Healing Ways: The Voices of Native Americans

Blessing from the Medicine Man, Howard Terpning®, 2011 / The Greenwich Workshop, Inc. Native American concepts of health and wellness have sustained diverse peoples since ancient times. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 08.04.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Medicine Ways: Traditional Healers and Healing Introduction Many traditional healers say that most of the healing is done by[…]

Indians in the Family: Adoption and the Politics of Antebellum Expansion

Looking at at a group of white slaveholders who adopted Southeast Indian boys (Choctaw, Creek, and Chickasaw) into their plantation households in the decades following the US Revolution. By Dr. Dawn Peterson / 09.14.2017 Assistant Professor of Early North American and U.S. History Emory University In 1811 a prominent Choctawwoman named Molly McDonald placed her eleven-year-old son[…]

The Life of Geronimo, Apache Warrior

Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 07.06.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Geronimo (Chiricahua, Goyaałé; “One Who Yawns”; often spelled Goyathlay in English) (June 16, 1829 – February 17, 1909) was a prominent Native American leader of the Chiricahua Apache who long warred against the encroachment of the United States on tribal lands. Geronimo embodied the very essence of the Apache values—aggressiveness and courage in the face of[…]

How Native American Food is Tied to Important Sacred Stories

The First Salmon ceremony being performed. U.S. Department of Agriculture , Public Domain Indigenous people from around the world revere certain traditional foods as sacred.  By Dr. Rosalyn R. LaPier / 06.15.2018 Associate Professor of Environmental Studies The University of Montana The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling, on June 11, that asked Washington state to remove culverts that block the migration of salmon.[…]

Crazy Horse: Leader, Warrior, Martyr…Artist?

The unfinished Crazy Horse memorial in Custer County, South Dakota. Bernd00/Wikimedia Commons More than a century after he died, the Lakota warrior Crazy Horse, who famously fought General Custer in the Battle of Little Bighorn, is thought of as transcendent force. By Dr. Henry Adams / 10.29.2017 Ruth Coulter Heede Professor of Art History Case Western Reserve University[…]

5 Places to View Pre-Colonial America

It’s not too late to explore our ancient history, and we can begin by grasping a better understanding of tribal perspectives on landmarks, place names, and the historical people and events that make them significant. / Photo by DEA/F. BARBAGALLO/De Agostini/Getty Images The ancient history of this country is often overlooked. Here are landmarks significant to[…]

What Makes a Mountain, Hill, or Prairie a ‘Sacred’ Place for Native Americans?

A woman holds Pope Francis’ head during his meeting with representatives of indigenous peoples at the Vatican on Feb. 15, 2017. L’Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP Pope Francis, defending Native American protests on the North Dakota pipeline issue, said indigenous cultures have a right to defend ‘their ancestral relationship to the Earth.’ By Dr. Rosalyn R. LaPier / 02.16.2017 Associate Professor of Environmental Studies[…]

Gambell’s Children: The Struggle for Survival of Alaska’s Indigenous Culture

Sam Oozevaseuk Schimmel, 18, has grown up in both Alaska and Washington state. He is an advocate for Native Alaskan youth. / Photo by Kiliii Yuyan, NPR More than 50 years after the federal government forced hundreds of Native Alaskans into boarding schools, their descendants are haunted by — and trying to overcome — residual trauma.[…]

A Trail of 4,000 Tears

Cherokee Heritage Museum / Photo by Wesley Fryer, Wikimedia Commons How many Native Americans died on the Trail of Tears? By Dr. Ellen Holmes Pearson Professor of History University of North Carolina, Asheville The “Trail of Tears” refers specifically to Cherokee removal in the first half of the 19th century, when about 16,000 Cherokees were forcibly[…]

Native Americans in 1491

By Dr. Susan Stebbins Professor of Cultural Anthropology State University of New York at Potsdam Introduction When most of us who now live in the United States and Canada learn about the history of our homeland, material starts with Christopher Columbus’s landing on islands in the Caribbean in 1492. Little attention is given to the[…]

Native American Art and Architecture before 1300 CE

Basketry bowl with checkerboard and arrow head motif / Mint Museum Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 04.25.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – The New World 1.1 – Introduction Indigenous visual arts traditions in the Americas span thousands of years, representing cultures from Mesoamerica to the Arctic. The New World refers to the western hemisphere,[…]

The Americas, Europe, and Africa before 1492

Overview of Pueblo Bonito / Photo by John Wiley, Wikimedia Commons By Dr. P. Scott Corbett, et.al.  Professor of History Ventura College Introduction In Europe supported by Africa and America (1796), artist William Blake, who was an abolitionist, depicts the interdependence of the three continents in the Atlantic World; however, he places gold armbands on the[…]

Languages Being Revived in Native Language Schools

In the 19th century, federal policy shifted from a policy of extermination and displacement to assimilation. The passage of the Civilization Fund Act in 1819 allocated federal funds directly to education for the purpose of assimilation, and that led to the formation of many government-run boarding schools. / Photo by Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images. More than a century ago, the last[…]

An Introduction to Peru’s Indigenous Moche Culture

Sculptural ceramic ceremonial vessel that represents a dog, c. 100-800 C.E., Moche, Peru, 180 mm high (Museo Larco). This spotted dog is represented in several scenes of Moche art accompanying Ai Apaec, the Moche mythological hero. By Dr. Sarahh Scher / 08.27.2016 Visiting Lecturer in Art History Salem State University A Complex Culture Moche architects and artists[…]

