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Native Diasporas

Indigenous Identities and Settler Colonialism in the Americas

Gregory D. Smithers

Publication Year: 2014

The arrival of European settlers in the Americas disrupted indigenous lifeways, and the effects of colonialism shattered Native communities. Forced migration and human trafficking created a diaspora of cultures, languages, and people. Gregory D. Smithers and Brooke N. Newman have gathered the work of leading scholars, including Bill Anthes, Duane Champagne, Daniel Cobb, Donald Fixico, and Joy Porter, among others, in examining an expansive range of Native peoples and the extent of their influences through reaggregation. These diverse and wide-ranging essays uncover indigenous understandings of self-identification, community, and culture through the speeches, cultural products, intimate relations, and political and legal practices of Native peoples.
Native Diasporas explores how indigenous peoples forged a sense of identity and community amid the changes wrought by European colonialism in the Caribbean, the Pacific Islands, and the mainland Americas from the seventeenth through the twentieth century. Broad in scope and groundbreaking in the topics it explores, this volume presents fresh insights from scholars devoted to understanding Native American identity in meaningful and methodologically innovative ways.

Published by: University of Nebraska Press


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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv


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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xiv

This volume had its genesis in Hawai’i in 2008. While strolling through one of the Big Island’s many lush, tropical gardens, we spotted an elderly gentleman taking pleasure in the solitude of his pickup truck and a quiet cigarette. Given that Hawaiians spend an unusually large...

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Gregory D. Smithers

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pp. 1-28

On May 26, 1826, the Cherokee leader and editor of the Cherokee Phoenix, Elias Boudinot, delivered “An Address to the Whites” at the First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia.1 Fresh faced, mission educated, and politically ambitious, the twenty- two- year- old Boudinot outlined...

Part 1. Adapting Indigenous Identities for the Colonial Diaspora

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1. Indigenous Identities in Mesoamerica after the Spanish Conquest

Rebecca Horn

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pp. 31-78

Of all the European powers, Spain encountered the greatest diversity of indigenous societies in the Americas, ranging from the fully sedentary empires of Mesoamerica and the Andes to the small bands of hunters and gatherers scattered through the arid northern reaches of...

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2. Rethinking the Middle Ground: French Colonialism and Indigenous Identities in the Pays d’en Haut

Michael A. McDonnell

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pp. 79-108

At least since the publication of Richard White’s The Middle Ground in 1991, scholars have been aware of the critical importance of the pays d’en haut (or upper Great Lakes region) in one of the greatest transformations of modern history— the birth of the Atlantic world. In...

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3. Identity Articulated

Brooke N. Newman

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pp. 109-150

“The savage, with the name and title, thinks he inherits the qualities, the rights, and the property, of those whom he may pretend to supersede: hence he assimilates himself by name and manners, as it were to make out his identity, and confirm the succession.”1 So wrote Sir...

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4. Religion, Race, and the Formation of Pan-Indian Identities in the Brothertown Movement, 1700–1800

Linford D. Fisher

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pp. 151-186

On November 7, 1785, representatives from seven American Indian nations in New England gathered on Oneida land in New York— 250 miles away from their homelands— and created a new town called Eeyawquittoowauconnuck, or “Brotherton.”1 In addition to electing...

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5. “Decoying Them Within”

Felicity Donohoe

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pp. 187-206

As the eighteenth century drew to a close, a group of American settlers in Tensaw, Alabama, breathed a sigh of relief after narrowly averting a bloody encounter— and certain death— at the hands of Creek Indian men. The Creek warriors, determined to resist encroaching...

Part 2. Asserting Native Identities through Politics, Work, and Migration

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6. Mastering Language

James Taylor Carson

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pp. 209-234

Centuries ago, the people who inhabited the region we know today as the American South encountered for the first time a different people who had come from Europe to take gold, slaves, and other commodities from their land and deliver to them the one faith that would, to...

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7. Resistance and Removal

Claudia B. Haake

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pp. 235-272

In the southwestern borderlands, two nation- states, Mexico and the United States of America, sought to remove Native peoples from their lands in order to gain control of and access to those lands themselves, as well as to contain the threat Native Americans posed in their perception...

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8. Progressivism and Native American Self- Expression in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century

Joy Porter

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pp. 273-296

The key theme of this chapter is to argue that thinking about Native American Indian life in the early decades of the twentieth century requires a special awareness, a sense that conventional ideas about the dimensions of ethnic protest and resistance are inadequate because of the...

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9. Mixed-Descent Indian Identity and Assimilation Policy

Katherine Ellinghaus

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pp. 297-316

In 1937 Amanda M. Thompson was one of many Native Americans who wrote to the U.S. government in the wake of the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act to ask to be recognized as an Indian. Thompson addressed her letter to Eleanor Roosevelt in the familiar tone that pervaded...

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10. “All Go to the Hop Fields”

Vera Parham

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pp. 317-346

In September 1903 the Puyallup Valley Tribune carried three columns of front- page articles featuring the hop- picking season in Washington State’s Puyallup Valley. The article in the first column described the incredibly rich soil and harvest as well as the rich profits that...

Part 3. Twentieth- Century Reflections on Indigenous and Pan- Indian Identities

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11. Tribal Institution Building in the Twentieth Century

Duane Champagne

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pp. 349-384

The patterns of institutional change among American Indian reservation communities are diverse and complex. The complexity continues to reflect the cultural and social diversity of American Indian nations that preexisted before Europeans came to establish the North American...

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12. Disease and the “Other”

Kerri A. Inglis

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pp. 385-410

When Euro- Americans ventured into the Pacific Ocean in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, they brought with them many tools of colonization and imperialism— capitalism, religion, education, European legal constructs— yet some of the more significant instruments...

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13. “Why Injun Artist Me”

Bill Anthes

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pp. 411-442

Artist, celebrity, teacher, and performer Acee Blue Eagle embraced eagerly what Gerald Vizenor terms a simulation of Native American identity.1 He was widely known for his frequent public appearances in full Plains regalia that was instantly recognizable to his white audiences...

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14. Asserting a Global Indigenous Identity

Daniel M. Cobb

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pp. 443-472

The assertion of a global indigenous identity stands among the most potentially transformative aspects of the struggle for tribal sovereignty during the Cold War era (1945– 1991). Advocates achieved this, in part, by adopting a language of nationalism, anticolonialism, and...

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15. From Tribal to Indian

Donald L. Fixico

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pp. 473-496

When I lived in Los Angeles and was shopping in a supermarket one afternoon, an elderly white woman approached me and said, “I just returned from a vacation from Asia and it was wonderful! I bet you are Chinese? Japanese? Korean?” I shook my head no each time; then...


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pp. 497-502


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pp. 503-509

Series Page

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E-ISBN-13: 9780803255296
E-ISBN-10: 0803255292
Print-ISBN-13: 9780803233638

Page Count: 592
Publication Year: 2014

OCLC Number: 877032918
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Native Diasporas

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Indians of North America -- Ethnic identity.
  • Indians of North America -- Migrations.
  • Indians of North America -- Relocation.
  • Forced migrations -- United States -- History.
  • United States -- Race relations.
  • United States -- Colonization.
  • United States -- Social policy.
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