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- A: Indian Gaming has been the subject of a recent study. Also, the Supreme Court recently decided a case that has serious repercussions for Indian gaming.
The Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison examined the effects of income increases associated with Indian gaming on health and poverty among American Indians. The study was conducted by an economist and sociologist and was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In 2005, 241 (out of 562) tribes had Class III gaming (the most profitable type). Gaming created jobs and stimulated the growth of other businesses that hired people (both Indians and non-Indians). Much of the tribes’ income from gaming went for health care for members. The real median household income on resrevations with gaming increased 35% from 1990-2000; on reservations without gaming, it increased 14% due to tribal sovereignty projects. The number of families living in poverty dropped by 7% among non-gaming tribes and 10% among tribes with gaming (compare this with the figure for the U. S., .8%). Unemployment dropped by 2.5% in non-gaming tribes and 5% among gaming tribes. This study also reported significant improvement in health conditions among tribes with gaming. There was a 9.6% decrease in smoking, and a 5.2% decrease in heavy drinking. Obesity, hypertension, and diabetes declined between 2-4%. See Indian Country Today 2, 22 (June 13, 2012).
A case in the Supreme Court involved the Gun Lake (Match-E-Be-Nish-She-Wish) Pottawatomi in Michigan (Salazar v. Patchak) and has important implications for all tribes. The federal government granted trust title to a small parcel of land where the Pottawatomi then built a casino. David Patchak, who opposes Indian casinos in Michigan, sued in August 2008 to stop the trust title process. This casino opened February 2011. This case is extremely important to all Native American tribes following the 2009 Carcieri ruling by the Supreme Court that the federal government can put land in trust only for tribes recognized under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. The Gun Lake Pottawatomi Tribe was recognized in 1998. Patchak based his claim on that Carcieri ruling. The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed a federal district court’s ruling that Patchak did not have standing and was barred from filing the case by the Quiet Title Act. This Act affirms the federal government’s right to hold title to Indian trust lands. Gun Lake and the U. S. Justice Department appealed the Court of Appeals’s ruling, arguing that the Quiet Title Act bars lawsuits attempting to overturn the federal government’s decisions to take title to lands in trust for tribes and that Patchak did not have standing. Gun Lake and other federally recognized tribes would have been protected in their efforts to develop their communities economically if the high court had ruled either that Parchak does not have standing to bring his case or that the Quiet Title Act protects the federal government from being divested of land. But on June 18, 2012 the court ruled 8-1 in Parchak’s favor. The case apparently will go back to the district court where Gun Lake may have to show that it would have met the criteria for federal recognition in 1934. Tribal legal observers commented that some justices on the Supreme Court were quite vocal in their opposition to the principle of tribal sovereignty. Justice Sotomayor’s dissent argued that the decision will allow private litigants with “perverse inclinations” to sue for possession of federal land. Tribes are pressing Congress to come up with a Carcieri fix that would affirm the federal government’s authority to take lands into trust for all federally recognized tribes. This Carcieri bill is currently stalled in Congress. See Indian Country Today 2, 18 (May 16, 2012).
- Q:UPDATE: New book on Grand Traverse Band of of Ottawa and Chippewa.
- A:Matthew L. M. Fletcher, a member of the Grand Traverse Band, has written The Eagle Returns: The Legal History of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (2012). The book discusses the treaties of 1836 and 1855, the loss of tribal land, the federal government’s abandonment of responsibility for the Ottawa and Chippewa in the 1870s, and the re-recognition of them by the federal government in 1980. The author also provides information on daily life; the struggle for treaty rights to hunting , fishing, and gathering on public lands; tribal government; and economic development projects (including gaming enterprises). Matthew Fletcher is Professor of Law and director of the Indigenous Law and Policy Center at Michigan State University College of Law.
- Q:How was the dirt dug [for mounds]? Carrying it in baskets is an insufficient answer. How was it dug to put in the baskets? Stone and bone (spatulas) is plausible, but do you know this, and how were the spade blades attached to a handle? How do you know that the dirt was carried in baskets? It could have been dragged on woven mats. But how do we know this? Sent Visser, Georgetown, Texas.
