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ERIC Number: EJ904572
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 40
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0095-182X
"The Question Which Has Puzzled, and Still Puzzles": How American Indian Authors Challenged Dominant Discourse about Native American Origins in the Nineteenth Century
Howey, Meghan C. L.
American Indian Quarterly, v34 n4 p435-474 Fall 2010
This article examines the ways American Indian authors, particularly three contemporary Anishinaabeg writers, engaged with the question of Native American origins during the racially polarized project of "imagining" the nation of the United States throughout the 19th century. In this article, the author argues that American Indian authors had a keen understanding of the political and racial implications the varied answers European Americans were offering about their origins held for their communities. By tackling dominant origin theories, they interrupted the white-supremacist discourse surrounding the topic. Their answers were crafted delicately so as to be salient to their predominantly white audiences and yet also actively promote indigenous sovereignty, a sovereignty inherent in peoplehood. This peoplehood was "inseparably linked to sacred traditions, traditional homelands, and a shared history as indigenous people. The primary focus of this article is on three Anishinaabeg writers: Kahkewaquonaby (Peter Jones), Kahgegagahbowh (George Copway), and William Whipple Warren, who were, for the most part, writing contemporaneously (between the mid-1830s and 1850s) and who were each embroiled in fights against colonial land grabs and removal policies focused on their communities in Canada and the United States during this period. (Contains 89 notes.)
University of Nebraska Press. 1111 Lincoln Mall, Lincoln, NE 68588-0630. Tel: 800-755-1105; Fax: 800-526-2617; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; United States