Studies in Native American literature and languages lay a foundation for a variety of careers. You might work for schools, governments or tribal nations. Here are some resources to help you decide if Native American literature and language studies are for you.
Degree and certificate programs in Native American literature and languages teach you about oral storytelling, written literature, culture and tribal languages. American Indian literature and languages can also be studied in university departments of Native American studies or through interdisciplinary degree programs.
Some colleges and universities offer associate's or bachelor's degree programs in Native American languages. You'll study one or possibly multiple languages. You may need to demonstrate fluency in a specific Native American language to be accepted into some language teacher education programs.
Another option is enrolling in language courses or in a Native American studies program. Native American studies degree programs are offered at the associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. These degree programs include courses in multiple subjects, including sociology, politics, tribal government, religion and culture. You may choose concentrations within Native American studies programs, such as literature, languages, archeology or history.
Native American literature courses are sometimes found as a subsection of liberal arts degrees in English. You can find courses on Native American languages within language, linguistics or anthropology departments.
An education in Native American literature and languages or Native American studies gives you knowledge that can be used in a variety of careers. As a graduate of a Native American studies program, you might become a museum curator or a researcher or professor at universities. You could work in tribal community groups, pursue a business career or serve in tribal, state or federal government jobs. A business career is another option.
With a degree in Native American literature and languages, you can become a writer or work for tribal nations, governments, schools or social service agencies. Your career options include researching, teaching the language to Native Americans at schools or working as a language expert for schools or tribal groups.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), postsecondary teachers of foreign languages and literature earned a median annual salary of $59,080 as of May 2010 (www.bls.gov). The median yearly salary earned by secondary school teachers was $53,230 as of May 2010, the BLS said. Social workers earned a median yearly wage of $51,500 for the same time period.