Genealogy of Racism on American Indians

Notes transcribed from Smedley, Audrey. Race in North America, Origin and Evolution of a Worldview, 2nd edition, Westview press, 1999, Comments are my own. The origins of racism in America as employed by the United States Indian Service are in the English treatments of the Native people of Ireland.[1]  The English people for centuries attempted to fully colonize Ireland to little results. The Irish people resisted every attempt to conquer them either through war or through social reorganization (ie: acculturation, assimilation and colonization). The English merely have carried of a protracted war of colonization that continues to the present era. … Continue reading Genealogy of Racism on American Indians

Imagining the American Nation, and Ignoring the Tribes

In the early nineteenth century, the United States assumed ownership of all of the Oregon Territory through “right of discovery”, first adjudicated in the United States Supreme Court in 1823 in Johnson v. M’intosh (Supreme Court of the United States 1823).[i] This ownership remained tenuous as it relied on the European protocols of exploration and discovery. Europeans, and later, Americans, believed that only through the exploration and mapping of formerly unknown lands could land be legally claimed. Tribal nations did not explore and map their lands in this manner, relying in large part on oral and experiential knowledge of their … Continue reading Imagining the American Nation, and Ignoring the Tribes

Post Indianism

Gerald Vizenor has created the idea of the Post Indian, native peoples who are living a new consciousness beyond the stereotypes of victim-hood about Indians. Post-Indians defy the stereotypes and now live in a new realm of their own creation. His analysis seems metaphorical and philosophical and I would extend it further. Many native peoples live in reservations still and as colonized cultures, many of the people seek to remain institutionalized in their colonial constructs. The reservation is everything to them, it is the means of sustenance and their homeland. When there are political problems at the reservation many of … Continue reading Post Indianism

Gendered terms in Kalapuyan

This essay began some years ago when I was working on the Kalapuya lessons project with Esther Stutzman and her family. We discussed in our group the lack of gendered terms in the language. I was thinking perhaps we are just missing something, but even after consulting with Henry Zenk, an anthropological linguist who studies Kalapuyan, it is the case that the Kalapuyans did not use gendered terms. This is very unlike most people’s experiences with languages like French and Spanish, which have gendered articles for terms, and even English that uses pronouns like he and she, and his and … Continue reading Gendered terms in Kalapuyan

Snowats, Iswukaw and Quartux

The story of Snowats, Iswukaw and Quartux, written down and published by Jesse Applegate in 1907, appears to be a version of one of the four myth ages stories of Albert Gatschet. The stories are collected over 30 years apart and the Applegate account was recalled by him from his experiences with the Kalapuyans in 1843 or soon after during the time that Applegate was living for years among Kalapuyan tribes. The Applegate family, more so than any other notable family in Oregon, made friends with the Kalapuyans and became lifelong allies. This familial relationship of mutual respect and support … Continue reading Snowats, Iswukaw and Quartux