The Missoulian newspaper ran a story on Wednesday about a group of Indian scholars who gathered for a week on the Flathead Reservation to work on how to tell the full history of the United States by including Native peoples.
The entire story is here:
It says in part: “At a vacation rental east of Polson, . . . seven scholars from across the nation who have gathered this week, not so much to rewrite history as to, at long last, tell it from their perspective.
They are all Indians.
And they are in on the ground floor of an ambitious project spearheaded by Julie Cajune to produce a history textbook for high school and college classrooms within the next 2 1/2 years that will move Native peoples out from the backdrop they often occupy in traditional U.S. history textbooks.
. . . It will be designed, she says, to be a companion to traditional U.S. history textbooks, not replace them.
Here in Montana, Cajune says, it will help teachers and schools comply with the Indian Education for All Act, which requires public schools to include curricula about the history, culture and contemporary status of the state’s Indian population.”
The seven academics at the gathering were Professor Myla Vicenti Carpio at Arizona State University, Professor Steven Crum of the University of California-Davis, Professor Donald Grinde of the University of Buffalo-SUNY, Professor George Price of the University of Montana, Professor Robert Miller of Lewis & Clark Law School, Professor Kate Shanley of University of Montana, and Professor Annette Reed of Sacramento State University.
The article continued: “Grinde, an expert on the Iroquois Confederacy and the Great Law of Peace, is being shadowed for a couple of days while he’s in Polson by documentary filmmaker Jamie Redford, son of actor and director Robert Redford. The younger Redford is working on a film about how the Iroquois’ democratic ideals inspired the framers of the U.S. Constitution.
Miller, a law professor who has written two books on the Doctrine of Discovery, says too much of history has been sanitized for students. “They want the sweetness, the stories of George Washington throwing a silver dollar across the Potomac and cutting down the cherry tree,” says Miller, a citizen of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.
But, he goes on, much of history is “an ugly, violent story,” portions of which are swept under the rug in many textbooks.
In Polson this week, seven scholars are lifting up the rug and deciding what needs to be pulled out from under it so that students have a better understanding of Indian people.”