Volume 3, Issue 1, Fall 2006
A Publication of: Native American Studies Program
5706 Aubert Hall, Suite 327
Orono, ME 04469
Table of Contents
|.1. Director's message & coming events|
|2. Spring & Summer 2007 course schedule|
|3. Federal recognition, by gkisedtanamoogk|
|4. NAS 102, by John Bear Mitchell|
|5. NAS is for everyone, by Maureen E. Smith|
|6. Wabanaki Summer Institute 2006|
|7. LD 291 website, by Debi Colbert & Julie Nowell|
|8. NAS Graduate Student Laura Geoghegan|
|9. NAS minor students|
|10.Profile of Nicholas Smith|
A Member of the University of Maine System
MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR-Fall 2006
Dr. Maureen E. Smith (Oneida)
Director of Native American Studies
Associate Professor of History
University of Maine
Seeking the wisdom of the past with the knowledge
of the future - This month Turtle Talk is looking at both the past and the future
American Studies at the University of Maine. Native Studies is a growing discipline as it moves into the 21st century and Native American Studies at
the University of Maine is about to turn ten! As we reflect on where we started from, it is indeed an accomplishment to see where we are today. We have grown in the number of courses we offer, as well as the number of people we are able to employ to teach the courses. It is an exciting time to be part of Native American Studies.
This month we highlight NAS 102: Introduction to Wabanaki Culture, History, and Contemporary Issues. This course is critical to the program and John Mitchell has been teaching this course for the past few years.Read about his insights on the course. Another individual who has taught for us for a few years, gkisedtanamoogk, writes about his tribe's struggle to gain federal recognition and all that is entailed in that process. A man who has furthered the field of Native Studies with his dedication to it, and the Wabanaki in particular, Nicolas Smith, discusses his phenomenal career and dedication. We all owe Nick a debt of gratitude for his work. And a heartfelt thank you and we'll miss you to Theresa Woznik, former Administrative Assistant to Native American Studies. Enjoy retirement!
12th Annual Maine Indian Basket makers Sale and Demonstration Saturday, December 9, 2006 from 9:00am to 3:00pm This event features Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot basket makers who sell their hand-made, one of a kind, ash splint and sweet grass basketry. Workbaskets, such as creels, pack and potato baskets, as well as fancy baskets ranging from strawberry and blueberry shaped- baskets to curly bowls may be found along with quill jewelry, woodcarvings, and birch bark work. Traditional foods served up by the Penobscot Nation Boys and Girls Club (hull corn soup, fry bread, blueberry desserts), music, demonstrations of brown ash pounding and basket making as well as traditional drumming and dancing will also be presented. This event is free from 10:00am to 3:00pm. There is early bird shopping from 9:00am to 10:00am, for which a $10.00 admission ticket is required.
At this event, the Hudson Museum Friends will raffle off a brown ash and cedar bark basket made by Theresa Secord. Theresa Secord is the great-granddaughter of acclaimed Penobscot basket maker Philomene Saulis Nelson. Theresa carries on family basket making traditions using the same blocks and gauges that her great-grandmother used to create acorn baskets and barrel baskets, as well as innovating new forms such as her corn baskets. Theresa is known for her advocacy for Maine Indian sweet grass and brown ash basket making and serves as the Executive Director of the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance, an organization of over 200 members. She has received awards for her basketry from the Etiljorg Museum and the Heard Museum. In 2003, she became the first U.S. citizen to receive the Prize for Creativity in Rural Life from the Women's World Summit Foundation at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Raffle tickets are $5 per ticket and are available at the Hudson Museum Shop.
NCAI's Policy Research Center Launches New Website SACRAMENTO-October
5, 2006-The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Policy Research Center
has taken the next step in becoming the premiere national Native "think
tank" in the country with the launch of its website, www.ncaiprc.org, allowing
for worldwide dissemination of critical new research to be applied in tribal
policymaking and practice. "This is an invaluable tool for tribal leaders
to utilize," said NCAI Executive Director Jacqueline Johnson. "Using
the accessibility of the Internet, we can share a wealth of information gathered
through the Center's forums and practical research. I truly believe this will
change the way tribes determine policy options and develop tribally-driven policy."
