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Native American literature has always been uniquely embattled. It is marked by divergent opinions about what constitutes authenticity, sovereignty, and even literature. It announces a culture beset by paradox: simultaneously primordial and postmodern; oral and inscribed; outmoded and novel. Its texts are a site of political struggle, shifting to meet external and internal expectations. This Cambridge History endeavors to capture and question the contested character of Indigenous texts and the way they are evaluated. It delineates significant periods of literary and cultural development in four sections: “Traces & Removals” (pre-1870s); “Assimilation and Modernity” (1879-1967); “Native American Renaissance” (post-1960s); and “Visions & Revisions” (21st century). These rubrics highlight how Native literatures have evolved alongside major transitions in federal policy toward the Indian, and via contact with broader cultural phenomena such, as the American Civil Rights movement. There is a balance between a history of canonical authors and traditions, introducing less-studied works and themes, and foregrounding critical discussions, approaches, and controversies.
Native nation economies have long been dominated by public sector activities - government programs and services and tribal government-owned businesses - which do not generate the same long-term benefits for local communities that the private sector does. In this work, editors Robert Miller, Miriam Jorgensen, Daniel Stewart, and a roster of expert authors address the underdevelopment of the private sector on American Indian reservations, with the goal of sustaining and growing Native nation communities, so that Indian Country can thrive on its own terms. Chapter authors provide the language and arguments to make the case to tribal politicians, Native communities, and allies about the importance of private sector development and entrepreneurship in Indigenous economies. This book identifies and addresses key barriers to expanding the sector, provides policy guidance, and describes several successful business models - thus offering students, practitioners, and policymakers the information they need to make change.
When and how might the term genocide appropriately be ascribed to the experience of North American Indigenous nations under settler colonialism? Laurelyn Whitt and Alan W. Clarke contend that, if certain events which occurred during the colonization of North America were to take place today, they could be prosecuted as genocide. The legal methodology that the authors develop to establish this draws upon the definition of genocide as presented in the United Nations Genocide Convention and enhanced by subsequent decisions in international legal fora. Focusing on early British colonization, the authors apply this methodology to two historical cases: that of the Beothuk Nation from 1500–1830, and of the Powhatan Tsenacommacah from 1607–77. North American Genocides concludes with a critique of the Conventional account of genocide, suggesting how it might evolve beyond its limitations to embrace the role of cultural destruction in undermining the viability of human groups.
During the Second World War, Indigenous people in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada mobilised en masse to support the war effort, despite withstanding centuries of colonialism. Their roles ranged from ordinary soldiers fighting on distant shores, to soldiers capturing Japanese prisoners on their own territory, to women working in munitions plants on the home front. R. Scott Sheffield and Noah Riseman examine Indigenous experiences of the Second World War across these four settler societies. Informed by theories of settler colonialism, martial race theory and military sociology, they show how Indigenous people and their communities both shaped and were shaped by the Second World War. Particular attention is paid to the policies in place before, during and after the war, highlighting the ways that Indigenous people negotiated their own roles within the war effort at home and abroad.
Originally published in Portuguese in 1994 as Negros da Terra, this field-defining work by the late historian John M. Monteiro has been translated into English by Professors Barbara Weinstein and James Woodard. Monteiro's work established ethnohistory as a field in colonial Brazilian studies and made indigenous history a vital part of how scholars understand Brazil's colonial past. Drawing on over two dozen collections on both sides of the Atlantic, Monteiro rescued Indians from invisibility, documenting their role as both objects and actors in Brazil's colonial past and, most importantly, providing the first history of Indian slavery in Brazil. Monteiro demonstrates how Indian enslavement, not exploration or the search for mineral wealth, was the driving force behind expansion out of São Paulo and through the South American backcountry. This book makes a groundbreaking contribution not only to Latin American history, but to the history of indigenous slavery in the Americas generally.
Historian Seth Archer traces the cultural impact of disease and health problems in the Hawaiian Islands from the arrival of Europeans to 1855. Colonialism in Hawaiʻi began with epidemiological incursions, and Archer argues that health remained the national crisis of the islands for more than a century. Introduced diseases resulted in reduced life spans, rising infertility and infant mortality, and persistent poor health for generations of Islanders, leaving a deep imprint on Hawaiian culture and national consciousness. Scholars have noted the role of epidemics in the depopulation of Hawaiʻi and broader Oceania, yet few have considered the interplay between colonialism, health, and culture - including Native religion, medicine, and gender. This study emphasizes Islanders' own ideas about, and responses to, health challenges on the local level. Ultimately, Hawaiʻi provides a case study for health and culture change among Indigenous populations across the Americas and the Pacific.
