Everything you wanted to know about Indians but were afraid to ask
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Table of Contents
From the Book - Young readers edition.
Religion, culture, & identity
Perspectives : coming to terms and future directions.
From the Book - Revised and expanded edition.
Culture, identity, & religion
Perspectives : coming to terms and future directions.
Introduction: Ambassador ; Terminology. What terms are most appropriate for talking about North America's first people? ; What terms are not appropriate for talking about North American's first people? ; What terms are most appropriate for talking about each tribe? ; How do I know how to spell all these complicated terms? ; What term is most appropriate-nation, band, tribe, or reservation? ; What does the word powwow mean? ; How can I find out the meaning of the place names around me that come from indigenous languages?
History. How many Indians were in North and South America before contact with Europeans? ; When did Indians really get to North America? ; Why does it matter when Indians got here? ; What do Indians say about their origins? ; Who else made it here before Columbus? ; What is the real story of Columbus? ; Why does getting the Columbus story right matter? ; Why are some people trying to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day ; What is the Doctrine of Discovery? ; What was the historical relationship between Christian missionaries and Native people? ; What is the real story of Thanksgiving? ; What is the real story of Pocahontas? What did Pontiac do? ; Why is Tecumseh such a famous Native? ; Who as Ely Parker? ; Who was Geronimo? ; Who was Sitting Bull? ; Did Native Americans scalp? ; Why did Native Americans scalp? ; Were Natives more violent than Whites? ; When did the US government stop making treaties with Indians and why? ; Why do some people use the word genocide in discussing the treatment of Indians? ; How was the killing of the buffalo related to the Indian wars? ; Were Indians ever enslaved? ; Did Indians enslave others? ; Was the swastika an Indigenous symbol before the Nazis used it? ; Did Indians practice polygamy? Do they now? ; What are native views about LGBTQ people? ; How was gender configured in native communities? ; Do indigenous people in Canada get treated more fairly by their government than those in the United States?
Culture, Identity, & Religion. Why do Indians have long hair? ; Do Indians live in tipis? ; What is fasting and why do Indians do it? ; What are clans and do all Indians have them? ; Where are the real Indians? ; What does traditional mean? ; Aren't all Indians traditional? ; Why is it called a "traditional Indian fry bread taco"? ; What is Indian time? ; What are Indian cars? ; I thought that Indians have a strong sense of ecological stewardship, so why do I also see a lot of trash in some yards? ; Are Natives at the front of environmental activism, or is that a stereotype? ; If Indians respect the environment, how come the Makah hunt endangered whales? ; Do Indians have a stronger sense of community than non-Indians? ; What sports are most popular for Natives today? ; What music is most popular for Native kids today? ; How are social media and smartphones affecting life in Indian country? ; What are some of the customs around dating and marriage? ; What happens when a Native and Nonnative person date? ; What are some of the customs around pregnancy and childbirth? ; Why do Indians have so many kids? ; What are naming ceremonies? ; Can a nonnative person get an Indian name? ; What are coming-of-age ceremonies? ; How are different gender identities and roles viewed in Native communities today? ; What is life like for LGBTQ Natives today? ; How come everyone's laughing at a traditional Indian funeral? ; How do Native communities see Christian missionaries today? ; Are a lot of Natives Christian today? ; Is it true that the Pueblos and some other tribes combine Christian and traditional Native religious practices? ; What is Indian religion? ; Why do Indians use tobacco for ceremonies? ; What are kachinas? ; It seems like Indians have a deeper spiritual connection than in many religious traditions. Is that true? ; What is meant by "Native ways of knowing"? ; Do they charge for participation in native ceremonies? ; What is a sweat lodge? ; Do Indians still get persecuted for their religious beliefs?
Powwow. What is a powwow? ; What do the different styles of dance mean? ; Why are "49" songs sung in English? ; How come they have a prize purse at powwows? ; Can white people dance at powwows? ; Do women sing at powwows? ; What is the protocol for gifts at powwows?
Tribal Languages. How many tribal languages are spoken in North and South America? ; Which ones have a chance to be here a hundred years from now? ; Why are fluency rates higher in Canada? ; It seems like tribal languages won't give native people a leg up in the modern world. Why are tribal languages important to Indians? ; Why should tribal languages be important to everyone else? ; What are the challenges to successfully revitalizing tribal languages? ; When were tribal languages first written down? ; Many tribal languages were never written. Why do they write them now? ; Why is it funnier in Indian? ; How do tribal languages encapsulate a different world view? Why don't tribes do more to support language and culture?
