Study Guide

Learning Activities


Plateau Indians 

ANTH 422/522, AIST 422, RELS 422 - Fall 20

Schedule of Course Topics, Exam and Other Important Dates,
and Reading Assignments

Tentative, Subject to Change

Crow Lodge on the U of I campus, October of 2000

  1. August 25 - September 8 - Methodology: The Approach and Perspective

  2.   (4 sessions)


  3. September 10 - 24 - Winds of Change: Contact with Euro-American Peoples - (Contact History Riverbed) (7 sessions):  Start from sovereignty and one reply. 1. Emerging American Cultural Values; Culture Contact Scenarios: Pluralism (incorporation and compartmentalization) and Assimilation (adoption, syncretism, revitalization and disintegration); 2. The Horse and Smallpox; Lewis and Clark and the Fur Trader; 3. Missionaries – 1831, Saint Louis and Catholics; Spalding and Whitman and Presbyterians; 1842 and the "Black Robes"; Boarding Schools (questions and outline); 4. Treaties/Executive Orders, Wars, and the Dawes Act (outline); 5. Mining and Environmental Degradation; 6. Smohalla, Washat, and the Seven Drums Religion; 7. Indian Reorganization Act and Religious Freedom Act; Reservation Life: economy, education, government, religion; Growth of Tribal sovereignty: Salmon, David SoHappy and Fishing rights, Gaming and Casinos, Constitution of 1948 – Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee; and Self-Determination include current population and other key issues (outline); 11. Traditionalism in the face of assimilation and cultural genocide; the Wounded . What is your response to Bobbie White's question, "what is the meaning of traditional.?

    • Cliff SiJohn interview (Web, approx. 60 min., Coeur d'Alene elder provides overview of history and culture and "heart knowledge," follow the links) 

    • History sections from the Nez Perce, Coeur d'Alene, Warm Springs, and Umatilla Web L3 Modules

    • Surviving Lewis and Clark: the Nimíipuu Story (35 min., a great introduction to the history of the Nez Perce Tribe, a 2006 film)

    • Sacred Journey of the Nez Perce (60 min., a wonderful overview of some of the Tribes most important history, with reference to Lewis and Clark, Rev. Spalding and the Christian mission, and the Treaties of 1855 and 1863.  With a great chronicle summary of the War of 1877 and its continuing significance for Tribal members today.  All presented by Tribal elders and leaders.  An Idaho Public Television 1996 production.)

    • Hatiya (26 min., life on the Umatilla Reservation ca 1890s)

    • Sacred Mission - 1878-1985 (24 min., interviews of Coeur d'Alenes who experienced the many sides of the Boarding School; produced by the Coeur d'Alene Tribe and directed by Georgia Johnson in 2006)

    • David SoHappy (50 min., the 1982 "salmon scam" on the Columbia)

    • Bush on Tribal Sovereignty (on the difficulty in defining Tribal Sovereignty.  YouTube)

C.  September 29 - December 10 - The World of the Nimíipuu (Nez Perce) and Schitsu’umsh (Coeur d’Alene) - (Indigenous - Animal Peoples Riverbed) (18 sessions all together)

1. Preparing the World for the Coming of the Human Peoples - The Gifts Embedded in the Landscape and the Oral Traditions (4 sessions)Amo'tqn and Haniyaẁá∙t, the Creator; the Titwa-tityá-ya, First Peoples/Animal Peoples: Coyote, Salmon, Crane, Rabbit and Jack Rabbit, Chief Child of the Yellow Root, and "Preparing the world of the coming of Human Peoples";  "Landscape" inlayed with the "bones" (Mi'yp and Tamálwit ) – Monsters overcome/transformed, Mountains, Rivers and Lakes etched in, embedded with "gifts" of Camas and Deer, Suumesh and Weyekin, and Tamálwit "the Law, and Mi'yp "Teachings" - culminating in Hnkhwelkhwlnet "our ways of life in the world"

The Tamálwit - the Ontological Principles –  Unity and Relationality (ye, “family” and kinship with all), Equality, Transcendence (Hewlé∙xhewlex, “spirit”), Meaning, Life-force, Qualitative, Mystery, Participatory,

The Mi'yp and the Ethic of Sharing and Ethic of Competition (k’e, “to give and share [food] with others), lessons from Coyote;

Human People's Goal in Life and the Means to Realize that Goal (issues of responsibility, varied paths and a way of life); Walking many paths in our life and avoiding the "mutually exclusive" and considering the "Medicine Wheel" and snukwnkhwtskhwts’mi’ls ł stsee’nidmsh “empathetic adaptability" 

outlines  ontology   human

2.  Gifts Received and Shared: Perpetuating the World

a.  Relations with the First Peoples - Storytelling, the Oral Traditions, and Ways of Knowing (4 sessions): 'Me'y'mi'y'm, "telling stories," Titwatí∙sa, “re-telling my stories.”  Issues of Translation and Interpretation: Techniques of Storytelling; Orality and Literacy; Power in Words; Purposes of the Traditions and Coyote Re-considered: Integrative, Educate, Entertain, Creative, but not Explanatory; Toward further appreciation and understanding an Indigenous Epistemology - Heart Knowledge  outline

b. Relations with the Animal, Fish and Plant Peoples - Seasonal Round and Home Territories (3 sessions):  Key: Gregorian Calendar vs Nimíipuum inmiiwit, and qéḿes (camas), lé∙wliks (salmon or any fish), ˀímes (deer), and cemí∙tx (huckleberries).  Digging the Camas, Fishing the Salmon, Gathering the Huckleberries, Hunting the Deer, Collecting the Cedar and Tule Reeds, and the Associated Ceremonials.  Spring: subsistence (gathering and roots), intertribal relations (language, trade and warfare) — Summer: subsistence (fishing and salmon, and buffalo); home territory and travel with horse; clothing, housing and tules, and canoes; religion (vision quest, shamans and healing) — Fall and Winter: subsistence (animals and hunting); social organization (villages, marriage, band leaders, peace and war leaders, and councils; arts, stick game and entertainment; storytelling Creation Stories and the Oral Traditions, e.g., the Coyote Cycle from Celilo Falls to the Heart of the Monster.   presentation materials

c.  Relations with the Human Peoples - the Family (3 sessions): ye, “family.” Intertribal Relations; Chiefs and Kinsmen: headmen, bands, family, gender, elders, and giveaways; Handgame: a family tradition

d.  Relations with the Spirit Peoples - Its Home and Returning to the Mountains  (The Gifts and Oral Traditions re-visited; 4 sessions): Suumesh and Weyekin: Its context and nature; How acquired; What's in a Name? Vision Questing and rites of passage; How and ways applied: Pow Wow (song, dance and regalia) and Stick Game, Sweat House, Jump Dance and the Spirit Dance, Health, Healing and the Medicine Man; Efficacy; Death, Wake and Memorial Give Away, and Preparing the Camp.  The goals in life and means to those goals.  "To run with the Coyote."      questions

Events and Activities include:

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