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Archive for the 'USH: Native Americans' Category

A Colorful Late-19th-Century Map of Native American Languages

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

John Wesley Powell, explorer, geologist, and scientist, produced this map while he was the head of the Bureau of American Ethnology, as part of an 1890 Annual Report. According to Powell’s description of the project, the map plotted “linguistic stocks of American Indians,” as they were situated “at the time when the tribes composing them first became known to the European.”

Despite the amount of careful attention paid to Native culture and language, and despite Powell’s own sympathetic view toward Native Americans, “no one viewing the exhibit would be troubled by any challenge to the notion that Indians in their native state were savages,” Worster writes. “For all the complexity of their tongues, the bureau still insisted that the native peoples, before contact with the white man, had lived under hard material conditions and primitive superstitions and needed progress.”


Animated Map Shows Loss of Western Tribal Lands From 1784

Friday, December 12th, 2014


…and today

The Oatmeal on Columbus and his Legacy

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Zinn and Loewen are sources for this cartoon

Photoessay: American West, 150 Years Ago

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

In the 1860s and 70s, photographer Timothy O’Sullivan created some of the best-known images in American History. After covering the U.S. Civil War, O’Sullivan joined a number of expeditions organized by the federal government to help document the new frontiers in the American West. The teams were composed of soldiers, scientists, artists, and photographers, and tasked with discovering the best ways to take advantage of the region’s untapped natural resources. O’Sullivan brought an amazing eye and work ethic, composing photographs that evoked the vastness of the West. He also documented the Native American population as well as the pioneers who were already altering the landscape. Above all, O’Sullivan captured — for the first time on film — the natural beauty of the American West in a way that would later influence Ansel Adams and thousands more photographers to come. [34 photos]

Long Hidden, Vatican Painting Linked To Native Americans

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

This recently restored painting in the Vatican, created in 1494 by the Renaissance master Pinturicchio, has a small depiction of naked men with feathered headdresses. This may be the first European depiction of Native Americans. The scene, just above the tomb of Jesus, is too small to be seen in this view of the entire painting but is shown in the photo below.

For close to 400 years, the painting was closed off to the world. For the past 124 years, millions of visitors walked by without noticing an intriguing scene covered with centuries of grime.

Only now, the Vatican says a detail in a newly cleaned 15th century fresco shows what may be one of the first European depictions of Native Americans.

The fresco, The Resurrection, was painted by the Renaissance master Pinturicchio in 1494

Sovereign Nations Walk Out of Meeting With U.S. State Department Unanimously Rejecting Keystone XL Pipeline

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

The State Department, still with “egg on its face” from its statement that Keystone XL would have little impact on climate change, sunk a little lower today as the most respected elders, and chiefs of 10 sovereign nations turned their backs on State Department representatives and walked out during a meeting. The meeting, which was a failed attempt at a “nation to nation” tribal consultation concerning the Keystone XL Pipeline neglected to address any legitimate concerns being raised by First Nations Leaders (or leading scientific experts for that matter).

Climate Science WatchThe EPA and most people with common sense rebuked the State Department’s initial report and today First Nations sent a very clear message to President Obama and the world concerning the future fate of their land regarding Keystone XL.

Vice president for conservation policy at the National Wildlife Federation Jim Lyon said of the department’s original analysis that it “fails in its review of climate impacts, threats to endangered wildlife like whooping cranes and woodland caribou, and the concerns of tribal communities.” Today tribal nations added probably the most critical danger of the pipeline which is to the water.

American Experience Geronimo and the Apache Resistance

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

The Native American leader fought against U.S. expansion onto Apache tribal land. The story of a tragic collision of two civilizations.

And here for the PBS Page

This American Life: Little War on the Prairie

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Growing up in Mankato, Minnesota, John Biewen says, nobody ever talked about the most important historical event ever to happen there: in 1862, it was the site of the largest mass execution in U.S. history. Thirty-eight Dakota Indians were hanged after a war with white settlers. John went back to Minnesota to figure out what really happened 150 years ago, and why Minnesotans didn’t talk about it much after.

The Pueblo Revolt

Monday, July 18th, 2011

In 1680 the people known collectively as “Pueblos” rebelled against their Spanish overlords in the American Southwest. Spaniards had dominated them, their lives, their land, and their souls for eight decades. The Spanish had established and maintained their rule with terror, beginning with Juan de Oñate’s invasion in 1598. When the people of Acoma resisted, Oñate ordered that one leg be chopped from every man over fifteen and the rest of the population be enslaved, setting a pattern that lasted four-score years. Now, rising virtually as one, the Pueblos drove out Spanish soldiers and authorities.

Read Edward Countryman’s short essay on the Pueblo Revolt

The League of the Iroqouis

Monday, July 18th, 2011

No Native people affected the course of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century American history more than the Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois, of present-day upstate New York. Historians have been attempting to explain how and why ever since, and central to their explanations is the remarkable political and diplomatic structure, the League of the Iroquois. The League has fascinated us for hundreds of years. In the seventeenth century, this Native confederacy united the Five Iroquois Nations—the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas—into something more than an alliance but something less than a single, monolithic polity.

Read this 5 page essay from Matthew Dennis at U of Oregon