Interpreting Native American History and Culture at Museums and Historic Sites by Raney BenchInterpreting Native American History and Culture at Museums and Historic Sites features ideas and suggested best practices for the staff and board of museums that care for collections of Native material culture, and who work with Native American culture, history, and communities. This resource gives museum and history professionals benchmarks to help shape conversations and policies designed to improve relations with Native communities represented in the museum. The book includes case studies from museums that are purposefully working to incorporate Native people and perspectives into all aspects of their work. The case study authors share experiences, hoping to inspire other museum staff to reach out to tribes to develop or improve their own interpretative processes. Examples from tribal and non-tribal museums, and partnerships between tribes and museums are explored as models for creating deep and long lasting partnerships between museums and the tribal communities they represent. The case studies represent museums of different sizes, different missions, and located in different regions of the country in an effort to address the unique history of each location. By doing so, it inspires action among museums to invite Native people to share in the interpretive process, or to take existing relationships further by sharing authority with museum staff and board.
Publication Date: 2014-10-30
The Bitter Waters of Medicine Creek by Richard KlugerThe riveting story of a dramatic confrontation between Native Americans and white settlers, a compelling conflict that unfolded in the newly created Washington Territory from 1853 to 1857. When appointed Washington’s first governor, Isaac Ingalls Stevens, an ambitious military man turned politician, had one goal: to persuade (peacefully if possible) the Indians of the Puget Sound region to turn over their ancestral lands to the federal government. In return, they were to be consigned to reservations unsuitable for hunting, fishing, or grazing, their traditional means of sustaining life. The result was an outbreak of violence and rebellion, a tragic episode of frontier oppression and injustice. With his trademark empathy and scholarly acuity, Pulitzer Prize–winner Richard Kluger recounts the impact of Stevens’s program on the Nisqually tribe, whose chief, Leschi, sparked the native resistance movement. Stevens was determined to succeed at any cost: his hasty treaty negotiations with the Indians, marked by deceit, threat, and misrepresentation, inflamed his opponents. Leschi, resolved to save more than a few patches of his people’s lush homelands, unwittingly turned his tribe—and himself most of all—into victims of the governor’s relentless wrath. The conflict between these two complicated and driven men—and their supporters—explosively and enormously at odds with each other, was to have echoes far into the future. Closely considered and eloquently written, The Bitter Waters of Medicine Creek is a bold and long-overdue clarification of the historical record of an American tragedy, presenting, through the experiences of one tribe, the history of Native American suffering and injustice.
Publication Date: 2011-03-01
We Will Secure Our Future by Peterson Zah; Peter IversonNearing graduation from Phoenix Indian School,Peterson Zah decided he wanted to attend college. He was refused the reference letters needed for college admission by teachers who told him he would fail and thus embarrass them. Several years later, these instructors would receive invitations from Zah to a party celebrating his graduation from Arizona State University. And so began a career that took Zah to the presidency of the Navajo Nation. His life and accomplishments have exemplified the ongoing efforts by American Indian communities to gain greater control over their lives and lands. He has made important contributions in many areas, but education has always been one of his main priorities. Perhaps no one in the Southwest has done more than Peterson Zah to increase the recruitment, retention, and graduation of American Indian students from colleges and universities. Zah's presentations to Peter Iverson's classes at Arizona State University, employed examples drawn from his own experiences. Students praised his thoughtful, honest and direct observations. He reinforced a central theme in Iverson's classesthat Indian history encompasses triumph as well as tragedy and victory as well as victimization. This book grew out of Iverson's determination to share Zah's insights with a wider audience. The two met every few months to consider many subjects related to Zah's life. These sessions formed the foundation for this volume. Part autobiography, part interview, and part conversation, Zah and Iverson's account touches on a wide range of overlapping topics, but two central themes prevail: education and empowerment. We Will Secure Our Future is a fascinating look into the life of a man who became a respected visionary and passionate advocate for his people.
Publication Date: 2012-06-01
The Earth Is Weeping by Peter CozzensWith the end of the Civil War, the nation recommenced its expansion onto traditional Indian tribal lands, setting off a wide-ranging conflict that would last more than three decades. In an exploration of the wars and negotiations that destroyed tribal ways of life even as they made possible the emergence of the modern United States, Peter Cozzens gives us both sides in comprehensive and singularly intimate detail. He illuminates the encroachment experienced by the tribes and the tribal conflicts over whether to fight or make peace, and explores the squalid lives of soldiers posted to the frontier and the ethical quandaries faced by generals who often sympathized with their native enemies. As the action moves from Kansas and Nebraska to the Southwestern desert to the Dakotas and the Pacific Northwest, we encounter a pageant of fascinating characters including Custer, Sherman, Grant, and a host of other military and political figures, as well as great native leaders such as Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Geronimo, and Red Cloud. For the first time The Earth Is Weeping brings them all together in the fullest account to date of how the West was won--and lost.
Publication Date: 2016-10-25
An American Genocide by Benjamin MadleyThe first full account of the government-sanctioned genocide of California Indians under United States rule Between 1846 and 1873, California's Indian population plunged from perhaps 150,000 to 30,000. Benjamin Madley is the first historian to uncover the full extent of the slaughter, the involvement of state and federal officials, the taxpayer dollars that supported the violence, indigenous resistance, who did the killing, and why the killings ended. This deeply researched book is a comprehensive and chilling history of an American genocide. Madley describes pre-contact California and precursors to the genocide before explaining how the Gold Rush stirred vigilante violence against California Indians. He narrates the rise of a state-sanctioned killing machine and the broad societal, judicial, and political support for genocide. Many participated: vigilantes, volunteer state militiamen, U.S. Army soldiers, U.S. congressmen, California governors, and others. The state and federal governments spent at least $1,700,000 on campaigns against California Indians. Besides evaluating government officials' culpability, Madley considers why the slaughter constituted genocide and how other possible genocides within and beyond the Americas might be investigated using the methods presented in this groundbreaking book.
Publication Date: 2017-06-27
The Militarization of Indian Country by Winona LaDuke; Sean CruzWhen it became public that Osama bin Laden's death was announced with the phrase "Geronimo, EKIA!" many Native people, including Geronimo's descendants, were insulted to discover that the name of a Native patriot was used as a code name for a world-class terrorist. Geronimo descendant Harlyn Geronimo explained, "Obviously to equate Geronimo with Osama bin Laden is an unpardonable slander of Native America and its most famous leader." The Militarization of Indian Country illuminates the historical context of these negative stereotypes, the long political and economic relationship between the military and Native America, and the environmental and social consequences. This book addresses the impact that the U.S. military has had on Native peoples, lands, and cultures. From the use of Native names to the outright poisoning of Native peoples for testing, the U.S. military's exploitation of Indian country is unparalleled and ongoing.