Call for Change
Publication Year: 2013
For too many years, the academic discipline of history has ignored American Indians or lacked the kind of open-minded thinking necessary to truly understand them. Most historians remain oriented toward the American experience at the expense of the Native experience. As a result, both the status and the quality of Native American history have suffered and remain marginalized within the discipline. In this impassioned work, noted historian Donald L. Fixico challenges academic historians—and everyone else—to change this way of thinking. Fixico argues that the current discipline and practice of American Indian history are insensitive to and inconsistent with Native people’s traditions, understandings, and ways of thinking about their own history. In Call for Change, Fixico suggests how the discipline of history can improve by reconsidering its approach to Native peoples.
He offers the “Medicine Way” as a paradigm to see both history and the current world through a Native lens. This new approach paves the way for historians to better understand Native peoples and their communities through the eyes and experiences of Indians, thus reflecting an insightful indigenous historical ethos and reality.
Published by: University of Nebraska Press
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List of Illustrations
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The time for a call for change in American Indian history is now. For too many years the academic discipline has ignored the ethos and reality among Indian people or lacked the open-mindedness to un-derstand these forces. Many years of thinking about the subject are represented in this book. The frustration has been that most scholars ...
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1. The Complexity of American Indian History
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As it began to get dark on April 12, 1991, three Indians stood on a street corner in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. There was no doubt that they looked Indian. Two of them had long black hair. As people walked by, they stared at the Indians. One lit a cigarette and offered a smoke to the other two, but they shook their heads to decline. The ...
2. Native Ethos of “Seeing” and a Natural Democracy
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Standing high on Harney Peak in the Black Hills, Black Elk, Holy-man of the Oglala Sioux, talked about “seeing.” Holding his wrinkled while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must ...
3. The First Dimension of Indian-White Relations
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During the spring of 1984 the Sapulpa Herald newspaper reported that a young Euchee Indian with Down syndrome died while trying to visit his mother. He lived near Kellyville, Oklahoma, and his moth-worth said the body was identified as that of Richard L. Brown. of Sapulpa and ¼ mile south of Highway 33, at about 12:30 p.m. ...
4. The Second Dimension of Interacting Indian-White Relations
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More than two hundred years ago two brothers stood at a place near what is presently Battle Ground, Indiana. Along the Wabash River, lined by towering oaks, maples, tulip trees, hackberries, sycamores, and elms, they discussed their troubled fate. Their decision became their stand against the encroaching white settlers. The younger broth-...
5. The Third Dimension of Physical and Metaphysical Reality
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...paper to give our lands to them but our chiefs did not do as we tells us we must go away from the lands we live on—our homes, I shall go, and he will send people to make me go; but I have a rifle, and I have some powder and some lead. I say, we must not leave our homes and lands. If any of our people want to go west, ...
6. A Cross-Cultural Bridge of Understanding
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...because I am so small,” he said. “I can and want to help you. Put Now close your fists, saving the spit until you come to the Big Water. There you can wash off the spit.” The Twins did exactly as they were told, and after thanking the little man with the red head, they again began their travel. Soon the canyon walls that ...
7. Oral Tradition and Language
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Originally from the Southeast, the Muscogee Creeks tell a creation story of the people coming out of or emerging from Mother Earth (Ekv nv). According to the story, the Muscogee Creeks were within the earth or underground in the dark and cold. They wandered blind-ly, hearing only their own voices. They were lost and confused be-...
8. Power of Earth and Woman
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...suffering lasted until the camp’s elders summoned two warriors to find food for their people. The two warriors set out to hunt. it turned into a beautiful maiden dressed in white. One warrior sacred pipe for spiritual strength. Next, she told them where to find food, and said that she would return as a white buffalo 600 ...
9. Coming Full Circle
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Like the seasons changing in cycles every year and the rotational change from day to night, the Circle of Life includes all things, ac-cording to traditional Indian belief. The past is a part of the present such that in Indian awareness, history represents a continuum with-“The broken circle suggested to me what I felt in my heart and ...
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Page Count: 288
Illustrations: 10 diagrams
Publication Year: 2013