- A: Depending upon the earthwork, for construction the soil or dirt was dug with digging sticks, chipped stone hoes, or hoes made of the scapulae of large animals. The hoes were lashed to wooden handles with fibers, leather and/or sinew. Pitch could be used to help adhere the hoe to the handle. Clumps or “loaves” of soil or sod were dumped in layers to construct the earthen mounds. By the shapes and sizes of the loads of earth, one can discern that they were likely carried in baskets of similar sizes and shapes. Experimental archaeology has been carried out to construct mounds, and by analogy, it appears that baskets were used, matching the size and shapes of the loads found in investigated mounds. James R. Jones III, State Archaeologist, Indiana.
- Q:UPDATE: NEW SOURCE ON INDIAN EDUCATION.
- A:Pipestone: My Life in an Indian Boarding School by Adam Fortunate Eagle (2010) is a first-hand account of a child’s experiences at Pipestone Indian Training School in Minnesota from 1935 to 1945. Adam is an activist (leader of the Alcatraz Island takeover), advocate for California and urban Indians, artist, author of Heart of the Rock, teacher, and businessman. His account begins when he left his home on the Red Lake reservation in Minnesota to attend the Pipestone boarding school after his father died. Drawing on recollections, school newspaper stories, and interviews, he tells about his family, his summer vacations in the Ojibwa community at Red Lake, his work and other activities at the school, and his attitude toward the education he received at Pipestone. Adam experienced the boarding school after the Bureau of Indian Affairs implemented reforms as a result of the policy changes of the New Deal. The school encouraged or tolerated Indian language and cultural expression rather than punishing them. Pipestone opened in 1893 and closed in 1952, in preparation for the expected “termination” of Indian tribes. Dakota, Ojibwa, Sauk and Fox, Winnebago, Oneida, and Potawatomi children came to this school, as well as some children from the prairies to the west. Adam’s attitude toward the education he received there is positive, and he presents information about the later successes of his brothers, who also went to Pipestone. Laurence Hauptman wrote an Afterword to the book, making the point that Adam’s account of the boarding school complements other pre-New Deal studies of boarding school life and adds a new dimension by its inclusion of material on Indian employees at the school. Loretta Fowler, Editor
- Q: I would like to know where or who I would call to find my great grandmother’s Indian status. Donna, Boardman, Ohio.
- A:To find information about an Indian ancestor, you need to know that person’s name. It also would help to know where they lived and the names of spouses or relatives. If you know the name of the tribe to which you think your ancestor belonged, you can check the Indian Census rolls of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. These are online and also on microfilm (National Archives, Record Group 75, M595) and can be consulted at many libraries or at regional offices of the National Archives. For example, if you think you know your ancestor’s tribe, you could look through the census of that tribe (e. g., the Menominee or the Oneida) and try to find your ancestor’s name. Some tribes were enrolled on several agencies. The Ojibwa or Chippewa are such a group. In this case, you would have to look at census records from many agencies unless you know where your ancestor lived. You could check the records of the United States Census to try to find the name of your ancestor. Information on the census could include the state of birth or residence, which would help you narrow down the agencies where you might find your ancestor enrolled. Some libraries have subscription databases that can help you with this search: Ancestry.com or Heritage Quest. The Newberry Library has an excellent genealogy department (email@example.com) and the reference librarian can help you there. If you do not know the name of your ancestor, it is unlikely that you can find any record of the person. Of course, if you know the tribe or agency where your ancestor was enrolled, you could contact the tribal office. Tribal offices have enrollment departments that keep historical records. Loretta Fowler, Editor, Indians of the Midwest
- Q: UPDATE: NEW SOURCE ON INDIAN IMAGERY.
- A: The University of Oklahoma Press has published Winning the West with Words: Language and Conquest in the Lower Great Lakes (2011) by James Joseph Buss.
