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Area and Ethnic Studies > Native American and Indigenous Studies

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Critical Inuit Studies Cover

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Critical Inuit Studies

An Anthology of Contemporary Arctic Ethnography

Pamela Stern

Over the past decade, some of the most innovative work in anthropology and related fields has been done in the Native communities of circumpolar North America. Critical Inuit Studies offers an overview of the current state of Inuit studies by bringing together the insights and fieldwork of more than a dozen scholars from six countries currently working with Native communities in the far north. The volume showcases the latest methodologies and interpretive perspectives, presents a multitude of instructive case studies with individuals and communities, and shares the personal and professional insights from the fieldwork and thought of distinguished researchers.

The wide-ranging topics in this collection include the development of a circumpolar research policy; the complex identities of Inuit in the twenty-first century; the transformative relationship between anthropologist and collaborator; the participatory method of conducting research; the interpretation of body gesture and the reproduction of culture; the use of translation in oral history, memory and the construction of a collective Inuit identity; the intricate relationship between politics, indigenous citizenship and resource development; the importance of place names, housing policies and the transition from igloos to permanent houses; and social networks in the urban setting of Montreal.

Critical Inuit Studies is essential reading for students and scholars interested in today’s circumpolar North and in contemporary Native communities.

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Cross-Cultural Collaboration

Native Peoples and Archaeology in the Northeastern United States

Jordan E. Kerber

Cross-Cultural Collaboration is an anthology of essays on Native American involvement in archaeology in the northeastern United States and on the changing relationship between archaeologists and tribes in the region. The contributors examine the process and the details of collaborative case studies, ranging from consultation in compliance with federal, state, and local legislation and regulations (including the National Historic Preservation Act and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act) to voluntary cooperation involving education, research, and museum-related projects. They also discuss the ethical, theoretical, and practical importance of collaboration; the benefits and the pitfalls of such efforts; ways the process might be improved; and steps to achieve effective collaboration.

Cross-Cultural Collaboration is distinctive in its extensive regional coverage of the topic and its strong representation of Native American voices from the Northeast. It also provides a comparative framework for addressing and evaluating an increasing number of collaborative case studies elsewhere.

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Cross-Currents

Hydroelectricity and the Engineering of Northern Ontario

Most activities in our lives involve electricity. Yet, how often do we recall that even the simple act of turning on a light is supported by a long history of debates over group vs. individual rights, environmental impact, political agendas and technological innovations?

Using the image of cross-currents as the organizing metaphor, this book details the many and often turbulent interactions and interconnections that occurred among the various people and events during the building of the northeastern Ontario hydroelectric system. Special focus is on Native and non-Native interests; southern business and political elites; northern natural resources and the interactions between technology and the environment.

Manore concentrates on the co-operation that existed among the various interest groups during periods of expansion and amalgamation. In today’s environment of limited energy resources, respect for the rights of First Nations and ecological concerns, this book is a reminder that co-operation rather than conquest is a more realistic approach to development.

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Cultural Sites of Critical Insight

Philosophy, Aesthetics, and African American and Native American Women's Writings

Bringing together criticism on both African American and Native American women writers, this book offers fresh perspectives on art and beauty, truth, justice, community, and the making of a good and happy life. The essays draw on interdisciplinary, feminist, and comparative methods in the works of writers such as Toni Morrison, Leslie Silko, Alice Walker, Linda Hogan, Paula Gunn Allen, Luci Tapahonso, Phillis Wheatley, and Sherley Anne Williams, making them more accessible for critical consideration in the fields of aesthetics, philosophy, and critical theory. The contributors formulate unique frameworks for interpreting the multiple levels of complex, cultural play between Native American and African American women writers in America, and pave the way for innovative hermeneutic possibilities for reassessing writers of both traditions.

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Dakota Life In the Upper Midwest

Samuel W. Pond

In 1834 Samuel W. Pond and his brother Gideon built a cabin near Cloud Man's village of the Dakota Indians on the shore of Lake Calhoun--now present-day Minneapolis--intending to preach Christianity to the Indians. The brothers were to spend nearly twenty years learning the Dakota language and observing how the Indians lived. In the 1860s and 1870s, after the Dakota had fought a disastrous war with the whites who had taken their land, Samuel Pond recorded his recollections of the Indians "to show what manner of people the Dakotas were . . . while they still retained the customs of their ancestors." Pond's work, first published in 1908, is now considered a classic. Gary Clayton Anderson's introduction discusses Pond's career and the effects of his background on this work, "unrivaled today for its discussion of Dakota material culture and social, political, religious, and economic institutions."

