November 2012 Archives

Event Announcement: Fall Round Dance

The American Indian Student Cultural Center will be hosting their final event for Native American Heritage Month on November 30, 2012.

Fall Round Dance

Friday, 30 November at 4:30 pm
Northstar Ballroom
Saint Paul Student Center
2017 Buford Avenue
Falcon Heights, MN 55108

Collections Spotlight: Mascots

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The Native American mascot controversy : a handbook

Sports mascots have been a tradition for decades. Along with the usual lions and tigers, many schools are represented by Native American images. Once considered a benign practice, numerous studies have proved just the opposite: that the use of Native American mascots in educational institutions has perpetuated a shameful history of racial insensitivity. The Native American Mascot Controversy provides an overview of the issues that have been associated with this topic for the past 40 years. The book provides a comprehensive and critical account of the issues surrounding the controversy, explicating the importance of anti-Indian racism in education and how it might be challenged. A collection of important primary documents and an extensive list of resources for further study are also included. Expounding the dangers and damages associated with their continued use, The Native American Mascot Controversy is a useful guide for anyone with an interest in race relations.

Google Books

The Ojibwe People's Dictionary

The Ojibwe People's Dictionary is an online Ojibwe-English dictionary with the goal of revitalizing the Ojibwe language.  This dictionary includes audio from native speakers along with vidoes, images, and references to relevant documents in Ojibwe where applicable.

The dictionary, which was initiated in 2010, is a constantly expanding resource that grows as content is added each week.

The Dakota and Ojibwe Language Programs of the Department of American Indian Studies are designed to preserve and revitalize knowledge and understanding that is contained and transmitted in Minnesota's Indigenous Languages. The effort is part of a global indigenous movement to revitalize indigenous languages and cultures with the understanding that all language present a valuable perspective and knowledge of the world.

Both programs provide scholarships for students who have shown a commitment to learning and teaching the language.

Collections Spotlight: University of Minnesota Publications

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Never one nation : freaks, savages, and whiteness in U.S. popular culture, 1850-1877

In Never One Nation, Linda Frost argues that during the eventful decades surrounding the Civil War, American identity was constructed not only nationally but also locally. Depictions of race, class, and sexuality seen in P. T. Barnum's museums, in the image of the Circassian Beauty, and in popular periodicals like Harper's Weekly, the Southern Illustrated News, and the San Francisco Golden Era further illustrated who was - and who was not - an American. Local coverage of Native Americans and Chinese in the West, African Americans and recent Irish immigrants in New York, and slaves and Yankees in the South played a major role in conflating Americanness with whiteness. These ideas were shaped by reactions to events such as the 1863 Draft Riots and the Dakota uprising in Minnesota in 1862, and laid bare through the demonization of Northern whites in Confederate newspapers and anxieties expressed in California newspapers about the possibility of Chinese immigrants gaining U.S. citizenship. Through close readings of specific articles published in regional periodicals, mostly unexamined by literary scholars, Frost shows how Americanness came to be defined in the mid-nineteenth century by the mainstream popular culture. The era's many social upheavals - Emancipation, Reconstruction, the start of the Indian wars in the West, immigration, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad - sharpened the desire of Americans to feel part of a national community, even as they made this search for an American identity extremely contentious and necessarily fragmented. Never One Nation provocatively reframes the discourse on racial formation and reveals how local cultures and prejudices can recast the identity of a nation.
google books

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Of Uncommon Birth: Dakota Sons in Vietnam
A work of creative nonfiction inspired by the true story of two South Dakota teenagers, Mark St. Pierre's Of Uncommon Birthdraws upon extensive interviews and exhaustive research in military archives to present a harrowing story of two young men--one white, one Indian--caught in the vortex of the Vietnam War. Dale, a young middle-class white American from South Dakota, joins the army during the Vietnam War and dreams of serving his country. Frank, a young Lakota Indian, joins the army both in an effort to flee the seemingly inescapable circumstances of his life and to follow his people's warrior tradition. In Of Uncommon Birth, Mark St. Pierre intimately weaves together the lives of these two young men from very different worlds. Each in his own way struggles with issues of loyalty, responsibility, sacrifice, and personal identity through his experiences in Vietnam. Of Uncommon Birthpresents the ironic story of what it means for an American Indian soldier in Vietnam to let himself become stereotyped as the Native "good luck charm" for his unit as a way to find acceptance, approval, and identity within the majority culture, even if the Brave and Loyal Indian Scout stereotype carries with it the smell of death.

American Indian Heritage Month Events

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"Indian Converts" Collection

From The Scout Report

First published in 1727, the remarkable book "Indian Converts, or Some account of the lives and dying speeches of a considerable number of the Christianized Indians of Martha's Vineyard" is now available in full online. Written by Experience Mayhew, the book provides remarkable insights into the lives and culture of four generations of Native Americans in colonial America. This digitized version was created at Reed College, and visitors can look through all four sections of the work, which include "Indian Ministers" and "Pious Children." Throughout the work, Mayhew details the books that different age groups were reading, provides insights into early New England pedagogy and childrearing practices, and also describes each individual in terms of their own genealogy and personal history. The truly fantastic thing about the site is that it also contains an archive with over 600 images and documents that further contextualize the work. Also, the site contains study guides designed for classroom use that cover artifact analysis, genealogy, and reading gravestones. [KMG]

Indian Converts

Collections Spotlight: The Dakota Conflict

Check out these great materials on the Dakota Conflict, which occurred 150 years ago this year.

Dakota Conflict (film)
Produced, and written by Kristian Berg. 1993
This documentary takes another look at the events of August 1862 and explores the attitudes and points of view of both the white settlers and the Dakota people.

The War in Words: reading the Dakota Conflict Through the Captivity Literature
Derounian-Stodola, Kathryn Zabelle. 2009


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