Historian James Buss explores the changing rhetoric about the development of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois statehood from 1795 into the 20th century. He draws on treaty council proceedings, settler petitions, newspapers, captivity narratives, county histories, exhibitions and pageants to show how White Americans developed narratives about the region’s occupants. Prior to 1812, settlers were portrayed as “white savages.” After several land cessions by Indians, Congress passed laws to allow settlers to buy “abandoned” lands. The settlers were portrayed as noble pioneers bringing civilization to a wilderness. Despite the fact of widespread Indian settlement and co-existence of White, Wyandot, Potawatomi, and Miami people, a narrative was created that denied the presence of Indians and that portrayed them as primitive and passive people whose long ago disappearance in the face of civilization and progress was inevitable. Buss demonstrates how this now-familiar narrative came to replace a more realistic story of cooperation, adaption, and violence between peoples of different cultures and how historical interpretation was used to advance colonialism. Loretta Fowler, Editor, “Indians of the Midwest, Past and Present” website.
- Q: I am writing a very large essay for my school, in which I was able to choose my topic. My topic is “How does the geography of the Sioux Indians contribute to their longtime survival? Could you maybe suggest some contributing factors? Or perhaps some first account books I should look into? Rebecca Swan, Atlanta, Georgia
- A:The Dakota Sioux occupied what is now southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin and as far west as eastern Iowa and South Dakota from 1650-1830. They had a longtime adaptation to the upper Mississippi River watershed. Other Sioux divisions (Teton and Yankton, for example) stayed farther west. The western half of the Upper Mississippi was a transitional prairie with clusters of trees and central Minnesota was a woodlands region. Some Dakota groups spent most of their time in the forested valleys of the Mississippi and lower Minnesota Rivers. Others concentrated on hunting in the prairies west of the Minnesota River. The Dakotas depended on hunting, gathering (including wild rice and maple syrup), and some gardening in the woodlands region. From the forest they used wood. bark, and plant fiber technologies. Groups farther west relied on hide and other byproducts of the hunt. Those groups that settled in the west traded with those in the east.Dakota survival depended on their adaptation to a unique ecosystem. Different resources were found in different areas of their territory at different times of the year, so they moved seasonally. There was an established subsistence cycle. In the fall, the Dakota in the Mississippi and Minnesota River valleys would gather wild rice in central Minnesota and women would gather berries, roots and nuts. In late fall and winter the men hunted in the forest and wetlands for deer, elk and migrating waterfowl, and they fished through the ice. Men also trapped animals so that they could sell the pelts to traders. In the spring, the Dakota went to fishing camps and maple tree stands. The men also hunted returning waterfowl and trapped, while the women gathered plants that ripened in the spring and tended corn fields. In the summer, they continued to fish and eventually went south to the lower Mississippi to hunt buffalo. The size of their settlements varied according to the type of subsistence activity in which they were engaged. In winter, settlements were smaller than in the summer. By 1850 the fur trade and American expansion had disturbed this pattern but basically the Dakota still were hunters and gatherers, although the buffalo had left the region so they were relying on deer.You can consult Ruth Landes, The Mystic Lake Sioux, Chapter 4, and Gary Anderson, Kinsmen of Another Kind, Chapter 1, for information on Dakota adaptation to their environment. You asked about first account books. If you have access to a university library, you could consult Louis Hennepin, Description of Louisiana, 1683 (pp. 224-54, 322-23) in translation (1938) and also Edmund and Martha Bray’s translation of Joseph N. Nicollet on the Plains and Prairies (1838-39), reprinted in 1993. Also Samuel Pond’s Dakota Sioux in Minnesota as They Were in 1834, reprinted in 1983, is an excellent source. Loretta Fowler, Editor, Indians of the Midwest Website
