Tag Native American History

Richard Oakes and the Takeover of Fort Lawton

Kent Blansett— On Sunday at 3 a.m. Richard Oakes and ninety other members of UIAT [United Indians of All Tribes] assembled at a rendezvous point in downtown Seattle. A veteran and leader of the Alcatraz takeovers, Oakes must have been transported back to the three attempts it had taken IAT

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Surviving Genocide

Jeffrey Ostler— The United States imagined several ways that Native people might be dispossessed. One possibility American leaders envisioned was that Indians would conveniently disappear as a result of seemingly “natural” and supposedly inevitable historical trends. This self-serving fantasy, however, did not happen. American leaders also talked a great deal

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Race, Land, and Migration after the Civil War

Kendra Taira Field— When Thomas Jefferson Brown finally decided to make his home in Indian Territory in 1870, he had been there many times before. For months he had been going in on day trips from Arkansas, his grandson mused more than a century later, learning the Muskogean languages and

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Corn and Colonization

Christine M. DeLucia— A kernel of corn, a chunk of quartz. Timothy Alden, Jr., tried to preserve these objects for posterity by donating them in March 1815 to the newly founded American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts. Both items, the minister indicated, bore direct connections to King Philip’s War. That

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Surviving English Colonialism

Jenny Hale Pulsipher— By the end of the seventeenth century, the Native people of what we now call New England were overwhelmed by a rapidly growing, land-hungry English colonial population and the repeated onslaught of epidemic disease. A bold attempt at resistance—King Philip’s War (1674-1678)—led to a devastating defeat. Thousands

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The Fur Trade in the Western Arctic

John R. Bockstoce— The fur trade in North America was an important part of the continent’s economic and social evolution. For better and for worse, from the sixteenth to the early twentieth centuries, the fur trade caused changes in Native American societies. It provided wealth but simultaneously pushed the boundaries of

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Cherokee People in the Eighteenth Century

Gregory D. Smithers— During the latter half of the eighteenth century, the Cherokee people experienced an unprecedented series of challenges to their established modes of life. The matrilineal and matrilocal social structures that gave Cherokee life its meaning and purpose were increasingly exposed to an overlapping series of imperial political,

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American Indians and the Future of Coal

James Robert Allison III— The American coal industry is on life support. Since the turn of the twenty-first century, less than 7% of the 200 or so proposed new coal-fired power plants have received government approval. None have even dared run the regulatory gauntlet since the 2007 economic collapse. More

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Geronimo: Thug, Hero, or Neither?

Who exactly was Geronimo? The legendary Apache fighter is one of the most famous American Indians in history, but his public image has changed dramatically through the years. In his latest book, Geronimo, historian Robert Utley tries to solve the mystery of this persona, questioning the validity of the impressions

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Historic Scoundrels: The Indian Problem and Its Biggest Influences

The 1831 removal of five Indian tribes from the southeastern United States to Indian Territory near present-day Oklahoma is known to us as The Trail of Tears. In Savages and Scoundrels: The Untold Story of America’s Road to Empire Through Indian Territory,Paul VanDevelder follows the stories from this trail, the

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