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Category: Native Americans

The Coward John White

The Coward John White

The failed governor of a failed colonial enterprise, sent packing from what would soon become the fabled “Lost Colony” of Roanoke, and a pretend aristocrat whose patron procured for him a bargain-basement coat-of-arms, John White was also an “important” and “renowned” artist whose “vivid” and “lifelike” images included an Algonquian woman he depicted with two right feet.  Nearly everything John White touched turned to shit. White did not lack for experience, we are told. He likely sailed aboard one of…

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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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Treaty Day, 11/11

Treaty Day, 11/11

Today is Treaty Day in Canandaigua, New York. An annual commemoration of the treaty the Six Nations of the Iroquois signed with the United States in 1794 is held there each year, with a parade from the Canandaigua Primary School to the County Court House lawn at 130, and a commemoration ceremony at 200.  For the rest of the day, there are vendors and displays and speakers at the primary school.  The school site itself is significant because a large…

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There Are Big Problems Out There

There Are Big Problems Out There

Halloween is right around the corner. I have written about why you should not dress up in a Native American costume before on this blog, and there is no shortage of commentary out there on the Internet Machine about why doing so can be destructive, hurtful, stupid, and in bad taste. Dressing like indigenous peoples, and the appropriation of the outward manifestations of Native American culture by non-Indians: they are common complaints. You do not have to work hard to…

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A Plea for Justice on Indigenous Peoples’ Day

A Plea for Justice on Indigenous Peoples’ Day

In Native American history, there are lots of guilty parties, but Christopher Columbus is guiltier than most. There is absolutely nothing edifying in this story of avarice, violence, and religious bigotry, save for the native peoples who at times and places survived the carnage. The continued celebration of Columbus Day does a historical injustice to the native peoples of two continents and the Caribbean. The Columbus Day holiday found its origins in the Italian-American community. Columbus, quite likely from Genoa,…

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#MMIW

#MMIW

I posted about the Senate Indian Affairs Committee meeting on human trafficking in Indian Country last week.  The upshot of the hearings was disappointing.  All acknowledge a problem exists but there is little data on its scope.  At the hearings, the Justice Department seemed uninterested to committing the resources necessary to gather that data.  Anyone who studies Native American history closely will note, however, that the Justice Department has never prioritized crime committed in Indian Country. Though the Obama Administration’s…

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Human Trafficking in Indian Country

Human Trafficking in Indian Country

“Human trafficking, the exploitation of a person typically through force, fraud, or coercion for such purposes as forced labor, involuntary servitude, or commercial sex,” Gretta L. Goodwin of the Government Accountability Office told the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs yesterday, is “occurring in the United States.”  Drawing upon evidence from the Office of the Attorney General,  traffickers seek out vulnerable individuals.  This vulnerability, Goodwin said, “comes in many forms, including age (minors), poverty, homelessness, chemical dependency, prior experiences of abuse,…

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We Are Not Canada, But We Could Learn A Thing or Two

We Are Not Canada, But We Could Learn A Thing or Two

In a speech delivered last week before the United Nations, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke about his country’s history of relations with its indigenous population.  He wanted to show the world that Canada could take responsibility for the “terrible mistakes” of its past. Whether or not Canada has succeeded in doing, so, Trudeau spoke of the enduring legacies of colonialism.  “Early colonial relationships,” he said, for Canada’s First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples, “were not about strength through diversity,…

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The Treaty of Big Tree–Let’s Follow the Money

The Treaty of Big Tree–Let’s Follow the Money

The anniversary of the “Treaty of Big Tree,” signed on the 15th of September in 1797, is approaching. According to a New York State historical marker, the agreement was negotiated on land that now provides parking for students who attend the college where I teach.  It is a big deal in Geneseo. It is the one, big, historical event that occurred within the town’s bounds. One thing that I think a lot of non-historians do not realize is the amount…

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Thanks!

Thanks!

At long last, Native America has hit the shelves.  I received my authors’ copies the other day, and there are several dozen copies on my campus bookstore’s shelves awaiting the students who will arrive in two weeks or so.  The first edition appeared in 2010, so it this version has been a long time coming. I hope that it will not be another seven years before the next edition appears. And that is because so much wonderful scholarship is being…

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