- Q: Can you recommend any good books for children that are between the ages of 3-5? Suzanna Zifkin, Evanston, Illinois
- A:Debbie Reese has a very good website that gives information about books for children and young people that deal with indigenous peoples, as well as resources for teaching. Three recommended books about an Ojibwa girl are The Birchbark House, The Game of Silence, and The Porcupine Year—all by Louise Erdrich. The Birchbark House (1999) is about the life of seven-year-old Omakayas (Little Frog) who lives on an island in Lake Superior in 1847. In The Game of Silence (2005) Omakayas’s story continues in 1850, when she learns of the arrival of the chimookomanag or white people. In this book, we learn about Ojibwa adaptation to seasonal changes, Omakaya’s vision quest, her family relationships, and her learning to read and write Ojibwa and English. In The Porcupine Year (2008), Omakaya is twelve. This story is set in 1852, when Omakaya and her family have been displaced from Madeline Island by the U. S. government and are traveling to find a new home. The website by Debbie Reese, Ph. D. (Nambe Pueblo), is American Indians in Children’s Literature (http://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.com)
Loretta Fowler, Editor, Indians of the Midwest Website
- Q: Can you please advise which college was the first to appropriate Native American mascots and which exact year? Gary Desantis, Tallahassee, Florida
- A:The question of the date of the adoption of American Indians as collegiate team mascots is not easily answered in definitive terms. Most people don’t realize that collegiate and professional team mascots are more or less a twentieth-century phenomenon. The issue complicating this question of adoption is the notion of ‘official’ adoption of a mascot versus a popular or student-based use of a nickname, logo, or mascot. Yale is generally acknowledged as the first college team to use any type of mascot, i.e. the bulldog “Handsome Dan,” in 1889, and soon other rivals would select their own mascots. It was not until the informal formation of college sports leagues at the beginning of the twentieth century that we began to see the common use of nicknames, logos, and mascots among sports teams. In professional sports logos like the Cleveland Indians’ infamous “Chief Wahoo” came about in the 1915 season (before that Cleveland’s team was known as the Spiders). Among colleges in the Midwest, St. Mary’s University in Minnesota introduced an Indian-themed logo (“Redmen”) in 1925, the University of Illinois at Urbana introduced their Indian mascot, Chief Illiniwek in 1926. Other institutions such as Central Michigan University would morph from the Dragons (1925) to the Bearcats (1927) to the Chippewa (1941). Mascots, nicknames, and logos are a the result of an evolution, mostly occurring in the 1920s. See Team Spirits: The Native American Mascot Controversy edited by C. Richard King and Charles Springwood and MASCOTS: The History of Senior College & University Mascots/Nicknames by Roy Yarbrough. Scott Manning Stevens, Director of the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies, Newberry Library, Chicago
- Q: What knowledge/schooling did the Stockbridge-Munsee tribe have? And, how were the Stockbridge-Munsee children raised? Matt Swortzel, Adell, WI
- A:The Stockbridge-Munsee homeland was in the part of today’s New York State along the lower Hudson River. Today, that stretch of river includes the cities of Albany, where the Mohawk River enters the Hudson, downstream to about Kingston and Poughkeepsie, New York. Before the 1730s, the Tribe called itself the “Muh-he-conn-nuck” people, a name that translates into English as the “people by the waters that are never still.” This was a reference to the tidal movement on the Hudson River, literally, waters that are not still. The Muh-he-conn-nuck people, shortened to “Mohican” by Europeans who heard the name, had informal schooling, rather than formal classrooms. Aunts and uncles were especially important in teaching children, not just mothers and fathers. The Muh-he-conn-nuck Tribe fought and sometimes cooperated with the Dutch who invaded what now is New York and called it “New Netherland.” The Dutch did not make much of an effort to teach the Muh-he-conn-nuck in formal schools. Instead, the Dutch concentrated on getting hold of the Tribe’s land along both banks of the Hudson River. The English who came