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Native Americans -- Preserving a Threatened Culture:
An Annotated Bibliography
Kristin Carlson
Academic affiliation: Oklahoma State University
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Avitabile, Louis and Brian H. Kleiner. "New Developments Concerning Discrimination Against the American Indians." International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy 21(2001): 74-82. Discrimination of one race by another has always been present in this world and also in this country, however, some races are discriminated against more than others. Races like the American Indian, for example, have been discriminated against more than the Anglo-American. However, although discrimination still takes place, the Native people have been overcoming it and getting bills passed in Congress that will help put an end to the discrimination against them. Through "self-determination" the Indians have formed the National Congress of American Indians and petitions have been sent to Congress to force the removal of stereotypical names, such as "Red Skins," among others, from team logos, license plates and other items. Native Americans, or American Indians, have reclaimed their right to not be discriminated against in any way, politically, culturally, and socio-economically. This article brings attention to Native American discrimination and explains their attempts to end it.

Edmunds, R. David. "Native Americans, New Voices: American Indian History, 1895- 1995." The American Historical Review 100.2 (1995): 717-740. Before the twentieth century, Native American history and cultural understanding had not been given much attention by anyone. This lack of interest was largely due to the idea that Native American culture was quickly descending into nothingness and would soon be obliterated into nonexistence. However, this belief was soon proven to be entirely wrong. While some native cultures and traditions have been lost forever, the twentieth century saw the reemergence of an interest in Native American History and of Pre-Columbian History. In turn this interest in Native American and Pre-Columbian History has sparked yet another resurgence, a resurgence of pride. This new found pride is clearly seen in their powwows, arts, music, and other forms of expression. Overall, this article clearly shows a reclaiming of cultural identity among Native American peoples.

Hanson, Jeffrey R. "Ethnicity and the Looking Glass: The Dialectics of National Indian Identity." American Indian Quarterly 21 (1997): 195-207. Through the years, Native Americans have developed several national organizations in order to preserve their ethnic identity. Each organization, however took a different approach. Formed in 1911, the Society of American Indians (SAI) believed Indians should unite by race, not by tribe, and assimilate into Euro-American culture, retaining only those customs which promoted progress towards civilization. The platform of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) reflected tribal sovereignty and sought legislature reforms at the national level which would help their people. In the 1960s the National Indian Youth Council (NIYC) and the American Indian Movement (AIM) took aggressive actions to preserve Indian identity and rights. Assimilation was replaced with traditional tribal customs and values. Though their approaches differed the goal of each national organization sought to preserve Indian ethnic identity through their history, blood lines, and tribal traditions. This is an excellent article explaining the platforms of Indian organizations.

Hoxie, Fredrick E. "Exploring a Cultural Borderland: Native American Journeys of Discovery in the Early Twentieth Century." Journal of American History 79.3 (1992): 969-995. As the white American's belief in Manifest Destiny rose and expansion pushed forward, Native American peoples were forced off of their homelands and to abandon the old ways. However, as this "white" expansion took place, some Native Americans began to use white ways to their advantage. With their new knowledge of white ways and of the English language, Native Americans expressed their culture, beliefs, folklore, and art to the non-Indian community. Through this expression, Native Americans regained respect and notoriety and the interest of the non-Indian public. Through their determination not to fade away and simply melt into white society, their culture, traditions, folklore, art, and beliefs have survived and will continue to survive. This is a well written article explaining how Native American's were forced by the United States Government to give up their ways and beliefs and clearly shows the revival of the very culture it tried to eradicate.

McLuhan, T.C. Touch the Earth. New York: Pocket Books, 1971. Native Americans have been desperately trying to grasp on to their culture, religion, and lands since the time that Europeans landed in the Americas. The Europeans have, in the recent centuries, been the driving force for the assimilation of Native Americans into white culture and the destruction of the Native American culture. This attitude towards the Native American culture nearly succeeded in destroying it entirely. However, the Native Americans have proven to be resilient and determined to keep their culture alive. Through the quotes and letters written by Native Americans, the author has shown this determination to keep their culture alive. This book is an exceptional collection of quotes and writings by Native Americans and it presents history through the Native American's point of view.

