Demographic studies show that many southern California residents are transplants from some other place in the country or from around the world. And, while native Californians have had a chance to learn about local and regional history during their early educational experiences, the transplants generally do not. College of the Canyons is offering an anthropological look at the first settlers of the southwest in a class that everyone should want to take. It is called "Indians of the Southwestern United States" and during the spring semester, students will learn about the rich culture and history of the southwest and the environmental adaptations, archaeology, history, and ethnography of the Native American people.
Anthropology 215, offered from 7 to 9:50 p.m. on Wednesdays at the main COC campus, will be taught by Michael Mauer, who's work with the Gene Autry and Southwest Museums make him an expert on the southwest. "My mother's family were Arizona "pioneers", arriving in the Territory in 1868, pretty early for Anglos. I spent a lot of time in the desert when I was a kid, and have always loved that country, its history, and its people. I find that the more I learn about the south west, the less I know, and the more interesting it becomes." Mauer remains involved with the Southwest Museum in its docent-training program, giving lectures and other presentations on the Native Americans of the Southwest. Topics discussed in the class include the archaeological background of the Phoenix and Tucson areas and their elaborate irrigation systems, the prehistoric cities of Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, and the Pueblo, Navajo and Apache cultures. The class also covers the historical relations of the Native Americans to the Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo cultures and explores the impact they had on one another. "What is so great about this class is that it allows students to have an intimate and hands-on experience with southwestern Indian art and technology; culture and history become tangible," said Mauer. The three-unit course is transferable to both the UC and CSU systems, and meets the diversity requirement for an associate degree at College of the Canyons.
For more information about this class and how to register, visit the college's website at www.canyons.edu  or call (661) 259-7800.