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Dakota Philosopher

Charles Eastman and American Indian Thought

David Martinez

Charles Eastman straddled two worlds in his life and writing. The author of Indian Boyhood was raised in the traditional way after the 1862 U.S.-Dakota War. His father later persuaded him to study Christianity and attend medical school. But when Eastman served as a government doctor during the Wounded Knee massacre, he became disillusioned about Americans' capacity to live up to their own ideals. While Eastman's contemporaries viewed him as "a great American and a true philosopher," Indian scholars have long dismissed Eastman's work as assimilationist. Now, for the first time, his philosophy as manifested in his writing is examined in detail. David Martinez explores Eastman's views on the U.S.-Dakota War, Dakota and Ojibwe relations, Dakota sacred history, and citizenship in the Progressive Era, claiming for him a long overdue place in America's intellectual pantheon.

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Dakota Women's Work

Creativity, Culture, and Exile

By Colette Hyman

A tiny pair of beaded deerskin moccasins, given to a baby in 1913, provides the starting point for this thoughtful examination of the work of Dakota women. Mary Eastman Faribault, born in Minnesota, made them almost four decades after the U.S.–Dakota War of 1862. This and other ornately decorated objects created by Dakota women—cradleboards, clothing, animal skin containers—served more than a utilitarian function. They tell the story of colonization, genocide, and survival. Author Colette Hyman traces the changes in the lives of Dakota women, starting before the arrival of whites and covering the fur trade, the years of treaties and shrinking lands, the brutal time of removal, starvation, and shattered families after 1862—and then the transition to reservation life, when missionaries and government agents worked to turn the Dakota into Christian farmers. The decorative work of Dakota women reflected all of this: native organic dyes and quillwork gave way to beading and needlework, items traditionally decorated for family gifts were produced to sell to tourists and white collectors, work on cradleboards and animal skin bags shifted to the ornamenting of hymnals and the creation of star quilts. Through it all, the work of Dakota women proclaims and retains Dakota identity: it is a testament to the endurance of Dakota traditions, to the survival of the Dakota in exile, and—most vividly—to the role of women in that survival.

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The Deadly Politics of Giving

Exchange and Violence at Ajacan, Roanoke, and Jamestown

Written by Seth Mallios

A clash of cultures on the North American continent.
 
With a focus on indigenous cultural systems and agency theory, this volume analyzes Contact Period relations between North American Middle Atlantic Algonquian Indians and the Spanish Jesuits at Ajacan (1570–72) and English settlers at Roanoke Island (1584–90) and Jamestown Island (1607–12). It is an anthropological and ethnohistorical study of how European violations of Algonquian gift-exchange systems led to intercultural strife during the late 1500s and early 1600s, destroying Ajacan and Roanoke, and nearly destroying Jamestown.
  

 

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Death stalks the Yakama

epidemiological transitions and mortality on the Yakama Indian Reservation, 1888-1964

Clifford E. Trafzer

Clifford Trafzer's disturbing new work, Death Stalks the Yakama, examines life, death, and the shockingly high mortality rates that have persisted among the fourteen tribes and bands living on the Yakama Reservation in the state of Washington. The work contains a valuable discussion of Indian beliefs about spirits, traditional causes of death, mourning ceremonies, and memorials. More significant, however, is Trafzer's research into heretofore unused parturition and death records from 1888-1964. In these documents, he discovers critical evidence to demonstrate how and why many reservation people died in "epidemics" of pneumonia, tuberculosis, and heart disease. 
     Death Stalks the Yakama, takes into account many variables, including age, gender, listed causes of death, residence, and blood quantum. In addition, analyses of fetal and infant mortality rates as well as crude death rates arising from tuberculosis, pneumonia, heart disease, accidents, and other causes are presented. Trafzer argues that Native Americans living on the Yakama Reservation were, in fact, in jeopardy as a result of the "reservation system" itself. Not only did this alien and artificial culture radically alter traditional ways of life, but sanitation methods, housing, hospitals, public education, medicine, and medical personnel affiliated with the reservation system all proved inadequate, and each in its own way contributed significantly to high Yakama death rates.

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Decolonizing Native Histories

Collaboration, Knowledge, and Language in the Americas

Floencia E. Mallon, editor

Decolonizing Native Histories is an interdisciplinary collection that grapples with the racial and ethnic politics of knowledge production and indigenous activism in the Americas. It analyzes the relationship of language to power and empowerment, and advocates for collaborations between community members, scholars, and activists that prioritize the rights of Native peoples to decide how their knowledge is used. The contributors—academics and activists, indigenous and nonindigenous, from disciplines including history, anthropology, linguistics, and political science—explore the challenges of decolonization. These wide-ranging case studies consider how language, the law, and the archive have historically served as instruments of colonialism and how they can be creatively transformed in constructing autonomy. The collection highlights points of commonality and solidarity across geographical, cultural, and linguistic boundaries and also reflects deep distinctions between North and South. Decolonizing Native Histories looks at Native histories and narratives in an internationally comparative context, with the hope that international collaboration and understanding of local histories will foster new possibilities for indigenous mobilization and an increasingly decolonized future.

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