ABC-CLIO Solutions

The American Indian Experience

The American Mosaic

by Spencer R. Crew, Vicki Ruiz, Joe E. Watkins, and Marian Perales, Editors

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ABC-CLIO Solutions

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.


  • Hundreds of primary source documents and media, including traditional stories, treaties, speeches, a wealth of maps, thousands of images, and videos
  • Guided inquiry into both historical and contemporary dilemmas ranging from the assimilation of Native Americans in early boarding schools to the problematic use of Native-themed mascots in current sports
  • A CLIOview tool students can use to understand the demographics of the American Indian population, including individual tribe populations, education levels, and more
  • Scholarly commentary examining issues such as the effects of the Indian Child Welfare Act and violence experienced by Native American women
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A COMPREHENSIVE REFERENCE LIBRARY with content from more than 230,000 primary sources and entries encompassing audio, video, photographs, illustrations, maps, and rich media.

A STANDARDS-BASED CURRICULUM updated daily by a team of subject-specific editorial experts and supported by an extensive range of instructional material.

A DEEP COLLECTION OF MODEL COMMENTARIES from noted scholars that have been specially commissioned to foster critical thinking stimulated by exposure to varying points of view.

AN EDUCATOR SUPPORT CENTER containing valuable professional development tools as well as relevant resources such as discussion points, activities, lesson plans, and research lists.


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Advisory Board

Spencer R. Crew is the interim director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. He is also the Clarence J. Robinson Professor of History at George Mason University.

Joshunda Sanders is the author of How Racism and Sexism Killed Traditional Media (2015) as well as I Can Write the World (2019) She works at Lehman College in the Office of the President.

Joe Watkins, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, is a Research Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Marian Perales is an Editorial Specialist for ABC-CLIO's American History and the American Mosaic databases. She received an MA in U.S. history from The Claremont Graduate University.

Topic Centers


Early Native America, Precontact–1527
• Early Native Societies, Precontact–250
• Development of Regional Cultures, 250–1527
• Early Contact Period, 985–1490
Western Expansion and Removal, 1800–1851
• Native Life in the New Republic, 1800–1821
• Jacksonian Indian Policy, 1818–1832
• Removal to Indian Territory, 1832–1851
Termination and Urbanization, 1945–1968
• Federal Termination Policy, 1945–1953
• Urban Migration, 1953–1968
Early Colonial Era, 1490–1664
• Spanish Colonies, 1490–1610
• French Colonies, 1524–1660
• Dutch and English Colonies, 1602–1664
Battle for the Great Plains, 1851–1877
• Treaty of Fort Laramie and Grant's Peace, 1851–1868
• Plains Culture Upended by Warfare, 1863–1871
• Reconstruction, 1865–1877
Indian Activism and Self-Determination, 1968–1988
• Expanding Civil Rights, 1968–1977
• Taking a Stand, 1975–1984
• Regaining Ground, 1980–1988
Trade and Destruction of Native Economies, 1664–1754
• European Expansion and Native Resistance, 1664–1720
• Mississippi Valley Expansion, 1713–1754
Assimilation and Allotment, 1878–1928
• Indianness Confronts Conformity, 1878–1887
• Reservations and Resistance, 1887–1928
Modern Native Nations, 1988–Present
• Reclamation of Native Identity, 1988–2000
• Affirming Tribal Sovereignty, 2000–Present
War and Revolution, 1754–1810
• Colonial Crisis, 1754–1768
• The Revolutionary Period, 1771–1783
Great Depression and World War II, 1929–1945
• Indian New Deal, 1934–1941
• Supporting the War Effort, 1941–1945




"…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

2017 CODiE Award Winner - Best Social Sciences Instructional Solution — SIIA

2018 Gold Award — Modern Library Awards

2019 Best Social Studies Website — ComputED Best Educational Software Awards (BESSIES)

2018 Best Social Studies Website — ComputED Best Educational Software Awards (BESSIES)

2018 Best Online Educational Resource — ComputED Best Educational Software Awards (BESSIES)



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