Between 1850 and 1907, Native Hawaiians sought to develop relationships with other Pacific Islanders, reflecting how they viewed not only themselves as a people but their wider connections to Oceania and the globe. Kealani Cook analyzes the relatively little known experiences of Native Hawaiian missionaries, diplomats, and travelers, shedding valuable light on the rich but understudied accounts of Hawaiians outside of Hawaiʻi. Native Hawaiian views of other islanders typically corresponded with their particular views and experiences of the Native Hawaiian past. The more positive their outlook, the more likely they were to seek cross-cultural connections. This is an important intervention in the growing field of Pacific and Oceanic history and the study of native peoples of the Americas, where books on indigenous Hawaiians are few and far between. Cook returns the study of Hawai'i to a central place in the history of cultural change in the Pacific.
Allan Greer examines the processes by which forms of land tenure emerged and natives were dispossessed from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries in New France (Canada), New Spain (Mexico), and New England. By focusing on land, territory, and property, he deploys the concept of 'property formation' to consider the ways in which Europeans and their Euro-American descendants remade New World space as they laid claim to the continent's resources, extended the reach of empire, and established states and jurisdictions for themselves. Challenging long-held, binary assumptions of property as a single entity, which various groups did or did not possess, Greer highlights the diversity of indigenous and Euro-American property systems in the early modern period. The book's geographic scope, comparative dimension, and placement of indigenous people on an equal plane with Europeans makes it unlike any previous study of early colonization and contact in the Americas.
Two common questions asked in archaeological investigations are: where did a particular culture come from, and which living cultures is it related to? In this book, Robert A. Cook brings a theoretically and methodologically holistic perspective to his study on the origins and continuity of Native American villages in the North American Midcontinent. He shows that to affiliate archaeological remains with descendant communities fully we need to unaffiliate some of our well-established archaeological constructs. Cook demonstrates how and why Native American villages formed and responded to events such as migration, environment and agricultural developments. He focuses on the big picture of cultural relatedness over broad regions and the amount of social detail that can be gleaned from archaeological and biological data, as well as oral histories.
As a definitive study of the poorly understood Apaches de paz, this book explains how war-weary, mutually suspicious Apaches and Spaniards negotiated an ambivalent compromise after 1786 that produced over four decades of uneasy peace across the region. In response to drought and military pressure, thousands of Apaches settled near Spanish presidios in a system of reservation-like establecimientos, or settlements, stretching from Laredo to Tucson. Far more significant than previously assumed, the establecimientos constituted the earliest and most extensive set of military-run reservations in the Americas and served as an important precedent for Indian reservations in the United States. As a case study of indigenous adaptation to imperial power on colonial frontiers and borderlands, this book reveals the importance of Apache-Hispanic diplomacy in reducing cross-cultural violence and the limits of indigenous acculturation and assimilation into empires and states.
Modern Mexico derives many of its richest symbols of national heritage and identity from the Aztec legacy, even as it remains a predominantly Spanish-speaking, Christian society. This volume argues that the composite, neo-Aztec flavor of Mexican identity was, in part, a consequence of active efforts by indigenous elites after the Spanish conquest to grandfather ancestral rights into the colonial era. By emphasizing the antiquity of their claims before Spanish officials, native leaders extended the historical awareness of the colonial regime into the pre-Hispanic past, and therefore also the themes, emotional contours, and beginning points of what we today understand as 'Mexican history'. This emphasis on ancient roots, moreover, resonated with the patriotic longings of many creoles, descendants of Spaniards born in Mexico. Alienated by Spanish scorn, creoles associated with indigenous elites and studied their histories, thereby reinventing themselves as Mexico's new 'native' leadership and the heirs to its prestigious antiquity.
In the United States of America today, debates among, between, and within Indian nations continue to focus on how to determine and define the boundaries of Indian ethnic identity and tribal citizenship. From the 1880s and into the 1930s, many Native people participated in similar debates as they confronted white cultural expectations regarding what it meant to be an Indian in modern American society. Using close readings of texts, images, and public performances, this book examines the literary output of four influential American Indian intellectuals who challenged long-held conceptions of Indian identity at the turn of the twentieth century. Kiara M. Vigil traces how the narrative discourses created by these figures spurred wider discussions about citizenship, race, and modernity in the United States. Vigil demonstrates how these figures deployed aspects of Native American cultural practice to authenticate their status both as indigenous peoples and as citizens of the United States.
During the 1890s Elliott Coues (1842–1899), one of America's greatest ornithologists, edited several exploration narratives about the American Northwest, including Lewis and Clark's Travels. Coues tracked down the manuscript journals of two of Lewis and Clark's contemporaries, fur trader Alexander Henry (1765–1814) and geographer David Thompson (1770–1857), employees of the Northwest Company. Coues' abridged and edited version of Henry's text, accompanied by notes that draw heavily on Thompson's scientific records, appeared in 1897 in three volumes; in this reissue the index volume is included in Volume 2. Despite the deep prejudice evident in Henry's writing, Coues judged it a reliable account of his unscrupulous business dealings, and of the harsh realities he observed among many different First Nations peoples. Volume 1 covers the period from 1799 to 1808, when Henry travelled along the Red River and set up the Pembina River trading post.
