Browsed by
Month: October 2016

Why Can’t I Dress As Pocahontas for Halloween? And Other Thoughts

Why Can’t I Dress As Pocahontas for Halloween? And Other Thoughts

I like to show this map to my students.  It is the Tryon map of the Six Nations, drawn five years before the colonists imperial officials hoped to control declared their independence. I ask my students, when they look at it, to forget all that they know about the subsequent history of the Empire State.  Look at this map, drawn at one point in time. “Read it like a text.  What do you see?” It’s such an obvious question that…

Read More Read More

Grief and History

Grief and History

When I teach Native American history, I frequently find myself describing the consequences of the policies and events we cover for children.  Boarding schools, for instance, but also the many times when children die—when children were killed.  I include these harrowing stories not to shock complacent students, but to try to get the kids in the class to understand more deeply the consequences of the policies, decisions, and events they have read about upon the most vulnerable people in a…

Read More Read More

Letter to that Lame Provost in Montana–Some thoughts on History and the Liberal Arts

Letter to that Lame Provost in Montana–Some thoughts on History and the Liberal Arts

Dear Provost, I’ve been thinking a lot about a piece Timothy Egan wrote that appeared in the New York Times back in August. Egan lamented “our Dumbed-Down Democracy,” and saw in the rise of Donald Trump evidence of a failure in, among other things, American civic education.  If Americans knew their constitutionalism, Egan argued, they would be less likely to support a candidate who showed no concern for the American constitutional tradition.  “The current presidential election,” Egan wrote, “may prove…

Read More Read More

The Cleveland Indians, FFS

The Cleveland Indians, FFS

The Cleveland Indians are a game away from the World Series, and the team’s post-season relevance offers an occasion to discuss the use of Native American images as mascots.  Chief Wahoo, the Cleveland Indians’ mascot, is as bad as they get.  According to a nice piece on Deadspin, “the franchise is celebrating by rubbing its racism in the faces of every person tuning in to watch baseball at the peak of its season.”  Despite pledging to rely less upon the…

Read More Read More

The Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island

The Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island

In Native America I tell the tale of the “Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island.”  Thanks to some recent archaeological and historical work, we may now know more than ever before. I grew up in Ventura, California, home of the Channel Islands National Park headquarters.  Kids in my town, and I suspect around the country, learned a fictionalized version of the “Lone Woman’s” story in Scott O’Dell’s famous novel, The Island of the Blue Dolphins. In my memory, every kid…

Read More Read More

Thundersticks

Thundersticks

David Silverman of George Washington University has already written two immensely valuable studies of native peoples.  In his forthcoming study of the effects of firearms on Native America, Silverman promises to shed light on a subject that has been dealt with too simplistically by too many historians.  Read about David’s exciting work here.

Ethnohistory, October 2016

Ethnohistory, October 2016

The new edition of Ethnohistory includes a pair of articles that complement nicely Native America: A History.  Sami Lakomaki’s “We Then Went to England: Shawnee Storytelling and the Atlantic World” critically explores native peoples’ understandings of the Atlantic World.   Shawnee narratives, Lakomaki writes, “highlight the complex roles of storytelling in Native-newcomer relations and Shawnee intranational debates during a critical period when growing colonial power rapidly eroded the “middle ground” across the lower Great Lakes and political disputes factionalized the Shawnees,…

Read More Read More

Journal of the Early Republic

Journal of the Early Republic

The new edition of the Journal of the Early Republic has appeared.  It includes a number of pieces relevant to the material covered in Native America.  You will want to take a look at Karim Tiro’s review essay covering “New Narratives of the Conquest of the Ohio Country.” Karim, a professor of history at Xavier University in Cincinnati, reviews the following books: Colin Calloway’s The Victory with No Name about St. Clair’s defeat in 1791, William Heath’s William Wells and…

Read More Read More

Voting Rights in Indian Country

Voting Rights in Indian Country

There has been no discussion of the many issues of concern to native communities across the country in this election cycle, but on Tuesday, NPR’s All Things Considered  aired a story focusing upon Native American voting rights.  Issues of gerrymandering and voter intimidation have long been discussed as problems faced by Native American voters.  See, for example, the 2009 ACLU Report on Native American voting rights, and this story about chronic discrimination against Crow and Northern Cheyenne people in and…

Read More Read More

#NoDAPL

#NoDAPL

The Dakota Access Pipeline story continues to work its way into the mainstream media.  The Nation Magazine continues its coverage here.  Now, for someone, somewhere, to try to get the two major party candidates for President to take a position on this controversy, perhaps the most significant Native American protest movement in the last decade.

css.php