This comprehensive, two-volume resource on American Indian history covers events from the time of ancient Indian civilizations in North America to recent happenings in American Indian life in the 21st century, providing readers with an understanding of not only what happened to shape the American Indian experience but also how these events—some of which occurred long ago—continue to affect people’s lives today.
The first section of the book focuses on history in the pre-European contact period, documenting the tens of thousands of years that American Indians have resided on the continent in ancient civilizations, in contrast with the very short history of a few hundred years following contact with Europeans—during which time tremendous changes to American Indian culture occurred. The event coverage continues chronologically, addressing the early Colonial period and beginning of trade with Europeans and the consequential destruction of native economies, to the period of Western expansion and Indian removal in the 1800s, to events of forced assimilation and later self-determination in the 20th century and beyond. Readers will appreciate how American Indians continue to live rich cultural, social, and religious lives thanks to the activism of communities, organizations, and individuals, and perceive how their inspiring collective story of self-determination and sovereignty is far from over.
- Allows readers to understand the history of Indian communities and tribal governments in the United States and to consider complex and controversial questions on how to begin improving conditions for Indian communities in the 21st century
- Highlights American Indian contributions to U.S. culture, economy, and politics
- Includes first-person accounts and narratives as well as excerpts from official documents, letters, and other primary sources that help bring American Indian history to life and present a more personal look into the experiences of tribes
- Addresses the historical and legal misconceptions as well as stereotypes affecting American Indians that continue to persist today