During the 1890s Elliott Coues (1842–1899), one of America's greatest ornithologists, edited several exploration narratives about the American Northwest, including Lewis and Clark's Travels. Coues tracked down the manuscript journals of two of Lewis and Clark's contemporaries, fur trader Alexander Henry (1765–1814) and geographer David Thompson (1770–1857), employees of the Northwest Company. Coues' abridged and edited version of Henry's text, accompanied by notes that draw heavily on Thompson's scientific records, appeared in 1897 in three volumes. Despite the deep prejudice evident in Henry's writing, Coues judged it a reliable account of his unscrupulous business dealings, and of the harsh realities he observed among many different First Nations peoples. Volume 2 covers 1808–14, when Henry travelled in Saskatchewan and Alberta, crossed the Great Divide, and traded along the Columbia River. This volume also contains Coues' original Volume 3, a comprehensive index of people and places.
The botanist and explorer John Bartram (1699–1777) is regarded as having created the first true botanical collection in North America. Alongside Benjamin Franklin, he was also in 1743 a founding member of the American Philosophical Society. In the summer of the same year, he set out from Philadelphia on an expedition through Iroquois lands. Published in London in 1751 through the efforts of Bartram's correspondent and fellow botanist Peter Collinson, this short work chronicles the six-week journey, offering an important early insight into the region's ecology. As well as providing observations on flora, fauna and geography, Bartram includes insightful descriptions of the activities of the Native American population. The expedition members were able to travel further than was previously possible owing to the participation of the agent and interpreter Conrad Weiser, who had earned the respect of the Iroquois. The work concludes with a brief description of Niagara Falls by the naturalist Peter Kalm.
A case study of one of America's many multi-ethnic border communities, Great Lakes Creoles builds upon recent research on gender, race, ethnicity, and politics as it examines the ways that the old fur trade families experienced and responded to the colonialism of United States expansion. Lucy Eldersveld Murphy examines Indian history with attention to the pluralistic nature of American communities and the ways that power, gender, race, and ethnicity were contested and negotiated in them. She explores the role of women as mediators shaping key social, economic, and political systems, as well as the creation of civil political institutions and the ways that men of many backgrounds participated in and influenced them. Ultimately, Great Lakes Creoles takes a careful look at Native people and their complex families as active members of an American community in the Great Lakes region.
In 1759, David Crantz (or Cranz) was sent to Greenland for a year by the Moravian Church. Writing in German, Crantz (1723–77) published in 1765 his detailed observations on the country, its people and their way of life, including a history of the Moravian mission there. This English translation appeared in two volumes in 1820, prepared by staff at the Fulneck School in West Yorkshire, where a Moravian community existed. The text is illustrated with several engravings that depict landscapes as well as kayaks, weapons and tools used by the Greenlanders, providing a valuable visual record of eighteenth-century life among the native population. Volume 2 contains an account of Moravian missionary activity in Greenland since 1733, tracing how the Moravians managed to brave the conditions while spreading the Gospel among the people. An appendix looks at the Moravian settlement established on the coast of Labrador.
The American explorer Charles Francis Hall (1821–71) made two voyages to the Arctic to determine the fate of Sir John Franklin's lost expedition. While there, he lived with Inuit, learning their language and adopting their way of life. Edited after his death and published in 1879, this account of his second expedition, from 1864 to 1869, brings the conditions he endured vividly to life. Two punishing sledge journeys to King William Island revealed evidence of Franklin's encampment there, but also the stark fact that rumours of survivors were unfounded. The work, which contains a number of fine engravings and maps, also includes appendices presenting Hall's detailed scientific observations and notes of his conversations with the Inuit, which disclosed evidence of cannibalism among Franklin's crew. Based on his earlier expedition, Hall's Life with the Esquimaux (1864) is also reissued in this series.
Author and activist Helen Hunt Jackson (1830–85) is remembered for her work in support of Native American rights. She was also a friend and correspondent of the poet Emily Dickinson, and her own verse was praised by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Her highly popular novel Ramona (1884) addressed discrimination against Native Americans, raising public consciousness as Harriet Beecher Stowe had done for slavery in Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852). Jackson's novel emerged out of her passionate seeking of justice for her country's indigenous peoples. She describes decades of government-sanctioned mistreatment of Native Americans in this 1881 publication. The work introduces seven major tribes, their claims to ancestral lands, and the history of broken treaties and massacres they had endured. Alongside this, Jackson also presents details of Native American culture, resilience and creativity. This remains a vital and substantial account of minority persecution in North American history.
In 1759, David Crantz (or Cranz) was sent to Greenland for a year by the Moravian Church. Writing in German, Crantz (1723–77) published in 1765 his detailed observations on the country, its people and their way of life, including a history of the Moravian mission there. This English translation appeared in two volumes in 1820, prepared by staff at the Fulneck School in West Yorkshire, where a Moravian community existed. The text is illustrated with several engravings that depict landscapes as well as kayaks, weapons and tools used by the Greenlanders, providing a valuable visual record of eighteenth-century life among the native population. Volume 1 is primarily concerned with the geography of Greenland, the local weather patterns, and flora and fauna, as well as the attitudes, traditions, social habits and hierarchies of the people of Greenland.