Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians But Were Afraid to Ask

Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians But Were Afraid to Ask

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by Anton Treuer
     
 

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“I had a profoundly well-educated Princetonian ask me, ‘Where is your tomahawk?’ I had a beautiful woman approach me in the college gymnasium and exclaim, ‘You have the most beautiful red skin.’ I took a friend to see Dances with Wolves and was told, ‘Your people have a beautiful culture.’ . . . I made many lifelong friends at

Overview

“I had a profoundly well-educated Princetonian ask me, ‘Where is your tomahawk?’ I had a beautiful woman approach me in the college gymnasium and exclaim, ‘You have the most beautiful red skin.’ I took a friend to see Dances with Wolves and was told, ‘Your people have a beautiful culture.’ . . . I made many lifelong friends at college, and they supported but also challenged me with questions like, ‘Why should Indians have reservations?’ ”

What have you always wanted to know about Indians? Do you think you should already know the answers—or suspect that your questions may be offensive? In matterof-fact responses to over 120 questions, both thoughtful and outrageous, modern and historical, Ojibwe scholar and cultural preservationist Anton Treuer gives a frank, funny, and sometimes personal tour of what’s up with Indians, anyway.

• What is the real story of Thanksgiving?
• Why are tribal languages important?
• What do you think of that incident where people died in a sweat lodge?

White/Indian relations are often characterized by guilt and anger. Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians But Were Afraid to Ask cuts through the emotion and builds a foundation for true understanding and positive action.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—This collection of approximately 120 questions and answers, mainly gathered during the author's many public lectures on Native culture, can be used on many levels. Divided into chapters such as "Terminology"; "History"; "Religion, Culture, Identity"; "Powwow"; "Tribal Languages"; "Politics"; "Economics"; "Education"; and "Perspectives," questions range from general (What is a powwow? What were federal residential boarding schools?) to specific (How do tribal languages encapsulate a different world view?). Treuer, a Princeton scholar and member of the Ojibwe tribe, often uses personal examples in clear concise language, stating upfront that the views he expresses are his own. Black-and-white photographs and illustrations, both historical and modern, accompany the text where appropriate. Overall, this is a thoughtful and thought-provoking overview that serves to alleviate misconceptions and bridge knowledge gaps among cultures. A useful tool for students, an excellent resource for teachers, or simply an informative read for those interested in the topic, this book is for general purchase.—Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library
Library Journal
Positioning himself as an ambassador of the Ojibwe people, Treuer (Ojibwe, Bemidji State Univ., MN; The Assassination of Hole in the Day) endeavors to address misconceptions held by non-natives about the American Indian experience in the United States. He accomplishes his task by posing and answering approximately 125 questions divided into ten categories: "Terminology," "History," "Religion, Culture & Identity," "Powwow," "Tribal Languages," "Politics," "Economics," "Education," "Perspectives: Coming to Terms and Future Directions," and "Finding Ways to Make a Difference." Some of the questions, such as "Do Indians live in teepees?" and "What is the real story of Columbus?" are generic for this type of work, but other questions delve into politically sensitive areas such as the relationship between blood quantum and tribal enrollment. The author also thoughtfully provides examples of how cultural misunderstandings often have unintended consequences. For instance, he discusses how tribal license plates intended to show native pride became a tool for racial profiling by law enforcement. VERDICT This book, both entertaining and informative, is recommended for general readers.—John Burch, Campbellsville Univ. Lib., KY

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780873518628
Publisher:
Minnesota Historical Society Press
Publication date:
05/01/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
184
Sales rank:
526,942
File size:
6 MB

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Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians but Were Afraid to Ask 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Where do I begin. Read the book. It is written from a Native American prospective. I am a non-native american. I have known of some of the injustices done to native americans but I had my eyes opened regarding "white history." I think every educator should read this book. Come on America wake up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a non-native person who grew up in the area that this author grew up in. I have seen from the other side the unfortunate divide in this area that he speaks about, regarding non-native and native peoples. I read this book in one sitting, I couldn't put it down. My only regret was that I was hoping for some more elaboration on some parents. My assumption as this was a bit intentional, to get people to educate themselves moe thoroughly. As someone who sees myself as fairly open-minded and aware, this was a true eye opener. I will definitely read his other books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That is my fathers book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago