Can you really learn American history without studying American Indian involvement?

I have written and stated many times that American Indian tribes and Indigenous Peoples need to write their own histories because the mainstream academy and historians almost totally ignore the participation, involvement, and influence of Indigenous Peoples on world history and United States history.

Thus, I am especially delighted to participate in the following conference being held Friday, May 3, 2013 to Saturday, May 4, 2013 at the Newberry Library in Chicago Ruggles Hall.  The public is welcome and attendance is free.

The symposium is entitled – Why You Can’t Teach U.S. History without American Indians

The poster for the conference states in part:  "For generations U.S. historians wrote the nation’s story as if Indians did not exist, or at best, they marginalized Indian peoples as unimportant actors in the national drama of revolution and democratic state formation. Despite the large number of faculty trained in American Indian history very little has changed and most college level students who enroll in large survey courses in U.S. history learn about Indians during the initial stages of encounter and then, Indians are often depicted as succumbing to epidemic diseases or being pushed off their lands by westward expansion.

The mission of this symposium is to change how historians teach U.S. history. . . . Repeatedly, we hear faculty proclaim that they would include Indians if they were more central to mainstream history. This symposium intends to challenge that perspective and to provide a new expanded resource for college level faculty.

Scholars will present papers that suggest how Indians can be better integrated into the way we teach and study US history . . . . We hope that this symposium will provide a public, academic forum for new interpretations of past events, from an Indian perspective, and we plan to publish selected papers in a volume that will be geared toward classroom teaching. . . ."

Friday, May 3, 2013, 9 am – 3 pm

Session One: Land, Borders, and Sacred Spaces
Session Two: Religious Freedom, Citizenship, and Education
Session Three: Colonial to Early Republic
Session Four: The Opening of the West

Saturday, May 4, 2013, 9 am – 3 pm

Session Five: The Civil War Era
Session Six: Reconstruction and the Progressive Era
Session Seven: From the Indian New Deal to the Postwar Era
Session Eight: Civil Rights, Indigenous Rights
 

The symposium is free and open to the public. RSVP to mcnickle@newberry.org by April 26, 2013.

Read more: http://www.newberry.org/why-you-cant-teach

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