The American Indian Experience

The American Mosaic

by Marian Perales, Spencer R. Crew, Andrew Jackson, and Dr. Joe Watkins, Editors

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Topics Race and Ethnicity/American Indian Studies
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Before European colonialists arrived on the continent, North America belonged to Native Americans whose social, cultural, and political systems have influenced the U.S. in many tangible outlets, from the Constitution to place names to spirituality. Though little time is often devoted to the study of Native Americans in school, appreciating Native American societies and their interactions with others is necessary to the development of a throughout understanding of American history.

The American Indian Experience: The American Mosaic illuminates the historical and contemporary practices and tribulations of more than 150 Native American tribes from all regions of North America. Featuring articles and essays from Native American authors and contributors, it gives voice to the American Indian experience with respect to colonial conflict, trade economies, decisive wars, parsing of Native American land enabled by American policy, assimilation, and native claims to land, among other topics.


  • Houses hundreds of primary source documents and media, including captivity narratives, traditional stories, treaties, speeches, a wealth of maps, thousands of images, and videos
  • Supports student inquiry into cultural and historical dilemmas by posing questions such as "How did white settlers depict Native Americans during the 19th century?" and "Should the use of Native-themed mascots be banned?"
  • Features the CLIOview tool that allow students to make comparisons between American Indian demographics and to graph statistical data in categories such as tribe population, education levels, and more
  • Proffers analyses such as those of effects of the Indian Child Welfare Act and developments on issues such as violence shown Native American women
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Advisory Board

Marian Perales is the Managing Editor for the American History, African American Experience, American Indian Experience, and Latino American Experience databases. She received her BA from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo and her MA from The Claremont Graduate University. She completed doctoral coursework at Claremont Graduate University specializing in Chicano/a history, U.S. religious history, and 19th century U.S. intellectual history. She has written articles on the western women's history and Chicana history.

Spencer R. Crew, PhD is Clarence J. Robinson Professor of History at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia. He received his PhD in history from Rutgers University. He has worked in public history for more than 25 years and served as president of the National Underground Railroad and Freedom Center and worked at the National Museum of American History-Smithsonian for 20 years. He is the past chair of the National Council for History Education and serves on the board of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. His publications include Field to Factory: Afro-American Migration 1915–1940 (1987), and Black Life in Secondary Cities: A Comparative Analysis of the Black Communities of Camden and Elizabeth, N.J. 1860–1920 (1993). He co-authored The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden (2002) and Unchained Memories: Readings From The Slave Narratives (2002) and co-editor of Slave Culture: A Documentary Collection of the Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers Project (Greenwood, 2014) and Memories of the Enslaved: Voices from the Slave Narratives (Praeger, 2015).

Andrew Jackson recently retired from Queens Library's Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center as Director-Emeritus after 36 years of dedicated service. He earned a Master of Library Science from Queens College-GSLIS (CUNY) and a BS in Business Administration from York College (CUNY) and is a Certified NYS Public Librarian. In recognition of his commitment to Black history and culture, Andrew was given five African names: (Sekou-Warrior, Molefi-He keeps tradition, Baako-First born, Bhekizizwe-Take care of your people and Orbai-Teacher). Andrew is an Adjunct Professor at Queens College's Graduate School of Library and Information Studies (CUNY) and an adjunct in the York College (CUNY) History & Philosophy Departments Black Studies Program.

He served on the boards of Time Warner Cable NY, Elmhurst Hospital Center and The Renaissance Charter School as well as advisory boards and committees at York College (CUNY), Queens College (CUNY), and the Louis Armstrong Museum and Archives. A published author and essayist, he co-edited the award winning book, The 21st Century Black Librarian in America: Issues and Challenges and Queens Notes: Facts About the Forgotten Borough of Queens, New York. One of his most popular essays, "In The Tradition: The Legacy of Cultural Messengers From Langston Hughes to Tupac Shakur" was published in the Black History Month Edition of Phat'itude Literary Magazine. He is currently working on a new book about Black librarianship.

