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Native American history



  • The Dangerous Myth that Pop Warner was Jim Thorpe's Savior

    by David Maraniss

    Most people understand the relationship of the star athlete and his football coach through the story told by a 1951 movie. A biographer says the coach chose hypocrisy and self-protection when Thorpe needed him most – when his Olympic medals were stripped for having played professional baseball with Warner's knowledge.



  • Tribal Sovereignty Isn't So Fragile

    by Noah Ramage

    Although the United States's campaign to legislate existing Indigenous republics out of existence has been broadly successful, the tenacity and durability of tribal sovereignty has been underestimated. 



  • Preserving Detroit's Native History

    Karen Marrero of Wayne State University discusses how oral traditions have kept indigenous histories alive even as many physical markers of that history have been destroyed. 



  • Robert Lee on "Land-Grab" Universities

    Robert Lee of Cambridge University discusses his work documenting the treaty-like arrangements by which universities appropriated indigenous lands to build their endowments, an understudied aspect of the land-grant university system. 



  • Harvard Holds Remains of 7,000 Native and Enslaved Persons

    by Gillian Brockell

    A university task force convened last year to investigate the provenance of human remains in Harvard's museums and collections condemned the leak of the report while defending their committee's work toward returning remains to appropriate tribal authorities and memorializing the deceased. 



  • Considering the Full Life of Wilma Mankiller

    by Alaina E. Roberts

    Wilma Mankiller's career as an activist included a stint as the first female head of the Cherokee Nation, but she must also be remembered for the mass disenrollment of the descendants of Cherokee Freedmen from the tribe's rolls and their exclusion from a share of new income to the tribe. 



  • The Monument Controversy We Aren't Discussing

    by Cynthia C. Prescott

    Outside of the former Confederacy, efforts to replace "Pioneer Mother" statues with depictions of Native American women have sparked a backlash including outright theft.


  • "Two-Spirit" Visibility and the Year Activists Rewrote History

    by Gregory D. Smithers

    In 1990, a group of Native activists coined the term "Two-Spirits" to encompass a variety of people who embodied masculine and feminine traits in indigenous communities, replacing colonizers' terminology that emphasized shame or deviance. Marginalized communities change their history by changing who tells their story, and how. 



  • What Does Pope Francis's Apology Mean to Indigenous Americans?

    by Annie Selak

    "Pope Francis apologized on April 1, 2022, to First Nations, Inuit and Métis delegations, acknowledging the harm done by residential schools in Canada and marking a crucial step in the church admitting its role in the abuse of Indigenous communities and children."



  • Texas's Anti-Transgender Policies Erase the State's Indigenous Transgender History

    by Gregory D. Smithers

    The prominent role of what would now be called transgender individuals in indigenous societies in Texas was part of the justification Europeans claimed to colonize the land; students compelled to learn Texas history in school could learn a much more inclusive set of stories. 



  • Review: The Afterlife of Black Hawk

    by David Roediger

    A suppressed history of conquest and expulsion pervades the state of Illinois; A new book seeks to recover it.