The American Indian Intellectual Tradition

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In The American Indian Intellectual Tradition, David Martínez presents thirty-one essays that exemplify Native American intellectual culture across two centuries. The occasion for many of the pieces was the exertion of colonial and then federal power to limit or obliterate the authority and autonomy of American Indians. The writers featured were activists for their home communities and for all indigenous people. Martínez divides his book into three critical epochs of American Indian history with section introductions that provide political context for the selected readings. Works by Vine Deloria Jr., Elias Johnson, Laura Cornelius Kellogg, Susette La Flesche, D'Arcy McNickle, Samson Occom, John Ross, and twenty-one other writers and community leaders are accompanied by bibliographies. The essays display the diversity and sophistication of American Indian writers; although Martínez's approach is pan-Indian, each author is situated in terms of his or her specific culture, politics, and historical context. At the same time, throughout the book there are significant recurring themes that enable the reader to appreciate the scope of the American Indian intellectual tradition and the common cultural standpoints that bind these various writers together.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"David Martínez's anthology is a terrific resource for all of us in Native American Studies and for American Indian people in general. These writings demonstrate the richness and depth of an intellectual heritage that deserves the sort of focus and attention offered so abundantly here."—Robert Warrior, University of Illinois

"In The American Indian Intellectual Tradition, David Martínez has assembled a compelling and important collection of primary documents that highlight an important theme in the intellectual history of Native North America. Without question, Martínez not only accentuates an array of important indigenous voices but also establishes the American Indian intellectual tradition promised by the book's title."—Daniel Cobb, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"The American Indian Intellectual Tradition makes a highly significant contribution to existing scholarship in Native American studies. In his informative, well-written, and engaging introduction, David Martínez contends that American Indian writing from the early days of the American republic to the 1970s constitutes a coherent intellectual tradition defined in good measure by its critical engagement with colonization. The essays Martínez have chosen take up critical issues that remain vital in Indian Country: conflicts over land, political sovereignty, and the place of Native peoples in the dominant society."—Shari M. Huhndorf, University of Oregon

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801449284
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 1/13/2011
  • Pages: 424
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents


Part I: From Colonialism to Removal and the End of Treaty-Making, 1770s–1870s

1. Joseph Johnson, "LETTER from J—h J—n, one of the Mohegan Tribe of Indians, to his Countryman, Moses Paul, under Sentence of Death, in New-Haven Goal" (1772)
2. Samson Occom, "A Sermon Preached at the Execution of Moses Paul, An Indian" (1772)
3. Elias Boudinot, "An Address to the Whites" (1826)
4. John Ross, "To the Cherokee People" (1829)
5. John Ross, "To the Cherokees, Friends & Fellow Citizens" (1831)
6. William Apess, "An Inquiry into the Education and Religious Instruction of the Marshpee Indians" (1835)
7. George Copway (Kahgegagahbowh), "Address before Both Houses of the Legislature of South Carolina" (1848)
8. Ely S. Parker, "Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs" (1869)
Notes to Part I

Part II: From Reservation System to Reform, 1880s–1920s

9. Susette La Flesche, "The Indian Question" (1880)
10. Elias Johnson, "Legends, Traditions and Laws of the Iroquois, or Six Nations, and History of the Tuscarora Indians" (1881)
11. Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, "Life Among the Piutes" (1883)
12. Richard C. Adams, "A Delaware Indian Legend and The Story of Their Troubles" (1899)
13. Andrew J. Blackbird, "The Indian Problem; From the Indian's Standpoint" (1900)
14. Laura Cornelius Kellogg, "Industrial Organization for the Indian"
15. Laura Cornelius Kellogg, "The Lolomi Program of Self-Governance" (1920)
16. Sherman Coolidge, "The Indian American—His Duty to His Race and to His Country, the United States of America" (1913)
17. Dennison Wheelock, "Not an Indian Problem but a Problem of Race Separation" (1913)
18. Henry Roe Cloud, "Education of the American Indian" (1914)
19. Arthur C. Parker, "The Legal Status of the American Indian" (1914)
20. Carlos Montezuma, "Let My People Go" (1915)
21. Charles A. Eastman, "The Indian as a Citizen" (1915)
22. Zitkala-Sa (aka Gertrude Bonnin), "Americanize the First American" (1921)
23. Zitkala-Sa (aka Gertrude Bonnin), "Oklahoma's Poor Rich Indians: An Orgy of Graft and Exploitation of the Five Civilized Tribes—Legalized Robbery" (1924)
Notes to Part II

Part III: The Birth and Termination of Modern Indian Nations, 1930s–1970s

24. D'Arcy McNickle, "Four Years of Indian Reorganization" (1938)
25. Ella Deloria, "Speaking of Indians" (1944)
26. Helen L. Peterson, "American Indian Political Participation" (1957)
27. Frell M. Owl, "Who and What Is an American Indian?" (1962)
28. Clyde Warrior, "Which One Are You? Five Types of Young Indians" (1964)
29. Robert K. Thomas, "Pan-Indianism" (1965)
30. Vine Deloria, Jr., "The Disastrous Policy of Termination" (1969)
31. Hank Adams, et al., "Trail of Broken Treaties 20-Point Position Paper" (1972)
Notes to Part III

Selected Bibliographies

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