Thursday, April 9, 2015

6th Annual American Indian Film Series Ends Monday April 13, 2015

The final film from the 6th Annual American Indian Film Series will be shown on Monday, April 13, 2015.  It is titled, "Sousa on the Rez." This year's theme is American Indian Dance and Music.

Sousa on the Rez is part of the University of Minnesota Libraries collections.

This event is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Doors open at 5:30pm and the film begins at 6:00pm in Jones Hall Auditorium (27 Pleasant Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455).

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Tonight the Minnesota Vikings will host the Washington Redskins at the Metrodome.  There will be a protest of Washington's use of the name "Redskins."  This battle has been heating up recently in the news, but it is one that has been debated for decades.

Below are just a few sources concerning the use of American Indians as mascots in collegial and professional sports.


Website for In Whose Honor, Jay Rosenstein Productions
"In Whose Honor?" takes a critical look at the long-running practice of "honoring" Native American Indians by using them as mascots and nicknames in sports.  In this moving and award-winning documentary, Native Americans speak out about the hurtful and harmful effects of stereotyped sports images on both Natives and non-Natives alike.

National Organizations

logo for National Congress of American Indians

 NCAI was founded in 1944.   NCAI is a non-profit, organized as a representative congress of American Indians and Alaska Natives that serves to develop consensus on national priority issues that impact tribal sovereignty.

 NCAI developed a statement addressing the use of mascots in sports.

 National Congress of American Indians: Anti-Defamation & Mascots
Summary of American Psychological Association Resolution Recommending Retirement of American Indian Mascots

In 2005 the American Psychological Association (APA) called for the immediate retirement of all American Indian mascots, symbols, images and personalities by schools, colleges, universities, athletic teams and organizations. APA's position is based on a growing body of social science literature that shows the harmful effects of racial stereotyping and inaccurate racial portrayals, including the particularly harmful effects of American Indian sports mascots on the social identity development and self-esteem of American Indian young people.

Journal Articles

 *Before the Redskins were the Redskins: The Use of Native American Team Names in the Formative Era of American Sports, 1857-1933 by Hylton J. Gordon in the North Dakota Law Review Volume 279, 2010

*Eliminating Native American Mascots: Ingredients for Success  by Laurel R. Davis-Delano Journal of Sport & Social Issues, Volume 31, November 2007

*A Mysterious Defense of The Washington Redskins Name by Sean Gregory, Time, 2013.


I recommend following the Native Appropriations Blog.   It covers many of the issues surrounding representations of indigenous people.

*Note that due to licensing agreements some articles are only available if you are using a University of Minnesota computer.  Currently enrolled students, staff, and faculty have access through their University of Minnesota Internet ID.

Monday, November 4, 2013

American Indian Sovereignty Matters

The Department of American Indian Studies and the Circle of Indigenous Nations held a panel discussion called, "American Indian Sovereignty Matters."  It was a great discussion!

Jillian Rowan ~ Welcome
Cantemaza ~ Blessing, 1862/ Dakota Homelands
Professor Jean O’Brien ~ Department of American Indian Studies, University of Minnesota
Professor David Wilkins ~ Sovereignty 101
Professor Clint Carroll ~ The Environment of American Indian Sovereignty
Professor Brendan Fairbanks ~ Language Sovereignty: Ojibwe People's Dictionary
Professor Kat Hayes ~ Sovereignty and Archaeological Heritage
Professor David Chang ~ the Global and the Local
There are many resources to find out more about American Indian Sovereignty and the history of the Dakota and Ojibwe in Minnesota.  Below are just a few resources from the University of Minnesota Library Collections.  I'm also including a few websites that may be of interest based on topics brought up during the panel.
Gray Wolf info from the MN DNR and an article from the Star Tribune written by Clint Caroll in response to wolf hunting, titled, Minnesota Wolf Policy Should Include Ojibwe Perspective

Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota by Gwen Westerman and Bruce White
Custer Died For Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto by Vine Deloria, Jr.

Behind the Trail of Broken Treaties: An Indian Declaration of Independence by Vind Deloria Jr.

This is by no means an exhaustive list.  Just a few recommendations to get one started.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

November is Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month.

Information courtesy of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior
What started at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S., has resulted in a whole month being designated for that purpose.
One of the very proponents of an American Indian Day was Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, who was the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, N.Y. He persuaded the Boy Scouts of America to set aside a day for the "First Americans" and for three years they adopted such a day. In 1915, the annual Congress of the American Indian Association meeting in Lawrence, Kans., formally approved a plan concerning American Indian Day. It directed its president, Rev. Sherman Coolidge, an Arapahoe, to call upon the country to observe such a day. Coolidge issued a proclamation on Sept. 28, 1915, which declared the second Saturday of each May as an American Indian Day and contained the first formal appeal for recognition of Indians as citizens.
The year before this proclamation was issued, Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Indian, rode horseback from state to state seeking approval for a day to honor Indians. On December 14, 1915, he presented the endorsements of 24 state governments at the White House. There is no record, however, of such a national day being proclaimed.
The first American Indian Day in a state was declared on the second Saturday in May 1916 by the governor of New York. Several states celebrate the fourth Friday in September. In Illinois, for example, legislators enacted such a day in 1919. Presently, several states have designated Columbus Day as Native American Day, but it continues to be a day we observe without any recognition as a national legal holiday.
In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 "National American Indian Heritage Month." Similar proclamations, under variants on the name (including "Native American Heritage Month" and "National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month") have been issued each year since 1994.
You can find more information at the Native American Heritage Month site.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

New Blog for American Indian Collections at the University of Minnesota

Starting in November of 2013, the American Indian Collections at the University of Minnesota blog has moved to a new platform.

The old blog can be found at this url: