Encyclopedia of American Indian Issues Today

by Russell M. Lawson, Editor


As sovereign entities living amid larger societies, Indian reservations—and the lifestyle of the inhabitants within—prompt curiosity among outsiders. American Indians also have a sense of community that often creates further separation from surrounding non-native areas. Not surprisingly, these factors fuel the enigmatic reputation of tribal nations and contribute to the disparate way of life between Indians and their North American neighbors.

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Cover image for Encyclopedia of American Indian Issues Today

April 2013


Pages 868
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics Race and Ethnicity/American Indian Studies

This essential reference examines the history, culture, and modern tribal concerns of American Indians in North America.

Despite the fact that 565 federally recognized tribes exist on the continent of North America, non-Native Americans typically know very little about the modern world of American Indians. In a few instances, the uneasy coexistence of the two cultures has served to create controversy, such as fake Indians fraudulently leveraging ethnicity-based benefits, U.S. officials disposing of nuclear waste near reservations, and sports clubs basing mascots on cultural stereotypes. This unique survey scrutinizes the historical background as well as the contemporary issues of American Indian societies as both part of—and completely separate from—the world around them.

Encyclopedia of American Indian Issues Today features subjects commonly discussed, including reservations, poverty, sovereignty, the problem of solid waste on reservations, and the lives of urban Indians, among other contemporary issues. Organized into ten sections, the book also provides helpful sidebars and informative essays to address topics on casinos and gaming, sexual identity, education, and poverty.


  • Sidebars with additional information, resources, and primary source excerpts
  • Contributions from top scholars in the field
  • Bibliographies at the end of each essay for additional research


  • Examines controversial topics, such as genocide, substance abuse, and poverty
  • Discusses issues of discrimination and racism toward Indians
  • Contains 84 essays and 82 sidebars
  • Includes photographs, laws, first-hand accounts, and transcriptions
Author Info

Russell M. Lawson, PhD, is professor of history at Bacone College, Muskogee, OK. His published works include ABC-CLIO's Poverty in America: An Encyclopedia, cowritten with Benjamin A. Lawson; and ABC-CLIO's Science in the Ancient World: An Encyclopedia.



"This new encyclopedic set is a useful acquisition for all academic libraries, particularly those that support Native studies."Choice

"A valuable and readable source for public, high school, and college libraries."

"A plethora of information is found in the 85 essays that comprise this encyclopedia. . . . Students doing reports and readers seeking more facts and an enriched understanding of Native Americans in the 21st century will find this an effective reference."Library Journal

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