50 Events That Shaped American Indian History
An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic [2 volumes]
by Donna Martinez and Jennifer L. Williams Bordeaux, Editors
December 2016, 853pp, 7x10
2 volumes, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3576-6
$218, £168, 190€, A299
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3577-3
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It is important to know the history of American Indians and to connect to members of this group as they live today.

This powerful two-volume set provides an insider's perspective on American Indian experiences through engaging narrative entries about key historical events written by leading scholars in American Indian history as well as inspiring first-person accounts from American Indian peoples.

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
Donna Martinez (Cherokee), PhD, is professor and chair of ethnic studies at University of Colorado Denver. She is coauthor of Praeger's Urban American Indians: Reclaiming Native Space and author of Native American Worlds.

Jennifer L. Williams Bordeaux (Sicangu Lakota/Yankton Dakota) is an enrolled member of the Sicangu Lakota Oyate at Rosebud South Dakota. She is currently the executive assistant in the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of Colorado Denver. She holds a master's degree in political science from the University of Colorado Denver and is a board member at The Denver Metro Fair Housing Center as well as a board member of the Stronghold Society in Denver.


"The work is well-documented through first-person accounts and narratives, excerpts from official documents, letters, and other primary sources that bring the history to life. . . . The writing is balanced and accurate, references are current, and the index is accurate. General and advanced readers in public and academic libraries will find this work very useful."—Booklist, March 2, 2017

"This two-volume set is a recommended addition to any Native American history collection, especially for its concise, valuable coverage of people and events that have shaped the American Indian experience."—ARBA, March 13, 2017

"This collection will be a useful starting point for students of U.S. history and North American Indian cultural history. Summing Up: Highly recommended. High school through undergraduate students; general readers."—Choice, June 1, 2017

Top Community College Resource, June 2017—Choice, June 29, 2017

"High school and college students will find this a valuable resource for reports, and libraries serving these users will want to add this much-needed title to ensure a well-rounded collection."—Library Journal, Starred Review, April 15, 2017

"This set is a significant contribution to help young adults understand American Indian views. Recommended."—School Library Connection, August 1, 2017
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