Mesa Verde: Ancestral Puebloan Homes in Cliffs

By Dr. Lauren Kilroy-Ewbank / 08.09.2015 Assistant Professor of Art History Pepperdine University Wanted: stunning view Cliff dwellings, Ancestral Puebloan, 450–1300 C.E., sandstone, Mesa Verde National Park, (photo: Steven Zucker, CC: BY-NC-SA 2.0) Imagine living in a home built into the side of a cliff. The Ancestral Puebloan peoples (formerly known as the Anasazi) did just that in some of[…]

7,000-Year-Old Prehistoric Native American Burial Site Found Underwater in Gulf of Mexico

Photo by Ivor Molleema, Florida Department of State In an unprecedented discovery, archaeologists identify a site where prehistoric people once buried their dead—now submerged beneath the waves. By Megan Gannon / 02.28.2018 Venice is Florida’s unofficial capital of fossil hunting. Divers and beachcombers flock to this city on the Gulf Coast, mostly seeking palm-sized teeth[…]

Direct Genetic Evidence of Founding Population Reveals Story of First Native Americans

Direct genetic traces of the earliest Native Americans have been identified for the first time in a new study. The genetic evidence suggests that people may have entered the continent in a single migratory wave, perhaps arriving more than 20,000 years ago. 01.03.2018 The data, which came from archaeological finds in Alaska, also points to[…]

The Ancient Native American Baby Carrier is Making a Comeback

Wakeah Jhane’s mother and little sister in family heirloom cradleboard / Photo provided by Wakeah Jhane Native women are once again embracing the cradleboard because it’s both artistic and utilitarian. By Chelsey Luger / 01.02.2018 There are strollers and swings, high chairs and play yards, vibration seats and musical floor mats. When it comes to devices[…]

Did Squanto meet Pocahontas, and What Might they have Discussed?

By Dr. E.M. Rose / 11.21.2017 Visiting Fellow, Department of History Harvard University Two of the most famous Native Americans in early colonial history may well have met in London. Matoaka, nicknamed Pocahontas, who lived near the Jamestown settlement in Virginia and Tisquantum, better known as Squanto, who greeted the Pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts, were[…]

The Many Hands Shirt: Reuniting a Family and an Heirloom

Bessie Black Horn created the Many Hands shirt around 1910 to commemorate the “multiple handshakes” that her husband, Chief Daniel Black Horn, had with European dignitaries. / Photo by Daniel Black Horn By Dr. Stephen E. Nash / 05.11.2017 Archaeologist and Historian of Science Denver Museum of Nature & Science In late 2013, I got[…]

The Struggle to Protect a Tree at the Heart of Hopi Culture

To Hopi traditionalists—Hopis who practice traditional culture—the humble one-seed juniper tree has deep cultural meaning. / Photo by Mark Sykes In the American Southwest, the loss of juniper trees at the hands of mining and development could cost the Hopi a crucial part of their heritage.    By Stewart B. Koyiyumptewa (left) and Dr. Chip Colwell[…]

For Native Americans, a River is a Sacred Place

Colorado River. AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File By Dr. Rosalyn R. LaPier / 10.08.2017 Associate Professor of Environmental Studies The University of Montana The environmental group Deep Green Resistance recently filed a first-of-its-kind legal suit against the state of Colorado asking for personhood rights for the Colorado River. If successful, it would mean lawsuits can brought on behalf of the river[…]

Her Ancestor Was a Slave to Cherokee Indians. Now She’s Applying to Be a Citizen of the Tribe

The family story Perline Boyattia grew up with said her ancestors were Cherokee Indians. Her oral history was similar to the spoken record of other black families in Oklahoma. / Photo by Jenni Monet A landmark decision offers opportunity for healing between descendants of slaveholders and slaves. By Jenni Monet / 09.06.2017 Four days after[…]

Kumeyaay Native American Oral Literature, Cultural Identity, and Language Revitalisation

Kumeyaay coiled basket, woven by Celestine Lachapa, 19th century / Photo by Durova (Wikimedia Commons), San Diego Museum of Man   By Dr. Margaret Field / 12.19.2013 Professor of American Indian Studies San Diego State University The Kumeyaay Community of Baja California Anthony Pico, PhD, tribal chairman of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, speaking at[…]

Preserving Native American History in Ambrotype Photography

People at the United Tribes Technical College Powwow are photographed as an ambrotype in 2016. The crowd raised their right hands in support of Native Americans everywhere. / Ambrotype by Shane Balkowitsch Using an early photographic process, one photographer hopes to draw a line connecting what happened to the Dakota people in Mankato, Minnesota, 155 years[…]

Blackfeet Researcher Leads Her Tribe Back to Traditional Foods

Huckleberries / Creative Commons Forced assimilation destroyed most nations’ diets, but now Native youth are learning to integrate local foods back into their daily lives. By J. Gabriel Ware / 06.06.2017 Researcher Abaki Beck, 23, has vivid childhood memories of helping her mother, grandmothers, and aunts pick traditional foods and medicines on the Blackfeet Nation[…]

Ecuador’s Indigenous Cultures: Astride Orality and Literacy

Cofán Dureno indigenous activist in the Ecuadorean Amazon. / Rainforest Action Network, Creative Commons By Dr. Jorge Gómez Rendón / 12.19.2013 Professor of Anthropology University of Amsterdam Indigenous Languages in Ecuador: Survival and Change Distribution of Quechua sub-groups. Kichwa is shown in light blue / Wikimedia Commons Ecuador is the smallest of the Andean countries[…]

Why Native Americans Consider Water Sacred

An activist at a protest rally at the White House against the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines in Washington, D.C. Kevin Lamarque By Dr. Rosalyn LaPier / 03.21.2017 Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Montana Visiting Professor of Women’s Studies, Environmental Studies, and Native American Religion, Harvard Universtiy The Lakota phrase “Mní wičhóni,”[…]