University of Nebraska Press

Contemporary Indigenous Issues

Published by: University of Nebraska Press

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Contemporary Indigenous Issues

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Indigenizing the Academy

Transforming Scholarship and Empowering Communities

Devon Abbott Mihesuah

Continuing the thought-provoking dialogue launched in the acclaimed anthology Natives and Academics: Researching and Writing about American Indians, leading Native scholars from diverse disciplines and communities offer uncompromising assessments of current scholarship on and by Indigenous peoples and the opportunities awaiting them in the Ivory Tower.

The issues covered are vital and extensive, including how activism shapes the careers of Native academics; the response of academe and Native scholars to current issues and needs in Indian Country; and the problems of racism, territoriality, and ethnic fraud in academic hiring. The contributors offer innovative approaches to incorporating Indigenous values and perspectives into the research methodologies and interpretive theories of scholarly disciplines such as psychology, political science, archaeology, and history and suggest ways to educate and train Indigenous students. They provide examples of misunderstanding and sometimes hostility from both non-Natives and Natives that threaten or circumscribe the careers of Native scholars in higher education. They also propose ways to effect meaningful change through building networks of support inside and outside the Native academic community. Designed for classroom use, Indigenizing the Academy features a series of probing questions designed to spark student discussion and essay-writing.

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Remember This!

Dakota Decolonization and the Eli Taylor Narratives

Waziyatawin Angela Wilson

Situating Dakota language and oral tradition within the framework of decolonization, Remember This! Dakota Decolonization and the Eli Taylor Narratives makes a radical departure from other works in Indigenous history because it relies solely on Indigenous oral tradition for its primary sources and privileges Dakota language in the text.
 
Waziyatawin Angela Wilson, both a historian and a member of the Dakota Nation, demonstrates the value of oral history in this bilingual presentation and skillful analysis of the stories told by the Dakota elder Eli Taylor (1908–99). Taylor lived on the Sioux Valley Reserve in Manitoba, Canada, and was adopted into Wilson’s family in 1988. He agreed to tell her his story and to share his accounts of the origins, history, and life ways of the Dakotas. In these pages he tells of Dakota history, the United States–Dakota Conflict of 1862, Dakota values, and the mysterious powers of the world. Wilson gracefully contextualizes and complements Taylor's stories with a careful analysis and distillation of the narratives. Additionally, she provides an overview of Dakota history and a substantial critique of the use of oral accounts by mainstream historians.
 
By placing Dakota oral tradition within the academic discipline of history, this powerful book illuminates the essential connections among Dakota language, history, and contemporary identity.

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