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Month: March 2018

Times Up?

Times Up?

I have been thinking a lot, and reading a lot, about gun control and the various strategies for achieving it since Saturday’s “March for Our Lives.”  I went to the local march here in Rochester. There was a small cluster of pro-gun counter-protestors standing on the edge of Washington Square Park, holding their menacing “Molon Labe” flags and signs, and they engaged in running debates with some of the audience.  I heard all the familiar NRA talking points, including the…

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Clarence Thomas is Right. And Wrong. Mostly Wrong. But, Still…..

Clarence Thomas is Right. And Wrong. Mostly Wrong. But, Still…..

I tell my students to give Justice Clarence Thomas a chance. It is a difficult thing to do, because to me so many of his views are so loathsome. For my students, it is a bit different.  If they have heard anything about him at all, it’s that Justice Thomas is the quiet one, and not in the George Harrison sort of way, but in the “I got nothing to say” sort of way.  They know he is one of…

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This Week’s Current Events Roundup

This Week’s Current Events Roundup

Native America focuses on a number of communities in order to tell the story of Native American people in what became the continental United States.  In the past few days, news stories have appeared connected to the tribes and nations we focus upon in the book that you might want to share with your students. According to the Newport News Daily Press, the Pamunkeys of Virginia, one of the constituent nations that belonged to the Powhatan Paramount Chiefdom, are looking…

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Kelvin Sampson’s Latest Journey to the NCAA Tournament

Kelvin Sampson’s Latest Journey to the NCAA Tournament

One of the many issues the students in my Indian Law and Public Policy course struggle with is the concept of federal recognition.  The 1978 statute and the process is complicated enough, but there is also the legislative route some tribes have followed, like the Pamunkey and their neighbors in Virginia.  Students in New York State have little concept that there are native peoples who belong to “unrecognized” tribes.  Kelvin Sampson, the head coach of the University of Houston Cougars…

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Onondaga, 1917: A Declaration of War, and Other Stories

Onondaga, 1917: A Declaration of War, and Other Stories

In August of 1917, the following news story appeared in the Syracuse Post-Standard.   Under the headline, “Indians to Declare War Upon Germany,” and a smaller title indicating that “Gohl Says He Has Been Chosen to Draft Paper Because Stranded Onondagas Were Insulted” we learn something of an adopted Onondaga, a group of imprisoned circus performers, and inexplicably angry Germans and Austrians. “Edward M. Gohl, adopted Onondaga Indian and adviser of the tribe, announced tonight he had been delegated by the Onondagas…

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Teaching on Native Ground

Teaching on Native Ground

Last Friday, the 9th of March, 2018, was Teachers’ Day at Geneseo, an event my colleagues in the History Department have held for the past several years.  We invite teachers from public schools to come to campus.  They attend a workshop in American history and another in World History.  In the past, we have had a keynote address held at lunchtime, but this year, my colleagues decided to do something different: a roundtable discussion on ways to involve high school…

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Incarceration Rates for Native Americans

Incarceration Rates for Native Americans

Many of my students have seen The 13th, the scathing documentary that looks at the close relationship between racism and violence in modern America.  Not only does the United States, with 5% of the world’s population, incarcerate nearly a quarter of the people on earth who live their lives behind bars, but it does so in a manner where African Americans are are disproportionately represented in the prison population.  Racism is alive and well in this Incarceration Nation. I spend…

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Iroquois Beer

Iroquois Beer

In early February, the web publication New York Upstate announced that Community Beer Works in Buffalo is resurrecting Iroquois Beer.  “If you grew up in a beer-drinking family in western New York,” Dan Cazentre’s story reads, “chances are good that your grand-parents, your parents and maybe even you yourself once drank Iroquois Beer.”  Iroquois Beer souvenirs can still be found in Buffalo-area curio shops, and the original Iroquois Brewery was the city’s largest when it closed its doors in 1971. …

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Roanoke Bibliography

Roanoke Bibliography

This semester I am teaching a freshman writing seminar at Geneseo on the Lost Colony of Roanoke.  The students have now finished reading through the bulk of David Beers Quinn’s famous collection of source material, and will begin writing their own papers this week.  I compiled this bibliography, which I will share with them, at least in part to bring myself up to speed with what has been published since my book on the Roanoke ventures, The Head in Edward…

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