconsin Technical College System and subject to change.

    You may experience these additional costs, not charged by Nicolet, estimated based on length of program.

    Personal Expenses


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    This program has a zero cost for textbooks. If you continue your education beyond this program to complete a full associate's degree, there may be additional costs for books.

    What You'll Learn

    • Develop respect for Indigenous ways of knowing through exploration of Indigenous language, story-telling, ceremonies, and social structures.
    • Situate Indigenous decisions, choices, and actions within their appropriate historical context.
    • Explore how the Indigenous past continues to influence Indigenous and non-native peoples in the present
    • Examine the varied operations of sovereign tribal nations and intergovernmental relationships, emphasizing applied leadership within a cultural context.

    Your Potential Careers

    • The Indigenous Ways of Knowing certificate is a value-added feature for any career path

    Median Annual Salary

    $34,181 $38,152 $39,734
    Local State National

    EMSI 2022.1

    Get Started

    Your application can be submitted online, it takes just a few minutes to complete.

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