Politics. What is sovereignty? ; Why do Indians have reservations? ; Why isn't being American enough? Why do Indians need reservations today? ; If Natives in the United States have their own nations, how did they become American citizens? ; What is a non-federally-recognized tribe? ; What's it like for Natives who aren't part of a recognized tribe? ; What is the status of Alaska Natives? ; Why do Indians have treaty rights? What other rights do they have that differ from most people? ; What is allotment? ; What is clouded title? ; Is something being done about clouded title? ; If tribes had hereditary chiefs, how come there is a democratic process in place for selecting tribal leaders in most places today? ; What's the Indian Reorganization Act? ; Do Indians ever work together, politically and economically? ; Why do so many Indians live in urban areas today? What is relocation? ; What is termination? ; Why do Indians have their own police and courts in some places? ; Why does the FBI investigate murders on some reservations? ; Why do state law enforcement agencies investigate murders on some other reservations? What is public law 280? ; Don't tribes ever investigate murders on Indian land themselves? ; Why do people argue that Leonard Peltier be freed? ; Why is the American Indian Movement controversial? ; What is the Indian Child Welfare Act? ; How many Native Americans are there today? ; What is blood quantum, what is tribal enrollment, and how are they related? ; How has tribal enrollment affected you personally? ; What's it like for Natives who don't look Native? ; How come some tribes ban the use and sale of alcohol? ; Is there a solution to substance abuse in Indian country? ; Don't all Indians have drinking problems? ; Why are some tribes trying to legalize marijuana? ; Why did coronavirus kill so many people at Navajo Nation and other reservations? ; Why are Indian politics often such a viper's pit? ; I heard that a lot of Indians serve in the US military. How do they reconcile their service with the fact that the US Army killed so many of their people? ; What's it like for Natives who serve in the US military today? ; How do Indians feel about the use of Geronimo as the code name for Osama Bin Laden? ; Do Native people celebrate the Fourth of July? ; Do Indians vote Democratic or Republican? ; Why is Debra Haaland's appointment as secretary of the Department of the Interior significant? ; Does tribal sovereignty make it possible for tribes to offer abortion services in states where it is now otherwise illegal? ; Are tribes getting better? --
Economics. Do Indians get a break on taxes, and if so, why? ; Do Indians get a break on license plates? ; Why should Indians be eligible for welfare if they are not taxed the same way as everyone else? ; Are all Indians living in extreme poverty? ; Are all Indians rich from casinos? ; How has casino gambling affected Indian communities? ; What is the financial impact of tribal business in America? ; How have per capita payments affected Indian communities? ; What is the future of Indian gaming? ; Are tribes impacted by many states legalizing gaming in Nonnative spaces? ; How can tribes improve the economic condition of their citizens?
Education. What were federal residential boarding schools? ; How come 50 percent of Indians are flunking their state-mandated tests in English and math? ; How does education policy affect Indian country? ; Do all Indians have a free ride to college? ; Is anyone getting it right in Indian education?
Social activism. Why was the Dakota Access Pipeline protest such a big deal? ; Do Indians face racial profiling from law enforcement? ; How does the Black Lives Matter movement affect the work of Native activists? ; How are Natives building bridges with other groups to fight racism? ; How does social activism in Latinx communities affect the work of Native activists? ; Do Natives throughout North and South America ever work together or communicate about shared struggles? ; What is Orange Shirt Day? ; Why is there so much concern about mascots? Why is there such a fuss about Nonnative people wearing Indian costumes for Halloween? ; How come commercials using Native imagery make many Natives so angry? ; Why is there such a fuss now about public art, statues, and place names? ; What is the Land Back Movement? ; Why is Bears Ears National Monument significant? ; Why is there so much advocacy about missing and murdered Indigenous women? ; Does being Native make you worry about your safety or the safety of your family?
Perspectives. Coming to terms and future directions. Why are Indians so often imagined rather than understood? ; What are some myths and stereotypes about Natives? ; As a White person, I don't feel privileged. So what do Indians mean by that term? ; Why do people talk about "White erasure"? ; What is Critical Race Theory, and does it affect Indian people? ; Why don't tribes solve their own problems? ; All these problems are not my fault. Why should I be asked to atone for the sins of my ancestors? ; Is there anything wrong with saying that some of my best friends are Indians? ; Is there something wrong with saying that my great-grandmother was a Cherokee princess? ; I might have some Indian ancestry. How do I find out? ; Are DNA tests changing how people connect to tribes? ; What is meant by "Pretendians"? ; Why is that picture End of the Trail so popular in Indian country? ; How have Canadian First Nations people reacted to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission findings? ; What's the point of land acknowledgments? ; Regarding casinos and treaty rights, I'm not racist, but it doesn't seem fair to me. What's wrong with that line of thinking? ; I'm not racist, but it all happened in the past. Why can't Indians just move on? ; Why do Indian people often seem angry? ; What are some good books to read about Indians? ; Are there any good Indian movies? ; Is it okay to read books by Nonnatives that have Native content? Is it okay for a Nonnative to write one? ; Have you ever been the object of direct racial discrimination? ; You're testament to your race. How did you turn out so good? ; How can I learn more?
Conclusion : finding ways to make a difference. As a Native person, what can I do to help my tribe? How do I do that if I'm not connected to my tribe and don't know my culture? ; As a Nonnative person, how can I help? What gives you hope?
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