Articles on Native Americans

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Protesters block a highway in near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. AP Photo/James MacPherson

How Standing Rock became a site of pilgrimage

Thousands of people, both those within Native American communities and their non-Native allies, felt called to go to Standing Rock. What was the motivation?
Gatherers in Cannon Ball, North Dakota celebrate news that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers won’t grant an easement for the Dakota Access oil pipeline. AP Photo/David Goldman

Victory at Standing Rock reflects a failure of US energy and climate policy

The protesters have scored a big victory in the Dakota Access Pipeline conflict, but it's served only to illuminate the sharp divisions over energy policy in the US.
Jennie A. Brownscombe’s ‘The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth’ (1914). Wikimedia Commons

The two men who almost derailed New England’s first colonies

The Pilgrims were thankful for finally being able to vanquish Thomas Morton and Ferdinando Gorges, who spent years trying to undermine the legal basis for settlements in Massachusetts and beyond.
Agricultural Building at the Worlds Columbian Exposition, Chicago, Illinois, circa 1893. University of Maryland Digital Collections

Columbus Day: Black legend meets White City

An anthropologist tells the story of how Columbus actually came close to falling into historical obscurity, until American hubris got in the way.
This clay facial reconstruction of Kennewick Man, carefully sculpted around the morphological features of his skull, suggests how he may have looked alive nearly 9,000 years ago. Brittney Tatchell, Smithsonian Institution

Kennewick Man will be reburied, but quandaries around human remains won’t

A 9,000-year-old skeleton became a high-profile and highly contested case for the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. How do we respectfully deal with ancient human remains?
Native Americans have struggled for recognition of the violence done to them through colonisation and the persistent harms of settler colonialism. EPA/Mike Nelson

Indigenous reconciliation in the US shows how sovereignty and constitutional recognition work together

Despite significant shortcomings in the negotiation, content and honouring of treaties, they continue to define the nature of the relationship between most Native Americans and the United States.
Demonstrating in Washington state, November 2015. David Ryder/Reuters

Syrian refugees: will American hearts and minds change?

Many groups have been labeled 'enemy' in the American past. A literary scholar looks at the role literature and philosophy have played in dispelling fears and shifting public attitudes.
The tallest mountain in the US is again called Denali. Jonathan Ernst/REUTERS

In Alaska, it’s always been Denali

For millennia, the Koyukon Athabascan have called the 20,000-foot mountain "the tall one."
Members of the Chitimacha language team (from left to right) Sam Boutte, Kim Walden and Rachel Vilcan use the new language software for the first time.

Renaissance on the bayou: the revival of a lost language

In the face of war, disease and outside cultural pressures, the Chitimacha language has survived -- and now thrives.
Umatilla people, one of the tribes fighting to bury the Kennewick Man. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration/wikimedia

‘Kennewick Man’ was Native American, study suggests

A genomic sequencing study suggesting that the 9,000-year old skeleton dubbed "Kennewick Man" was Native American will intensify a 20-year-old dispute about what should happen to the remains.

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