Panel 4: The Changing Face of Indigeneity

Location

Campus Center, Room 2540, University of Massachusetts Boston

Start Date

29-3-2014 10:45 AM

End Date

29-3-2014 12:00 PM

Description

This paper places the subject of urban Indians in North America within the historical reality of their existence and emphasizes the need to rework current assumptions about Native peoples. Not only were Native peoples intimately involved in the act of building up villages, forts, and trading posts – which would eventual evolve into the cities that dot the continent today – but they have also very much been a part of the urban scene in major cities since the middle of the twentieth century. The cities around Puget Sound would not have been able to exist without the direct aid of the Indian laborers. Major metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco saw great increases in their Indian populations in the twentieth century due to myriad reasons.

All of these point to the essential fact that Indians have long played an integral part in American history outside of their role on the reservation. Fighting stereotypical images of Native Americans as people who are locked in the past requires a shift in how they are viewed by the modern community. When people understand the massive impact that Native Americans have played in various urban areas throughout North America they will see Indians in a new light. To do this is vital, not only because it is a more accurate interpretation of history, but also because it begins to right the wrongs that Native Americans have traditionally faced.

Comments

PANEL 4 of the 2013 Graduate History Conference features presentations and papers under the topic of "The Changing Face of Indigeneity."

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Mar 29th, 10:45 AM Mar 29th, 12:00 PM

Telling the Whole Store: Native Americans and the Development of Urban Spaces

Campus Center, Room 2540, University of Massachusetts Boston

This paper places the subject of urban Indians in North America within the historical reality of their existence and emphasizes the need to rework current assumptions about Native peoples. Not only were Native peoples intimately involved in the act of building up villages, forts, and trading posts – which would eventual evolve into the cities that dot the continent today – but they have also very much been a part of the urban scene in major cities since the middle of the twentieth century. The cities around Puget Sound would not have been able to exist without the direct aid of the Indian laborers. Major metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco saw great increases in their Indian populations in the twentieth century due to myriad reasons.

All of these point to the essential fact that Indians have long played an integral part in American history outside of their role on the reservation. Fighting stereotypical images of Native Americans as people who are locked in the past requires a shift in how they are viewed by the modern community. When people understand the massive impact that Native Americans have played in various urban areas throughout North America they will see Indians in a new light. To do this is vital, not only because it is a more accurate interpretation of history, but also because it begins to right the wrongs that Native Americans have traditionally faced.

 

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