The Encyclopedia of North American Indians - Vol. 7

The Encyclopedia of North American Indians - Vol. 7

The Encyclopedia of North American Indians - Vol. 7

The Encyclopedia of North American Indians - Vol. 7

Excerpt

McNICKLE, D'ARCY (1904–1977)

D'Arcy McNickle, a metnher of the Confederated Salish (or Flathead) and Kootenai Tribes, was horn in St. Ignatius on the Flathead Indian Reservation western Montana. When he was of school age, he was sent to a federal Indian hoarding school in Chemewa, Oregon, where he and other children were often punished for speaking their Indian languages. This was not uncommon in the early part of the twentieth century.

After high school, at the age of seventeen, D'Arcy McNickle attended the University of Montana, where he studied anthropology and history, and then spent a year (1925–1926) at Oxford University in England.

McNickle wrote many hooks, including four hooks on American Indian culture and history, but he is best known for his novel The Surrounded, in which a young Indian man named Archilde, just like McNickle himself, returns to the reservation where he grew up after years of being away living in large cities. In the novel, which was published in 1936, McNickle's own life is the model for the story, which takes place on the Flathead Indian Reservation on which he was born and raised. The book is a fairly true account of life on reservations where people are poor and are not well educated.

Later, McNickle served as an administrator in the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), as a professor of anthropology at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, as the founding director of the Newberry Library Center for the History of the American Indian, and as one of the founders of the National Congress of American Indians.

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