Essays On Native American History

Essays On Native American History-86
While some historians seem eager to reconsider the notions "time" and "history" and try to "see Indian-white history from the inside of the lodges" (p.117), as Frederick Turner put it, others, like Wilcomb E.Washburn, defend the traditional, purely academic approach.

While some historians seem eager to reconsider the notions "time" and "history" and try to "see Indian-white history from the inside of the lodges" (p.117), as Frederick Turner put it, others, like Wilcomb E.Washburn, defend the traditional, purely academic approach.

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A Poetry Portfolio: Featuring Five of Our Country’s Finest Native Poets by Natalie Diaz“Learning and speaking one’s native language is an emotional and political act.

Each time a poet brings a native language onto the white space of the page, into the white space of the academies and institutions of poetry, it is an emotional and political act.”read more Ancestors: A Mapping of Indigenous Poetry and Poets by Joy Harjo“Those who took care of our Mvskoke culture taught me that our arts carry the spirit of a people.

Some historians deliberately "go Native", while others continue to regard Native Americans as nothing more than the "Other".

The important aspect, however, is that The American Indian and the Problem of History provides material for discussion and invites the reader to take a closer and more critical look at depictions of American history, which is essential when looking at roads in or of American culture that can have all kinds of different directions and origins, always depending on the way one looks at them.

This November, we celebrate Native American Heritage Month, a time for us to honor the history, culture, and traditions of Native Americans past and present. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November as National American Indian Heritage Month.

On September 28, 1915, President Calvin Coolidge issued a proclamation that resulted in the first Native American heritage celebration in the United States; he declared the second Saturday of each May as American Indian Day. Similar proclamations, with different names, have been issued every year since 1994.By writing Indians out of the past, this version of America’s origin story denied Native people a present and a future.Perhaps the single most emblematic work in this tradition is historian Frederick Jackson Turner’s essay “The Significance of the Frontier in American History.” First presented before an august body of non-Indian historians in 1893, Jackson’s essay defined the frontier as “the meeting point between savagery and civilization” and the source of the unique—and decidedly white—American character.In the Indian way of thinking both stories are true because they describe personal experience.Their truths are complementary.(p.133)Quite obviously, there are numerous possibilities of dealing with Native-white history, and the whole issue appears to be rather controversial.He writes: Because most Indian history is written within the university, and because most university campuses are centers for left-of-center beliefs, most recent Indian history has emerged packaged in what anthropologist Edward Bruner of the University of Illinois has called an "ethnic resurgence" model (1986).From earlier models of acculturation and assimilation, the new Indian history views the present as a "resistance movement," the past as "exploitation," and the future as "ethnic resurgence." Terms like exploitation, oppression, colonialism, resistance, liberation, independence, nationalism, tribalism, identity, tradition, and ethnicity, Bruner notes, are the "code words of the 1970s.(p.92)As an historian, I will accept nothing on religious faith, on ethnic tradition, […] History to me means a commitment to truth […] Neither Indian history by itself – least of all that parody of history that asserts ideologically the rightness of an Indian point of view merely because it is Indian – nor white history in its now discredited "settlement of the West" form, in which the Indian is merely a surrogate for nature, can stand the test of a bicultural history grounded in the commitment to a non-ethnic, non-religious, non-ideological truth.(p.97)But what does "commitment to truth" actually mean?In early historical works, Indigenous people were portrayed as supporting actors in the story of America, bit players in a master narrative that celebrated the founding and expansion of the United States.At worst, Indians were cast as treacherous villains and bloodthirsty savages; at best, as co-conspirators in their own undoing or tragic heroes who valiantly resisted before accepting the inevitability of their demise.Turner bemoaned the fact that 400 years after discovery, the frontier had finally closed—and with it, he surmised, came the end of Indian history.Soon, Turner clearly believed, the savage Indians who had done so much to inspire the unique American spirit would be gone.


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