Tag Archives: native american heritage month

Every Month is Native American Heritage Month

Some critics rail against ersatz holidays. Grandparents’ Day. Valentine’s Day. Labor Day. They argue we should recognize grandparents, lovers and laborers every day. Native American Heritage Month produces cognitive dissonance: it’s great to focus attention on American Indians, but the … Continue reading

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Indians: We’re All the Same

The thing about stereotypes is they corral our thinking into one cluster. Result? All Indians get lumped together. For example, I was scouting the internet for an image for my blog and found this quotation: Certain things catch your eye, … Continue reading

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What Does Social Justice Mean?

Social justice is like the word beauty: We think we know what it means, but how do you define it? Feel it? Measure it? Today we use the term social justice differently from its earliest permutation. Typically we think of … Continue reading

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Handsome Warrior Rescues White Captive

While we chip away at the topic of stereotypes, you should know the brave, stoic warrior still lives. At least in paperback.

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Is Nothing Sacred?

Spend an evening with the 1491s and you will think nothing is sacred. The troupe of American Indian actors, artists, improvisers and clowns poke fun at tradition while simultaneously stripping away stereotypes aimed at indigenous peoples, including the stereotypes held … Continue reading

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The Inner Voice of Optimism

What was life like for our ancestors 100 years ago? That’s about three generations—from my grandmother to me. In many ways Ecko’s life was simpler with no cell phones and freeways. But it was also tough, thanks to tuberculosis and … Continue reading

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Authenticity

One of my students has been researching authenticity and reported in class that the group that wears the authenticity veil defines what constitutes authenticity. In other words, it’s up to the group. That makes sense for skaters and hipsters but … Continue reading

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Black Hawk’s Skull

Science is often deployed to meet political ends but we don’t always recognize when. Phrenology emerged as a pseudo-scientific way to define race through empirical means. Scientists used painstaking measurements to show how the landscape of the skull—its ridges and … Continue reading

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All in Your Head

I’ve been exploring how science has affected policies and attitudes regarding American Indians. We know that reservation life and boarding schools weighed heavily on Native peoples. Few, however, have spent time uncovering how science has been deployed to serve political … Continue reading

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Science and Trust: What’s Rational?

The disenfranchised among us have a history of distrusting science. Some scientists just don’t get it: how can you overlook evolution? Climate change? Diabetes? Native Americans—and African-Americans and Hispanics—can point to specific examples when the mantle of science caused harm.

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