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Native American History, Culture, and Government Relationships Tom Belt Cherokee Language Program Western Carolina University.

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Presentation on theme: "Native American History, Culture, and Government Relationships Tom Belt Cherokee Language Program Western Carolina University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Native American History, Culture, and Government Relationships Tom Belt Cherokee Language Program Western Carolina University

2 What is an 'Indian'? Video advocates change in NFL team’s name. Video moves quickly from Indian to specific tribal names. Video also reference Native Americans for all tribes: "Native Americans call themselves many things."

3 Imposed ‘Pan-Indian’ Category Name ‘Indian’ and even ‘Native American’ imposes single cultural category on diverse cultural entities. Interested institutions should approach tribes with the idea that they are all culturally separate and unique. Lumping Hawaiians, Chamorros, and Samoans in as ‘Native Americans’ exacerbates problem.

4 Indians Move from pan-culture idea/conception 'one group/people/culture' to acknowledging individually specific cultures or groups of people. Legal Tribal definition Federal definition Various State definitions European construct to categorize people of Ama Ayehli 'Middle of the Water' A contemporary label that reinforces the 'pan-Indian' stereotype. Native American does the same thing. First Nations is better because it is plural and recognizes sovereignty. Federally-recognized Tribal Affiliation is the only meaningful legal definition. Creates a class of people that are under Federal jurisdiction.

5 CDIB Cards Cards that list tribal affiliation and blood quantum for federally recognized tribal members.

6 Federal Recognition 566 Federally recognized tribes ernmentServices/TribalDirectory/ [Native entities within Alaska listed separately. Hawaiians not federally recognized (Akaka Bill)?] “immunities and privileges available to federally recognized Indian tribes by virtue of their government-to-government relationship”

7 Cultural Areas Broad cultural regions before inter-continental contact. Diverse geographically-based cultural categories. But within broad cultural categories, different unique cultures. Dine’ and Pueblo; Cherokee and Creek; Northern Arapaho and Oglala Lakota

8 Cultural Areas Some of the cultural entities before intercontinental contact. Nash & Smith 2007.

9 Cultural Areas Begin with broad Geographical culture. [We don’t even know extent cultures prior to intercontinental contact.] Mithun 1999.

10 Cultural Areas Begin with broad Geographical culture. Nash & Smith 2007.

11 History - Forced Relocation Tribes of the East in 19 th Century Continues into mid-20 th Century “Relocation” to urban areas.

12 History - Land Cessions in the East Nash & Smith 2007.

13 History - Land Cessions in the West People in the west remember family that was involved. Nash & Smith 2007.

14 Culture - Geography Tribes still have close connection to heritage lands. Cosmography, origins and structure of universe, is based on heritage lands. Textbook: Native Americans crossed land bridge. Tribal History: We originated in situ. [loss of land has not entailed complete loss of culture]

15 Tribal Histories and Government Tribes are contemporary people, so visit their official tribal government websites. Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Spokane Tribe of Indians Eastern Band of Cherokee

16 References Mithun, Marianne The Languages of Native North America. New York: Cambridge University Press. Required reference work for understanding language issues of tribes of this continent. Nash, Gary B. & Smith, Carter Atlas of American History. New York: Facts on File Infobase Publishing. Handy secondary source material, maps and timelines. Perdue, T., & Green, M. D North American Indians : a very short introduction. New York : Oxford University Press. Brief overview of North American Indians by well-informed scholars. Paleo history, pre-contact societies, European invasion, eastern history, western history, assimilation and allotment, political sovereignty, economic development, cultural sovereignty.


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