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Month: January 2018

The Lewis Henry Morgan School in Rochester New York

The Lewis Henry Morgan School in Rochester New York

If you study the Iroquois, you have come across the work of the pioneering anthropologist Lewis Henry Morgan.  He published in the middle of the nineteenth century The League of the Ho-dé-no-sau-nee or Iroquois.  It is an important book. Though many of Morgan’s findings have been rejected, there is no doubting the significance of the work.  His ties to the Parker family at Tonawanda gained him extraordinary access at a period when many Americans still anticipated that the Iroquois, like other…

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The Crown Prince of Mar-A-Lago and Pocahontas’s People

The Crown Prince of Mar-A-Lago and Pocahontas’s People

I am teaching this semester a freshman writing seminar called “The Lost Colony.”  The students are reading an e-book version of David Beers Quinn’s The Roanoke Voyages, 1584-1590, which is now available from Routledge, and a copy of my book, The Head in Edward Nugent’s Hand.   For the first week of class I wanted the students to recognize the extent to which our understandings of the Roanoke ventures, and of early European expansion generally, are encrusted with a deep…

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The Right’s War on History

The Right’s War on History

There is a guy named Bob Lonsberry who has hosted a local right-wing radio show here in Rochester for many years.  I have mentioned him before on this blog in response to his tweets some months back about Columbus Day.  Lonsberry, who about a decade and a half ago was suspended from his job for referring to the city’s African-American mayor as “a monkey,” and who whole-heartedly endorsed the Clown Prince of Mar-A-Lago’s characterization of those parts of the world…

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American Indian Law and Public Policy.

American Indian Law and Public Policy.

The semester begins for me tomorrow morning, and I will be teaching, among other things, my course in American Indian Law and Public Policy. The course is cross-listed in both the departments of history and American studies, and is the one required course in the college’s tiny Native American studies minor. I apologize in advance for the crazy formatting–I am still learning this whole WordPress thing, but I hope this is enough to give you the gist of what I…

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Talking About Christianity and Native American Communities

Talking About Christianity and Native American Communities

I was raised in a Catholic household by parents who are now Unitarians.  I was never confirmed, was withdrawn by my parents from Our Lady of Assumption school after I finished sixth grade, and long ago left the church.  There is nothing that I can accept as true in the Apostles’ Creed I was expected to memorize as a child. I write this to let you know where I am coming from when I tell you I am nonetheless sometimes…

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In Indian Country, the Police Are Not Your Friends

In Indian Country, the Police Are Not Your Friends

A deeply disheartening story appeared in Buzzfeed looking at relations between native peoples and local law enforcement on Wisconsin’s Bad River Reservation.  It was here, last year, where a sheriff’s deputy shot to death 14-year old Jason Pero.  And it is here, according to members of the Bad River community who spoke to Buzzfeed’s John Stanton, where rape, harassment, and racism are all experienced by members of the community at the hands of white law enforcement.  Stanton presents to his…

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On Montana, Foster Care, and Reservation Basketball

On Montana, Foster Care, and Reservation Basketball

A couple of news stories centered on Montana caught my attention this past week.  The Missoulian ran a series of well-reported stories on the state’s foster care system, Addicted and Expecting: How Montana’s Lack of Resources Impacts Mothers and their Children.  Montana, a state that is struggling like many others with the opioid crisis, has become the “child removal capital of the United States.” This at a time when research on best practices suggests that adequately funded and accessible drug…

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