to New Netherlands after the 1660s continued that effort at land acquisition from the Tribe.By the 1720s, the Tribe had lost most of its land along the Hudson River. The Tribe decided to move east (not west as did most tribes) to Massachusetts, where a religious mission promised them land and a school. It was a very unusual, and I think courageous decision by the Muh-he-conn-nuck people to move to a place, have their children learn English, learn to worship Jesus Christ, and learn other English ways. One change is that the Tribe took on the name of the English settlement for them in Massachusetts, “Stockbridge.”From 1734 onward, the Tribe has educated its children in formal schools. After 50-plus years in Massachusetts, the Stockbridge Indians left for New York State to live with the Oneida Indians. Again, the Stockbridge children went to school and learned English and, after 1783, “American” ways. The Stockbridge Tribe left Oneida, New York in the 1820s and came to Wisconsin, on the Fox River south of what is today Green Bay, near today’s Kaukauna. It is a measure of how well educated the Stockbridge Indians were that in 1828, one of the Tribe’s women, Ms. Electa Quinney, was the first public school teacher in Wisconsin at Kaukauna. There is a school today named for her. Also, while living at Kaukauna, some Munsee Indians from New York came to live among the Stockbridges. The Tribe welcomed them and became known as a combined people, Stockbridges and Munsee together. The combined Tribe left Kaukauna for a new settlement on the east side of Lake Winnebago in 1832. They named this settlement “Stockbridge” after their old one in Massachusetts. The Tribe stayed there until 1856 when it moved to the Town of Red Springs in Shawano County. At both Stockbridge, Wisconsin, and at Red Springs, Wisconsin, the Tribe ran its own schools.Later, at the end of the nineteenth century and into the first third of the twentieth century, some Stockbridge-Munsee children attended off-reservation federal Indian boarding schools. Some children went to the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, some to the Hampton Institute in Virginia, and some to Haskell Institute in Kansas. The greatest number of Stockbridge-Munsee children who attended boarding schools went to the Tomah Indian School in Wisconsin.Since 1934, Stockbridge-Munsee children have attended public schools in Shawano County, Wisconsin. Every child goes to school and is encouraged by the Tribe to finish high school, and consider post-secondary education such as community college or technical institute or university. Quite a few students attend campuses of the University of Wisconsin System, including at Eau Claire, where I teach. In the past few years, the most popular college choice among Stockbridge-Munsee high school graduates is College of the Menominee Nation, a four-year tribal college. Jim Oberly, Professor of History, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
- Q: I know that the Metis people or children of the French Fur
Traders and Native American women were instrumental to the settlement
of the Illinois Territory and former Nuevo Francois or New France
including portages at Chicago and vicinity, Green Bay, Madison,
Milwaukee, Portage, and Prairie du Chien as well as the Red River Cart
trade route that went from Western Canada to St. Paul, Minnesota
amongst other now cities. The great Indian Removal act of 1830 I
believe was the catalyst for the removal of the Metis as I understand
it, but it seems they were forgotten in the history books and
disappeared from sight in the US. I am Metis and few people have
heard of us although famous traders and places on the Mississippi
River carry French names? What do you think? Michael J. Neis, Clinton, Iowa
- A: First, it is certainly true that the importance of the French in colonizing and, to a lesser extent, settling the Great Lakes region and the Illinois country have been obscured by the victory of the British in 1763 and the subsequent victory of the United States in the American Revolution. [To the victor go the spoils…of history making.] You are also correct that the history of the Red River Metis and of the French fur trade beginnings of many major midwestern cities are largely unknown, as are the terms Metis and metis/metisse themselves. That has begun to change in the last 30 years and it is evident from your question that you have read some of the new literature on the subject.