Robotham, Tom. Native Americans in Early Photographs. North Dighton, MA: World Publications Group, Inc, 1994. After years of trying to assimilate Native Americans into white culture, Americans in the early nineteenth century introduced a method to preserve a culture they could not understand. As traditional American Indian cultures began to rapidly fade, an increased interest in Indian ways emerged. Artists and early photographers traveled throughout the United States to capture in their works the vanishing culture, traditions, and homelands of Native Americans. These works of art depict the beauty of Indian culture as well as the sadness of a captured people. In this book, the author articulately explains the plight of Native Americans and documents various attempts of artists who cared enough to preserve Indian history. The author has also selected from various artists many works of art capable of illustrating without words the joy and sadness of Indian life.

Sanchez, Victoria E. "Intertribal Dance and Cross Cultural Communication: Traditional Powwows in Ohio." Communication Studies 52.1 (2001): 51-69. Powwows are important Native American traditions and offer excellent opportunities for non-Indians to learn about Native American culture. With the resurgence of the Native American's interest in preserving their culture and traditions, powwows emerged as a means for different tribes to express their tribal uniqueness while joining together in celebration. The majority of the dance is intertribal and represents a form of communication between the tribes. Native Americans also use the powwows as a method of communication and a chance to share valuable information with the general public. In this article a vast amount of information can be learned about contemporary Indians as well as their past values and traditions.

Trachtenberg, Alan. "Dreaming Indian." Raritan 22.1 (2002): 58-79. The Indian has long been one of the many symbols of America, so it should not surprising that many non-Indian people dream of being Indian. However, this dream of being Indian has, in the past decades, been fading, disappearing before the world. There were many reasons for this disappearance, however the most prevalent reason was forcing the Indians to become the white man’s Indian -to give up their culture. Therefore, the common belief existed that in order to save the Indian was to "kill the Indian" and make them white. The so called "Friends of the Indian" were trying to destroy Indian culture, the very thing that gave the Indians their uniqueness; their culture, their traditions, and their languages. The Indian is part of what makes America what it is and was, and this article articulates that truth.

United States Senate. "To Protect Native American Cultures and to Guarantee the Free Exercise of Religion by Native Americans." 12 September 1994. OSU University Microfilms (1994): fiche CIS 94 S413-16 Discrimination of the American Indian has been a part of American history for over 500 years. In an effort to assimilate Indian tribes into civilized America, the Indians were denied their lands, culture, and religion. Realizing, however, that Native American sacred sites, their culture, and their religion are all intertwined, the Federal Government is urging the passage of Bill S. 2269. This bill is designed to protect Native American cultures and their freedom of religion. Sacred lands will be protected and access will be granted to these sites. The resources needed, such as Eagle feathers and peyote, to practice cultural and religious ceremonies will be permissible to use. Every step possible will be taken by the Federal Government to insure that Native Americans will be able to practice and preserve their religious and cultural heritage. This article is a well written guide for understanding Bill S. 2269.

Weaver, Hilary N. "Indigenous Identity." American Indian Quarterly 25 (2001): 240-255. There are many different ways to determine identity, but which way is the right way to determine if someone is or is not Indian? For some tribal enrollment is enough to prove indigenous identity, for others it is knowledge of a Native language or traditions, for still others it is defiance against white ways. However, for the non-Indian, Indian identity is usually based on a stereotype. These stereotypes are based on romanticized images of Indians in movies, advertisements, books, or other forms media. The government has also tried to define Indian identity people who are "members of domestic, dependent nations." This article clearly explains that identity is proven differently for all people whether it be by enrollment or another form of proof, there is neither a right way nor a wrong way to prove identity.

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