Academic journal article Ethnic Studies Review

Mary B. Davis, Ed. Native America in the Twentieth Century: An Encyclopedia

Academic journal article Ethnic Studies Review

Mary B. Davis, Ed. Native America in the Twentieth Century: An Encyclopedia

Article excerpt

This extensive tome, packed with up-to-date information on contemporary Native Americans, is a veritable mother lode for students, teachers, and researchers in American Indian Studies. Scholars in general ethnic studies will find the data useful for comparative work with other ethnic groups. This single-volume encyclopedia should be snapped up by all public and tribal libraries as well as schools and universities wanting to provide their clienteles with sources that are increasingly sought by educational institutions with multicultural curriculum needs and business or administrative offices responding to diversity goals.

Nearly three hundred scholars contributed to this volume. Of these resource persons, an impressive thirty-nine percent have American Indian tribal affiliations. Recognized American Indian contributors include Jeanette Henry Costo, Vine Deloria, Jr., Jack D. Forbes, and LaDonna Harris. The roster of widely-read non-Indian scholars includes A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff, Omer C. Stewart, William E. Unrau, and Andrew H. Whiteford.

As one would expect, this encyclopedia has summary statements for American Indian tribes ranging alphabetically from Abenaki to Zuni, including a good number of small local groups not always included in overview sources. These summaries do not, of course, substitute for the longer historical and ethnographic essays included in the multi-volume Handbook of North American Indians sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution. But unfortunately, after more than twenty years, several announced volumes in this series still have not been published. Beyond that matter, this encyclopedia tends to have more current information and preferred tribal designations. This fact assists readers in knowing, for example, that many Ojibwa and Chippewa prefer to be called Anishinabe, the Pee-Posh used to be labeled Maricopa, the Tohono O'odham referred to as Papago, and the Mesquaki designated as the Fox. On the broader scene, the editors follow the preferences of individual contributors in allowing the synonymy of Native American, Native, American Indian, and Indian. The essays on specific tribes go far in disavowing any naive ideas that American Indians are a "vanishing" people. …

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