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Geography / American Indian Studies 322 Professor Zoltán Grossman

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1 Geography / American Indian Studies 322 Professor Zoltán Grossman
Introduction to Native Geographies Geography / American Indian Studies 322 Professor Zoltán Grossman

2 There goes the neighborhood…
No “Indians” before 1492 There goes the neighborhood… Diversity in… Tribes/bands Languages Governments Cultures Spiritual beliefs Resource use Land control

3 Pros & Cons of Terms Aboriginal First Nations 4th World
American Indian or Indian Native American or Native Tribal Indigenous Nation names Amerindian Autochthonous

4 Native Americans Racial category? Ethno-cultural groups
(“minority”) Ethno-cultural groups Economic status Groups with a land base Autonomous nations

5 Tribal Diversity

6 Cultural Areas Arctic Subarctic Northwest Coast Plateau Great Basin
California Plains Southwest Southeast Northeast

7 xxxxx

8 Major Early Language & Cultural Groups

9 Eastern U.S. language groups
xxxxx Algonquian Algonquian Siouan Caddoan Iroquoian Gulf (Muskogean) Timucua Algonquian Siouan Iroquoian Algonquian Iroquoian Caddoan Gulf Timucua

10 Western U.S. language groups
xxxxx Salish Algonquian Penutian Siouan Athaba- scan Algonquian Siouan Caddoan Aztec-Tanoan Athabascan (Southern) Salish Penutian Hokan Keres Siouan Hokan Aztec- Tanoan Caddoan Penutian Algonquian Athabascan Aztec- Tanoan Hokan Keres Aztec- Tanoan Caddoan Athabascan Hokan

11 Alaska language groups
xxxxx Alaska language groups Inuit Inuit Dené Dené (Northern Athabascan) Inuit (Eskimo) Aleut Inuit Inuit Dené Aleut Aleut

12 Canada language groups
xxxxx Canada language groups Inuit Dené Algonquian Dené (Athabascan) Inuit Siouan Iroquoian Salish Wakashan Tsimshian Kootenai Inuit Dené Inuit Dené Inuit Dené Inuit Waka- shan Algonquian Algonquian Salish Siouan Algonquian Algonquian Iroquoian

13 Native Land Losses

14 Studying Native History/Geography
Not only about racial conflict, but the colonization of nations Not only about the U.S. government, but the origins of the United States Not only about federal/state policies, but the land base where they occur Not only looks at political/economic, but at European cultural underpinnings

15 xxxx

16 Who is an “Indian”? Ancestors lived in America,
before the arrival of Europeans. Who is considered to be an Indian by the community. Who self-defines as an Indian. Federal court decisions have shifted definitions over time Who is an “Indian”?

17 Blood Quantum (% of tribal ancestry)
Pushed by federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (1/4) Tribal govt’s set today (often internalized) Intermarriage can “fractionalize” tribe

18 Racial Complexities Native Americans can “appear” white, black, etc.
Multiracial tribal nations Seminole, Lumbee, etc. Mixed categories Métis (French), Mestizo (Spanish), etc.

19 Who is an “Indian”? Categories Defined by…. What about…
RACIAL Blood Quantum (biology) “Mixed bloods,” Assimilated CULTURAL Tribally raised/accepted Adopted Indians, White ‘wannabes’ GEOGRAPHICAL Reservation residents Urban Indians, Rez whites

20 “Racial composition is not always dispositive in determining who are Indians for the purposes of Indian law. In dealing with Indians, the federal government is dealing with members or descendants of political entities, that is, Indian tribes, not with persons of a particular race. Tribal membership as determined by the Indian tribe or community itself is often an essential element.” — Handbook of Federal Indian Law

21 Top 10 Things to Say to a White Person Upon First Meeting
10. How much white are you? 9. I’m part white myself, you know. 8. I learned all your people’s ways in the Boy Scouts. My great-great-grandmother was a full-blooded white- American princess. 6. Funny, you don’t look white. 5. Where’s your powdered wig and knickers? 4. Do you live in a covered wagon? 3. What’s the meaning behind the square dance? 2. What’s your feeling about river-boat casinos? Do they really help your people, or are they just a short-term fix? 1. Oh wow, I really love your hair! Can I touch it?

22 2000 CENSUS 1.5% of U.S. population
American Indian or Alaska Native alone 2.5 million (26% higher than 1990) (0.9%) In combination with other “races” million (0.6%) Total = million (1.5%) (110% higher than 1990)


24 Native Population Distribution
100 million acres = 4% of U.S., BUT…..

25 Modern Indian Lands = 4% of U.S.?
322 entities in Lower 48 = 56 million acres BUT much of rez land is allotted ( non-Indian ownership)

26 Modern Indian Lands = 4% of U.S.?
229 Alaska villages = 44 million acres BUT Alaska Native lands held as village & regional corporations, not as sovereign reservations

27 Federal Recognition of Tribes
Historical Written or oral history proves a tribe/nation. 2. Demographical Members not from another tribe. 3. Geographical Lived and continue to live in a distinct area. 4. Political Record of continuous government or leadership.

28 “Trust Responsibility”
Direct relationship between federal & tribal gov’ts Tribal land put “in trust” to become reservation Protects reservation from state & local gov’ts Puts tribe at mercy of federal “trustee”

29 Sovereignty Paramount; supreme Having supreme rank or power
3. Self-governing (American Heritage Dictionary)

30 Percentages by County Reservations

31 19 states above U.S. average (1.5%) MN 1.6% WI 1.3%

32 Population by County

33 Top 10 states = 62% of Native pop.

34 Urban Population


36 Top 10 cities = 8% of Native pop.




40 xxxxx

41 Canadian Treaties 1,200 tiny reserves today

42 Inuit (Eskimo) territory of Nunavut
1999 Canada

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