- It is not true, strictly speaking, however that the Indian Removal Act of 1830 was responsible for the disappearance of the Metis or metis/metisse in the United States. The Act was written primarily to separate fertile Indian lands in the Southeast and Northeast from their Indian owners and was only partially applied to Great Lakes tribes, and then primarily to the southern half of the region where the pressure of white settlement and land speculation was greatest. The series of Indian land cession treaties written between 1816 and 1840 secured some tribal or band removals to territories west of the Missouri (the Shawnee, Potawatomi, Sauk and Mesquakie, and Winnebago, for example), but many or more tribes were able to hang onto ancestral lands, albeit reduced lands now encompassed within federal or state reservations. These early land cession treaties recognized and rewarded members of the fur trading elite and their mixed offspring by occasionally providing individual reserves for “half breeds,” but more often cash payments were offered to mixed ancestry relatives of tribal members. For a variety of reasons after 1840, including racial prejudice, lack of economic opportunity with the decline of the fur trade and the flood of white settlement, desire for community, and closeness to kin, many members of former fur trade families and settlements would eventually seek membership on tribal rolls and residence on or near the new Indian reservations of the Midwest. What is unclear in this shift in residence is whether these individuals also took on new identities or whether they had always been identified by themselves and others as Indian.Identity is often fluid, situational, even multiple, and it is impossible to answer with certainly whether, how, or when Great Lakes people of mixed ancestry identified themselves as Metis or metis/metisse, rather than as French Canadian, French, creole, American, Potawatomi, etc. at any particular moment in time. We know that the terms “half breed” and “mixed blood” pervade 19th century documents, but these terms did not necessarily have the same meanings as the French language terms Metis and metis/metisse. And that is the problem for contemporary researchers.Metis (with a capital M and sometimes without an accent mark) refers to members and their descendants of a new indigenous people aspiring to nationhood which coalesced on the Northeastern Plains along the Red, Saskatchewan and Assiniboine Rivers between 1800 and 1815. Initially, the members of this group were children of French-Canadian or Scots fur trade personnel and Cree and Ojibwa women. However, by the 1820s, based at the Red River Colony and at Pembina, N.D. the Metis were marrying one another and had formed an ethnic group with its own name, customs, material culture and language. While some Metis cultivated gardens and raised livestock, their primary economic strategy was the semi-annual buffalo hunt. By the last half of the 19th century, dwindling herds and the press of Canadian and American settlement led Metis hunters further and further west, creating diaspora communities in Saskatchewan and Montana. Meanwhile, armed attempts to gain secure land titles and a separate government failed in 1869 and again in 1885, ending in Metis leader Louis Riel’s hanging for treason. For the next century, until the Constitution Act of 1982, which named Indians, Inuits and Metis as Canada’s three aboriginal peoples, Metis descendants on both sides of the international border had no recognition or legal status as indigenous people, except when they married Indians and they and or their descendants were registered as members of an officially recognized Canadian band or United States tribe.The use of the terms metis/metisse until recently has been restricted to French speakers in Canada and refers to male and female members or descendants of the original Metis nation or ethnic group, now recognized as one of Canada’s aboriginal peoples. [To English speakers, this spelling may seem odd; however, in the French language, the names of ethnic and tribal groups are, by convention, not capitalized.] In the last few decades in the United States, the French language terms metis/metisse (meaning “mixed”) have been used in reference to individuals of mixed French-Indian ancestry who have no direct connection to the historical Metis or their descendants, or as a synonym for “half breed” or “mixed blood.” The substitution of French language terms for English terms has added confusion to an already complicated and geographically diverse history. Jacqueline Peterson, Professor Emerita of History, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA
- Q: Question 4 about Indians who remained in Chicago after the 1830s (sent by Rachel O’Malley of Chicago), which appeared in October, was answered by Professor Grant Arndt from the perspective of “Native Americans” in Chicago. Here is an answer to the question from the point of view of “Potawatomis.”
