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Speaking of the people: Authenticating representations of Native American culture

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  1. Introduction - Archaeologists and Native Americans.
  2. The Native American populace of the United States.
  3. The anthropological text 'Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language among the Western Apache People'.
    1. The authors respect for the knowledge and customs that the Western Apaches possess.
    2. The lack of cultural knowledge.
    3. A solution to the lack of knowledge.
    4. The humanity of the personal experience and the relationship to the land.
  4. The cultural partitions of perspective.
    1. David J. Weber's What Caused the Pueblo Revolt of 1680?
    2. The tension between the Pueblo and Franciscan missionaries.
    3. Misinformed and carefree non-Native American scholars.
  5. Reparations.
    1. The development of dialogue.
    2. Respect of the Western Apache people.
    3. Appropriate compensation.
  6. Conclusion.

Archaeologists and Native Americans have an interesting relationship in this present day. They are both contesting for the same properties (except for the ?property? of the Native American oral tradition). In this nation of immigrants, Native American culture and peoples have long been an interest to all Americans. While the early colonists frequently collected Native American relics and returned them to Europe, Anglo-Americans in later centuries began collecting them in domestic museums and discussing them in American anthologies. In the earliest contacts, and even until this present day, Native American culture is not receiving thorough understanding, but it is often marketable and subject to generalizations. Consequently, the question persists, who has rights to these artifacts? Moreover, who has the greatest knowledge of these artifacts?

[...] A first step to overcoming the concerns between the Native American and Anglo-American philosophies is the development of dialogue. As previously stated, many problems arise between cultures because of lack of respect. Lack of respect often occurs because of a lack of knowledge. This was true of one researcher whom Vine Deloria Jr. met. seemed completely incapable of knowing when he was being given facts and when he was hearing gossip? (460). The false publications of this researcher can be regarded as disrespectful because of the harm that it did to the persons it examined. [...]


[...] Another prominent force against the wholly authentic representation of Native Americans is misinformed and carefree non-Native American scholars. Deloria has the following argument: original complaint against researchers was that they seem to derive all the benefits and bear no responsibilities for the way in which their findings are used. In making this accusation I said that scholars should be required to put something back into the Indian community, preferably some form of financial support so the community can do a few things it wants to (459). [...]


[...] One example of this is the popular sources of Native American history within the United States, particularly within public educational systems. Anglo-Americans often write the textbook entries of the Native American history and experience. Thus, not only is this a one-sided portrayal of Native American people, but it is also an external commentary that lacks the humanity of personal experience. The humanity of the personal experience and the relationship to the land are especially crucial to Native Americans. In his text, Basso recalls, late August, shortly before I must leave Cibecue, Nick asks to see the maps. [...]

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