Dr. Joe Watkins, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, is a Research Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Maryland, College Park. From 2007–2013 he was the Director of the Native American Studies Program at the University of Oklahoma. He has more than 45 years of experience in anthropology and archaeology, working in the public and private sectors of cultural resources management, as a program administrator and professor in higher education, and as a private consultant. He serves as a mediator and advocate for indigenous groups worldwide, including North American Indians and First Nations, Australian Aboriginals, New Zealand Maori, and the Japanese Ainu. He is the author of Indigenous Archaeology: American Indian Values and Scientific Practice (Alta Mira Press 2000), Reclaiming Physical Heritage: Repatriation and Sacred Sites (Chelsea House Publishers 2005), and with Carol Ellick, The Anthropology Graduate's Guide: From Student to a Career (Left Coast Press 2011).



"…the real strength of this file is the lure of its serendipitous discovery and the substantial content. Browsing through the Timeline is an education in itself, as is browsing the Image Index, the Primary Sources, and the Landmark Documents. Scanning the Subjects, their Categories, and their Sub-Categories will give any researcher a fuller idea of what's in this file…kudos to Greenwood for bringing out a multimedia file on the American Indian Experience, a resource that is long overdue in the electronic scholarly world. …a much needed contribution to scholarly research and will complement the access to published material available through the Bibliography of Native North Americans. BOTTOM LINE Strongly recommended for school and public libraries, as well as for academic libraries serving American Indian studies and ethnic studies researchers."—Library Journal

"AIE was designed by an advisory board comprising an impressive group of Native and non-Native specialists ranging from archivists to librarians to professors of American Indian studies...The database is easy to search and navigate via an attractive, well-planned graphic interface that offers both searching and browsing. Broad subject categories range from Arts and Media to Women. ...this database will be useful to college and university libraries and to tribal groups and others specializing in Native America studies. This online collection represents an excellent way to increase a collection's size and scope. The content is authoritative: the very distinguished and committed board members who developed and indexed the database will continue to monitor its growth and development. As part of The American Mosaic, AIE may be integrated with the other components for comparative research, and is available as part of a bundle at a discounted price. ...AIE will be an excellent addition to any collection of Native American resources. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower- and upper-level undergraduates, professionals/practitioners, and general audience."—Choice

"The database was developed under the guidance of past president of the American Library Association Loriene Roy, an Anishinabe Indian from Minnesota, as well as an advisory board of Native American studies scholars and librarians. This group has combined talents to create a comprehensive resource to meet the needs of users ranging from the merely curious general public to students, teachers, and advanced researchers. ... Overall, this is a well-organized and easy-to-use database. It is probably most useful as an encyclopedia-like starting point for users researching American Indian history and culture.'

'Students looking for material for assignments on American Indians will like the attractive design and easy searching.'

"The American Indian Experience easily provides users with the ability to explore content such as art, music, education, family, migration, spirituality, warfare, government, and more. ...Report Card: It’s hard to imagine school or public libraries that serve American Indians within their communities lacking Greenwood’s American Indian Experience database. As a native Oklahoman, I have long recognized the need for these unique resources for classroom research and instruction, and yet the opportunity to build such a collection of outstanding resources is often limited. However, Greenwood’s American Indian Experience provides not only a depth that might not otherwise be possible in the school library, it also captures the importance of exploring issues and ideas that might not be addressed within the regular history classroom.

Once again, Greenwood’s American Mosaic Online Resource database series has expanded to include an excellent online resource that simply must be added to those library collections that seek to provide outstanding resources for instruction and understanding of Native Americans. Without a doubt, Greenwood’s American Indian Experience deserves an A+."—School Library Journal

"There are many resources available at this website including maps, slide shows, a blog, detailed lesson plans, and more. . . . This web database has a plethora of information that would be very useful for students doing an in-depth study of Native Americans. . . . I was impressed with this site. Recommended."

—Library Media Connection

"It is worthwhile for libraries at the high school and university level for both its historical and cultural content."—ARBA

"The American Indian Experience promotes cultural competency, understanding of and respect for diverse cultures. It does much to provide the accurate portrayals of American Indian history and culture often lacking in standard secondary and college sources and especially problematic at the elementary level. It is recommended for school and general academic libraries, and for public libraries at all levels, especially those serving ethnically diverse populations and wishing to increase their online reference presence."—Reference Reviews

"It is worthwhile for libraries at the high school and university level for both its historical and cultural content."—ARBA


Best Digital Resource — School Library Journal

Outstanding Academic Title, 2009 — Choice

2013 Best Educational Software Award (BESSIE) — ComputEd Gazette



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Other Titles of Interest

The Latino American Experience cover imageThe African American Experience cover imageWorld Geography cover image
United States Geography cover imageIssues cover imageDaily Life through History cover image

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