- A: My dissertation “Chicago’s First Urban Indians – the Potawatomi” explores this question and expands upon the information provided by Professor Arndt. The Pokagon Potawatomi negotiated the ability to stay near Chicago in the 1833 Treaty of Chicago. They remain in southwest Michigan and northwest Indiana to this day and their service area, by federal legislation, abuts the city limits of Chicago. We also know that Simon Pokagon was a featured speaker at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Simon Pokagon was also a regular guest of Gold Coast High Society. A chapter of the Improved Order of Red Men, a fraternal organization of the era) was formed in Edgewater in 1903 and named after Simon and his father Leopold. Simon’s son Charles Pokagon led encampments of Great Lakes Indians at Lincoln Park in 1903 to assert and maintain a Native connection to Chicago and in fact, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi sued the City of Chicago for possession of the city lakefront. The lawsuit proceeded to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1917. (Chief Williams vs. the City of Chicago, et al.). Pokagon Potawatomi tribal member Leroy Wesaw continued this tradition of connections to the city with his involvement with the Chicago American Indian Center after his arrival in 1951. One of his more visible activities was mentoring the nationally recognized American Indian Center’s Chicago Canoe Club in the 1960′s and 70′s.The Pokagon Potawatomi, who participated in the re- dedication of “The Battle of Fort Dearborn Park” more recently, are represented in the bricolage mural on Foster Avenue at the Lakeshore Drive underpass, and the Pokagon Potawatomi tribal flag hangs in the auditorium of the Chicago American Indian Center alongside the flags of many others representing the diversity of tribal members now in Chicago. John N. Low, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of History and Programs in American Studies and Legal Studies, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
- Q: What effect did the formation of reservations in the Great Lakes have on the kinship networks of the Potawatomi, Ojibwa, and Ottawa, given the frequent intermarriage prior to French invasion? Brandon Cassady, Vienna, Virginia
- A: This is a very interesting question. I would begin by saying that I don’t know that empirical data has ever been collected with this question in mind though Susan Sleeper-Smith might have some thoughts about this as well. Secondly, that a number of factors are relevant when considering this question. For example, we should keep in mind that as the Ojibwe reservations were established, for example, Indian people continued to live on lands that were not part of reservations and they continued to travel between communities for a variety of reasons, one of which was to find mates. Another factor that would encourage intertribal intermarriage would be the de facto segregation that dominant society imposed upon Indian people. That is to say that though there was marriage with non-Indians at fairly high rates, families also pressured their children to find Indian spouses. And here tribal enrollment criteria plays a role. As tribal membership grew in value in the later part of the twentieth century–and this would be a long-term outcome of reservation policy–there was pressure to find spouses to keep up the blood quantum of the children. For some tribes this meant finding a partner within the local community, for others it meant finding a mate who was Indian. In all, I would expect that intermarriage rates remain close to what they have always been albeit shaped by a different set of historical forces. Larry Nesper, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin, Madison
- Q: How far east and south did Lakota or Dakota people live prior to European contact? Were they peaceful with other tribes or warlike? Steve Campbell, Le Grand, Iowa
- A: Dakota villages in the early 17th century were mostly along the upper Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers,With hunting zones extending northward into the Crow Wing River valley, and eastward nearly into the headwaters of the St. Croix Rivers. There likely was an outpost village on the south side of Mille Lac Lake, but that is not completely supportable by the documents. Pierre Charles Le Sueur came up the Mississippi River in 1700 and noted the movementof their towns into the west, obviously in response to the vast buffalo herds that ranged into central Minnesota. Le Sueur wintered on the Blue Earth River, near present-day Mankato, and listed the various Dakota bands, as well as bands that later would be identified as Yanktons and Tetons. The latter were given as a group–he likely did not have contact with them as they were already approaching the Missouri River in the west. The southern-most band was that often identified later with Wabasha’s, and it had considerable contact with Winnebagos in Wisconsin. These people were intermarried to some degree, although it is difficult to determine how much. Gary C. Anderson, Professor of History, University of Oklahoma, NormanWarfare was deeply integrated into Dakota and Lakota culture. Men were expected to go to war, to kill enemies and to steal horses in order to prove their bravery. Before a young man married, he was expected to perform deeds in war, and especially to bring back horses that he would present to the family of his intended bride [by late 18th century]. The Dakota and Lakota formed a loose alliance among all their constituent bands and they warred at different times with almost all the other tribes who were their neighbors, including other tribes of the Siouan language family. These wars were often interrupted by temporary periods of peace during which trade took place between tribes that were more usually hostile to one another. Competition over hunting grounds and for control of trade networks, particularly after the arrival of European traders, was also a motivation for intertribal warfare.
