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Indigenous Peoples of North America: A Concise Anthropological Overview

ROBERT J. MUCKLE
Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 208
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/j.ctt2ttkj0
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  • Book Info
    Indigenous Peoples of North America
    Book Description:

    In this thoughtful book, Robert J. Muckle provides a brief, thematic overview of the key issues facing Indigenous peoples in North America from prehistory to the present.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8689-2
    Subjects: Sociology, History, Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. PREFACE
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. A NOTE ON CLASSIFICATION, TERMINOLOGY, AND SPELLING
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  6. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  7. ONE SITUATING THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF NORTH AMERICA
    (pp. 1-20)

    There are close to 6 million people living in North America who identify as Indigenous, or one of the other popular labels such as Aboriginal, Indian, or Native American. They comprise about 2 per cent of the population and live in every state, province, and territory of the continent, some in rural areas and others in cities. They are doctors, lawyers, and Indian chiefs. They are also teachers, police, firefighters, politicians, judges, musicians, actors, childcare workers, nurses, truck drivers, writers, and more. Some who may appear to be Indian aren’t; and many who do not appear to be Indian are....

  8. TWO STUDYING THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF NORTH AMERICA THROUGH THE LENS OF ANTHROPOLOGY
    (pp. 21-40)

    This chapter provides a framework for understanding the Indigenous peoples of North America from an anthropological perspective. It does this by describing what is meant by the anthropological perspective; providing a brief overview of the anthropology of the Indigenous peoples of North America; outlining a critique on the work of anthropologists; and considering this work in a global perspective.

    There are many different definitions of Anthropology; Table 2.1 offers three reasonable examples. The key element in all definitions of anthropology is that the focus is on humans. This includes all aspects of human life, including culture and biology, past and...

  9. THREE COMPREHENDING NORTH AMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGY
    (pp. 41-64)

    There are many ways of learning about North American prehistory, including through the oral traditions of Indigenous peoples. The primary method of learning about the prehistoric human past in North America, however, is through archaeology.

    Following a brief description of Indigenous versus archaeological concepts of time, this chapter provides an overview of the nature of archaeology as it is practiced in North America in the early twenty-first century. This, in turn, is followed by an outline of North American prehistory, a short section on the archaeology of the colonial period, and a discussion of North American archaeology and prehistory in...

  10. FOUR STUDYING POPULATION, LANGUAGES, AND CULTURES IN NORTH AMERICA AS THEY WERE AT AD 1500
    (pp. 65-84)

    This chapter focuses on the methods of reconstructing the populations, languages, and traditional lifeways of the Indigenous peoples of North America immediately before the arrival of Europeans in the sixteenth century. Although Europeans had been in the north-east part of the continent before this time, their impact on the populations, languages, and cultures of the Indigenous peoples had been largely insignificant beyond their local areas (i.e., Newfoundland, Greenland). Significant and large-scale impacts on Indigenous peoples and their cultures began with incursions onto the continent by the Spanish in the early 1500s, eventually followed by the English, French, and others.

    The...

  11. FIVE OVERVIEW OF TRADITIONAL LIFEWAYS
    (pp. 85-108)

    This chapter provides a broad overview of traditional lifeways as they were immediately before the arrival of Europeans. The information is based primarily on ethnographic, historical, and archaeological studies.

    The Indigenous peoples of North America exhibited diverse subsistence strategies, incorporating a wide variety of foods; both plants and animals, wild and domestic. The strategies of generalized foraging, specialized foraging, and horticulture were all evident before the arrival of Europeans. Some groups only exhibited generalized foraging, while others exhibited a combination of strategies.

    Providing overviews of subsistence strategies and diet is somewhat problematic, since not all food resources were available to...

  12. SIX UNDERSTANDING THE COLONIAL EXPERIENCE
    (pp. 109-128)

    It would be hard to overestimate the impact of European peoples and policy on the Indigenous peoples and cultures of North America. This chapter considers the nature of these changes, their impacts, and the reactions to them. It does this with a clearly anthropological perspective, focused on culture change. To provide context, the chapter first includes a brief overview of the history of Europeans in North America. This is followed with overviews of the agents of colonialism-induced change to Indigenous populations and cultures; the processes of change; the nature of the changes to Indigenous peoples and cultures; and the reactions...

  13. SEVEN CONTEMPORARY CONDITIONS, NATION-BUILDING, AND ANTHROPOLOGY
    (pp. 129-144)

    The chapter begins with an overview of reports and studies relating to the contemporary state of Indigenous economies, health, social conditions, and education. This is followed by a section on nation-building and an overview of the nature of contemporary anthropology when it is done in association with the Indigenous peoples of North America.

    Many anthropologists and other social scientists have studied the economic and social conditions of the Indigenous peoples of North America in both historic and contemporary times. One of the most comprehensive projects on this topic in recent years has been the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic...

  14. EPILOGUE: FINAL COMMENTS
    (pp. 145-146)

    Books such as this are meant to do many things, including providing basic information on both the Indigenous peoples of North America and anthropology. Even though this book is concise, there is still a lot of information in it.

    My hope is that while readers obtain a sense of the Indigenous peoples of North America from an anthropological perspective, they also appreciate that this book has barely touched the surface. Much has been sacrificed in the interests of brevity. One of the risks of depending on a concise book such as this is that it is difficult to convey the...

  15. APPENDIX ONE THE UNITED NATIONS DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
    (pp. 147-156)
  16. APPENDIX TWO EXCERPTS FROM THE CODE OF ETHICS OF THE AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION (2009)
    (pp. 157-158)
  17. APPENDIX THREE EXCERPTS FROM THE NATIVE AMERICAN GRAVES PROTECTION AND REPATRIATION ACT (1990)
    (pp. 159-160)
  18. APPENDIX FOUR EXCERPTS FROM THE ROYAL PROCLAMATION OF 1763
    (pp. 161-162)
  19. APPENDIX FIVE APOLOGY FOR RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS
    (pp. 163-166)
  20. APPENDIX SIX APOLOGY TO THE NATIVE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED STATES
    (pp. 167-168)
  21. APPENDIX SEVEN STUDYING THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF NORTH AMERICA
    (pp. 169-174)
  22. GLOSSARY
    (pp. 175-182)
  23. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 183-188)
  24. INDEX
    (pp. 189-198)