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Catalog Archive / Spring 2022

Understanding and Teaching Native American History
Edited by Kristofer Ray and Brady DeSanti

The Harvey Goldberg Series for Understanding and Teaching History
John Day Tully, Matthew Masur, and Brad Austin, Series Editors

“This impressive volume from noted experts includes a variety of essays all suited to inform the teaching of Native and American histories. From broad concepts to helpful, concrete suggestions, these essays make it easier for everyone to engage with Indigenous history.”
—Malinda Maynor Lowery, Emory University

Cutting-edge approaches to teaching the Indigenous experience

Understanding and Teaching Native American History is a timely and urgently needed remedy to a long-standing gap in history instruction. While the past three decades have seen burgeoning scholarship in Indigenous studies, comparatively little of that has trickled into classrooms. This volume is designed to help teachers effectively integrate Indigenous history and culture into their lessons, providing richly researched content and resources across the chronological and geographical landscape of what is now known as North America.

Despite the availability of new scholarship, many teachers struggle with contextualizing Indigenous history and experience. Native peoples frequently find themselves relegated to historical descriptions, merely a foil to the European settlers who are the protagonists in the dominant North American narrative. This book offers a way forward, an alternative framing of the story that highlights the ongoing integral role of Native peoples via broad coverage in a variety of topics including the historical, political, and cultural.

With its scope and clarity of vision, suggestions for navigating sensitive topics, and a multitude of innovative approaches authored by contributors from multidisciplinary backgrounds, Understanding and Teaching Native American History will also find use in methods and other graduate courses. Nearly a decade in the conception and making, this is a groundbreaking source for both beginning and veteran instructors.


Kristofer Ray is an Honorary Fellow at the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation, University of Hull. His areas of expertise include early modern American Indian experience broadly, Native-European interaction in trans-Appalachia specifically, and the European construction of Indigenous slave law. In addition to several book chapters, edited volumes, and journal articles, he is the author of Middle Tennessee, 1775–1825 and the forthcoming Cherokees, Europeans, and Empire in the Trans-Appalachian West, 1670–1774.

Brady DeSanti (Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe) is the director of Native American studies and an associate professor of religious studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. His research focuses on Native American history and religious traditions.




“Comprised of 21 erudite and informative contributions by experts in the Native American History that are deftly organized into three major sections. . . . A seminal, unique, and unreservedly recommended core addition to personal, professional, college and university library Native American Studies collections and supplemental and developmental studies curriculum studies lists.”
Midwest Book Review



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Table of Contents


Introduction - Kristofer Ray and Brady DeSanti

Part One: Essential Topics in Native American History

Before Columbus: Native American History, Archeology, and Resources - Maureen Meyers

The “Virgin” Soil Thesis Cover-Up: Teaching Indigenous Demographic Collapse - Tai S. Edwards

Teaching Indigenous Slavery: From First Slaves to Early Abolitionists in Four Myths - Denise I. Bossy

Teaching Indian Wars - Mark van de Logt

Teaching the Broad and Relevant History of American Indian Removal - John P. Bowes

Teaching the History of Allotment - Rose Stremlau

Teaching Federal Indian Law through Literature - N. Bruce Duthu

Nation to Nation: Understanding Treaties and Sovereignty - Margaret Huettl

Teaching Indigenous Environmental Histories - Paul Kelton and James Rice

Teaching and Understanding Genocide in Native America - Gray H. Whaley

Part Two: Reflections on Identity and Cultural Appropriation

An Appropriate Past: Seminole Indians, Osceola, and Florida State University - Andrew K. Frank

Looking Past the Racial Classification System: Teaching Southeastern Native Survival Using the Peoplehood Model - Marvin Richardson

Teaching Native American Religions and Philosophies in the Classroom - Brady DeSanti

Sustenance as Culture and Tradition: Teaching about Indigenous Foodways - Devon A. Mihesuah

Native American Art 101 - Nancy Marie Mithlo

Land Acknowledgements in Higher Education: Moving Beyond the Empty Gesture - Joshua Thunder Little and Miye Nadya Tom

Part Three: Reflections on Teaching Native American History

Learning to Teach Indian History: A Memoir - Theda Perdue

Teaching American Indian History Using the Medicine Way - Donald L. Fixico

Transnational History and Deep Time: Reflections on Teaching Indigenous History from Australia - Ann McGrath

Being There: Experiential Learning by Living Native American History - Bernard C. Perley

čwè·ˀn neyękwaˀnawèrih: Reflections on Teaching Indigenous History from a Native Student - Taylor Hummel

List of Contributors


Also in the Series

Understanding and Teaching the Holocaust: cover art of a black and white photograph of the entrance to Auschwitz, a gate reading Arbeit Macht Frei meaning work sets you free. Above the photograph is a a block the color of aged paper, which proclaims the title and editor text.

Understanding and Teaching the Holocaust
Edited by Laura Hilton and Avinoam Patt

Understanding and Teaching the Modern Middle East: Cover showing a world map in which the land is black and the water is gray, with a pattern of repeating yellow circles, resembling sonar, emerging from the center of the map. Above the map is a manilla block containing the title and editor text.

Understanding and Teaching the Modern Middle East
Edited by Omnia El Shakry

Book Title

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August 2022
LC: 2021055211 E
272 pp. 6 x 9
4 b/w halftones

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Casebound $39.95 S
ISBN 9780299338503
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