Encyclopedia of American Indian History

by Bruce E. Johansen and Barry M. Pritzker, Editors


The story of America's original inhabitants, their descendents, and immigrants from the Old World is one of cooperation and conflict, promise and compromise, tragedy and endurance. It is an essential, troubling undercurrent in the history of the United States and Canada, running the length of the nations' history and the breadth of the continent (the names of more than half of the states in the United States and Canada have Native American origins). From continuing debates over the origins of Native Americans to recent issues such as reparations, the provenance of artifacts, and sports team mascots, it is a story that continues to be written.

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Cover image for Encyclopedia of American Indian History

July 2007


Pages 1423
Volumes 4
Size 8 1/2x11
Topics Race and Ethnicity/American Indian Studies

This new four-volume encyclopedia is the most comprehensive and up-to-date resource available on the history of Native Americans, providing a lively, authoritative survey ranging from human origins to present-day controversies.

From the origins of Native American cultures through the years of colonialism and non-Native expansion to the present, Encyclopedia of American Indian History brings the story of Native Americans to life like no other previous reference on the subject. Featuring the work of many of the field's foremost scholars, it explores this fundamental and foundational aspect of the American experience with extraordinary depth, breadth, and currency, carefully balancing the perspectives of both Native and non-Native Americans.

Encyclopedia of American Indian History spans the centuries with three thematically organized volumes (covering the period from precontact through European colonization; the years of non-Native expansion (including Indian removal); and the modern era of reservations, reforms, and reclamation of semi-sovereignty). Each volume includes entries on key events, places, people, and issues. The fourth volume is an alphabetically organized resource providing histories of Native American nations, as well as an extensive chronology, topic finder, bibliography, and glossary. For students, historians, or anyone interested in the Native American experience, Encyclopedia of American Indian History brings that experience to life in an unprecedented way.


  • Approximately 450 entries within four separate volumes
  • Approximately 110 contributors from among the foremost scholars in the fields, including Troy Johnson on self-determination movements, Richard King on sports mascots, and Jon Rehyner on recovery of Native languages
  • Hundreds of images, including illustrations, photographs, and maps
  • A series of helpful research tools rounding out the fourth volume, including an extensive chronology, topical bibliography, and a comprehensive index


  • The most up-to-date and authoritative reference work available spanning the breadth of Native American history
  • Includes an unprecedented level of coverage from the Native American perspective to balance coverage from non-Native perspectives
  • Written by a distinguished group of American Indian scholars
  • The unique format makes it easy to access reliable information on specific events, personalities, overarching issues and themes, and details of life within the numerous distinct tribes
Author Info

Bruce E. Johansen is Frederick W. Kayser Professor of Communication and Native American Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, NE. His published works include Native Peoples of North America: A History and Global Warming in the 21st Century.

Barry M. Pritzker is director of foundation and corporate relations at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY. His published works include ABC-CLIO's Native America Today: A Guide to Community Politics and Culture and Native Americans: An Encyclopedia of History, Culture, and Peoples.



"Recommended where needed for high school, undergraduate, and public libraries."Library Journal

"Both academic and larger public libraries will want to add this to their collections."Against the Grain

"This wide ranging guide will be welcome in school, public and academic libraries."Gale Reference Reviews

"An exceptional, well detailed reference, this is a 'must have' for any collection serious about Native American history."Midwest Book Review

"This encyclopedia should be considered by every library supporting Native American studies."School Library Journal

"Teachers, students, and the public will all benefit from this new broad-based encyclopedia."Choice

"it is recommended for academic and public libraries"Booklist

"The Encyclopedia of American Indian History is an ideal acquisition for those libraries who lack good introductory material on North American Indians, and who serve a general audience or junior college students."ARBA

"this source is highly recommended."Reference & User Services Quarterly

Other Titles of Interest

The American Indian and Alaska Native Student's Guide to College Success cover imageAmerican Indian Chronology cover imageStudent Almanac of Native American History cover image
Encyclopedia of Native American Jewelry cover imageEncyclopedia of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy) cover imageNative America Today cover image

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