First Exam Study Guide Questions - ANTH 329 North American Indians

Subject To Change


Focus on sections 1 and 2 - Methodology and Winds of Change.  Consult Schedule for reading assignments, PDF handouts, lecture points, web links, and supplemental materials.  The strongest graded essays will be those that are able to integrate examples and references from the lecture materials with textbook readings, and present them in a poignant, insightful manner.

A.  Introduction and Pedagogy 

1. What are the key points developed in the "Tin Shed/Wagon Wheel" essay that relate to you as a student in this class and your quest to better understand the American Indian experience?    How does the "Tin Shed/Wagon Wheel" pedagogy differ from a more typical Euro-American pedagogy?

2.  According to Oswalt, what criteria can be applied in defining who is an "Indian"?

B. Landscape and Geography

1.  How is the landscape and geography of Indian country understood and articulated differently by an Euro-American and an Indian perspective?   What distinguishes each perspective?   

2.  Be able to draw out a map of North America (free style), and place on it the key rivers and mountains as presented in class, and place the tribal names and their affiliated culture area and languages of any Six North American tribes we plan to focus on this semester.     According to Oswalt, what is a "culture area," and what are its limitations as an analytical construct and means of classifying Indian cultures?

C. Euro-American Contact

1.  Outline the key significant Euro-American contact events effecting the indigenous populations and cultures of North America (as presented in class).   For each of these contact events, when did it occur, and identify the prevailing Euro-American cultural value(s) contributing to these events, and identify the prevailing type of change scenario that resulted.  

a. What were the prevailing underlying intentions (as expressions of cultural values) of United States Federal Policy toward the Indian before 1932?   In this context, discuss the nature of United States "treaty" formation and relationship with Indian tribes, as well as the Dawes Act. 

b. What were the prevailing underlying intentions (as expressions of cultural values) of United States Federal Policy toward the Indian after 1932?   In this context, discuss the Indian Reorganization Act, Self-Determination Act, and Native American Religious Freedom Act, as well as Termination policy and the Lyng Supreme Court Decision.  What were their key features?  What were their primary consequences?

c. What was the impact of European-introduced diseases, such as smallpox, as well as of the horse on the Indian peoples and their societies?

2.  Define Tribal sovereignty, and consider its implications for Indian communities today.  In this context, also discuss the development and issues associated with "political activism" and "tribal self-determination."

3.  How are we to define "traditionalism," and what are it implications for tribal peoples today?

Return to ANTH 329 Syllabus