Raymond J. DeMallie, Professor of Anthropology, Indiana University, Bloomington
- Q: What has happened with the Miami tribe’s effort to gain state recognition in Indiana? Laurel Marshall, Indianapolis, IN
- A: In 2011 a bill was introduced in the Indiana General Assembly to grant state recognition to the Miami Nation of Indiana. The bill (S0311) also provided that the Miami would not have authority to negotiate with a state or federal government on tribal sovereignty issues, nor would the Miami be able to operate gaming on tribal land. The bill further provided that the Miami would not be entitled to any state benefits unless the benefit is specifically conferred to them by statute. The bill also provided that the Miami Nation of Indiana would have the authority to determine its membership. The bill did not make it out of committee, so it was not passed. October 2011
- Q: What did the Midwest Indian population look like in the 1800s and what does it look like today? Andrea Morris, Lone Tree, Colorado
- A:The census of 1890 reported 26,273 Indians in the Midwest. There were 97 “self-supporting and taxed” Indians in Illinois; 343 “self-supporting and taxed” Indians(mostly Miami) in Indiana; 193 “self-supporting and taxed” Indians in Ohio. In Michigan, there were 5,624 Ojibwa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi (considered “self-supporting”). Minnesota had 10,096 Indians (8,208 on Ojibwa reservations and 1,888 off-reservation and “self-supporting”). In Wisconson, there were 6,085 on reservations (Ojibwa, Menominee, Oneida, and Stockbridge-Munsee) and 3,835 off- reservation and “self-supporting.” Indians Taxed and Indians Not Taxed in the United States, 11th Census, 1890 (Department of Interior, Census Office, 1894).The Census of 2010 reports 322,789 American Indian and Alaskan Native (self-reported) in this area today, many of whom came to the Midwest from other regions: Illinois 46,385 (6,247 native to the region); Indiana 25,925 (3,507 native); Ohio 48,568 (4,239 native); Michigan 88,002 (50,764 native); Wisconsin 49,671 (38,423 native); and Minnesota 64,238 (53,436 native).
- Q: Are there connections between the mound builders and other societies contemporary with them but from more remote regions—American Southwest, Mexico, etc.? Deborah Lew, Los Gatos, California
- A: Archaeologists have for years wondered about connections between Mound Builder cultures and the far-off regions of the American Southwest and Mexico. There are strong hints of connections in artwork and a few in objects, primarily dating to the Middle Woodland or Hopewell period and the early Mississippian or Cahokian period. But there was no regular trade between these remote peoples. For instance, there are certain ornaments or practices found about 2000 years ago, such as the wearing of earspools by prominent Hopewellian people, that suggest some awareness of Mexican dress or ritual. Clearly we know that the Hopewell people sometimes traveled great distances (up to 2000 miles out into Yellowstone National Park). Later, during the Mississippian period, it appears that certain Southwestern and Mexican ideas entered the Mississippi valley again. Possibly, these were parts of stories that traveled with corn, which was probably reintroduced into the Mississippi valley in the year AD 800 from the Southwest. There are some pots made by Mississippian potters in Arkansas that were clearly inspired by Puebloan pots. Also, there is one piece of Mexican obsidian (a sharp black volcanic glass) at the Mississippian site of Spiro, in Oklahoma. In addition, a series of human-head ear ornaments and special flint daggers at the great site of Cahokia, in Illinois, look like local copies of Mexican objects. Again, indigenous people during this time were probably well aware of the fact that there were cities in Mexico or Pueblos in the Southwest, and might even have traveled there from time to time. Timothy R. Pauketet, Professor of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana
- Q: Were there any Potawatomi (or other Native Americans) who remained in the Chicago area following the removal period? Rachel O’Malley, Chicago, Illinois
- A: Two years after ceding their territory in the 1833 Treaty of Chicago, citizens of the Potawatomi Nation began to emigrate to reservation land west of the Mississippi. By 1840, only a few Métis (French-Indian) individuals and families remained, but soon faded into the city’s growing population. While many Indian peoples must have come to the city at least temporarily for trade or work as it grew over subsequent decades, it is not until 1870 that a continued American Indian presence in Chicago can be documented. In that year’s census, western Cook county resident Monike Bosley was identified as “Indian.” Her place of birth was listed as Illinois, but no tribal affiliation was indicated. 1918 saw the creation of the city’s first Indian organization, the Indian Fellowship League, which had members from 35 tribal groups. The Indian Council Fire was founded a few years later in 1923 and brought together Indian and non-Indian residents of Chicago. One of its key early leaders was Scott Henry Peters, an Ojibwe businessman who resided in the Chicago suburbs. By 1940, the city’s total official Indian population, according to the census, was 274. It was not until the start of the federal “Voluntary Relocation Program” in 1952 that the Native American population in the city began to approach the 6,000 who had gathered for the signing of the 1833 treaty. Grant Arndt, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Iowa State University