The Indian in American Society
Dr. Robert Sanderson
Vine Deloria, Jr., God Is Red (1994)
The course begins with a review of U.S. Indian policy and crucial events preceding the enactment of the “Wheeler-Howard Act of 1934.” Students should be prepared to focus on issues of tribal reorganization, land tenure and Indian identification that followed a period of upheaval resulting from the General Allotment Act of 1887, and other U.S. Federal Indian policies, which were produced to destroy the indigenous civilizations that inhabit North America. Following this review of Indian history, students will analyze the reform movement, with its emphasis on cultural pluralism, which resulted in the reconstitution of many tribal entities that continue to this day.
Although the course covers about a seventy-year span of history, the events within that period have played an important role in delineating the social, political and cultural distinctiveness of people regarded as Native Americans. In particular, students should discover the forces which underlie American politics and Indian policy; the impact of tribal assertions of sovereignty on U.S. government and Indian relations; the impact of historical events on the artistic, literary, social development of Native Americans. In addition, students will survey the role of Indians in major events such as World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars, the American civil rights movement, the American Indian Movement and the current struggles over issues of land use and other “Indian” rights.
The primary objective of the course is to analyze, via discussion of relevant literature and scholarly presentations, the Indian in American society from the period of the Indian New Deal to the present. Although the content of the course is presented in a historical format, it is designed to be an inter-disciplinary study of Native American life. Overall, students should conclude this course with a clearer understanding of the events and forces which have led to issues presently confronting Native and non-Native Americans: hunting and fishing rights, water rights, forest and other land use, religious freedom, economics, and tribal sovereignty.
It is the policy of UALR to accommodate students with disabilities, pursuant to federal and state law. Any disabled student who needs accommodation, for example, in seating placement or in arrangements for examinations, should inform the instructor at the beginning of the course. The chair of the department offering this course is also available to assist with accommodations. Disabled students are also encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Support Services, located in the Donaghey Student Center, telephone 569-3143.