The NCAI Policy Research Center, launched in 2004, is focused solely on issues
facing tribal communities. Developed under an advisory group of tribal leaders,
this tribally-driven consortium of existing research bodies and primary researchers
will be equipped to gather and assess data on conditions and trends in Indian
Country and will serve to support and inform the policy development efforts
of tribal leaders, tribal organizations, Congress, and the Administration with
objective data and analysis. The website features a number of tools tribal leaders
can use to gather information collected from the Center's Tribal Leader/Scholar
Forums, think tank discussions and compiled research. It will also introduce
"The Talking Circle," a first-ever forum for online discussion about
research and data collection in and with tribal communities. "This website
is an interactive resource for tribal communities seeking to collect data and
conduct and control research as well as for scholars who are interested in working
in partnership with tribal communities to conduct research," said NCAI
Policy Research Center Director Sarah Hicks. "It provides access to data,
a place to discuss research, and tools to build tribal research capacity."
For more information on NCAI's Policy Research Center, contact Sarah Hicks at
firstname.lastname@example.org or Adam McMullin at email@example.com.
Native American Studies Program
Spring & Summer 2007 Courses
Native American Studies Program Spring 2007 Courses
NAS 101: Introduction to Native American Studies
CRN: 12646 Sec. 001 Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:30 - 10:45 A.M. Lisa Neuman
This course surveys American Indian social, philosophical, spiritual, and cultural aspects in historical and contemporary society. It examines the issues and experiences of Native people from a variety of perspectives. Satisfies the General Education Social Contexts & Institutions and Cultural Diversity & International Perspectives Requirements. Prerequisites: None. 3 credits
NAS 102: Introduction to Wabanaki Culture, History &
(ITV & Orono campus) CRN13396: Sec 981: Belfast, ME CRN 15428 Sec 985
Wednesdays, 4-6:45 P.M. John Bear Mitchell
This course provides an overview of the tribes that make up the Wabanaki Confederacy; the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot. It provides a survey of the individual tribes' history, culture, philosophy, and creation stories, as well as explores current issues and concerns. Satisfies the General Education Social Contexts and Institutions and Cultural Diversity and International Perspectives Requirements. Prerequisites: None. 3 credits
NAS 201/401: Contemporary Native American Issues
NAS 201 CRN: 08447 Sec 860 cross-listed NAS 401 CRN: 36720 Sec 860
MWF 10-10:50 A.M. Maureen Smith
Contemporary Native American Issues is designed as an advanced introduction to the significant issues affecting American Indians in modern society. Subjects to be covered include issues regarding tribal sovereignty, religious freedom, gaming, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, CDIB status, museum development and management, government programs relating to tribes, Indian Health Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and tribal elections. Current local, state, and national events, court cases, and evolving issues regarding tribes and tribal people will be a consistent subject throughout the course. Prerequisite NAS 101, 3 credits
NAS 490: Theory and Research Methods in Native American
CRN: 29470 Sec 001
MWF 1:10-2 P.M. Maureen Smith
This course is an advanced seminar in Native
American Studies and serves as the culminating course for the Native American
Studies minor. It will focus on two aspects of the discipline of Native Studies:
the theory of the discipline and the research methods appropriate in such a
discipline. It will present, analyze, and critique the discipline and provide
an introduction to finding and critiquing information and resources in Native
American Studies It will emphasize research paradigms and techniques useful
for interpreting materials and collections dealing with Native American Studies,
with emphasis on culturally appropriate research protocols. Prerequisite NAS
101, 3 credits
Summer 2007 Courses
NAS 102: Introduction to Wabanaki Culture, History &
May 14 - August 24, 2007
CRN: 05478 Sec.990, 3 credits
Belfast, ME CRN 05480 Sec.995, Maureen Smith
This course provides an overview of the tribes that make up the Wabanaki Confederacy; the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot. It provides a survey of the individual tribes' history, culture and philosophy, as well as explores current issues and concerns. Satisfies the General Education requirements for Social Contexts and Institutions, Cultural Diversity and International Perspectives. Prerequisites: None, 3 credits
NAS 401: Topics in Wabanaki Summer Institute
June 25 - June 29, 2007
NAS 401: CRN: 06896 Sec. 001 Cross-listed with EDU 580, sec. 17, CRN: 11675(Pending)
Monday through Friday 8 A. M. - 5 P.M
A 5-day Summer Institute on Wabanaki Studies
will be held at the University of Maine in Orono. The Institute focuses on preparing
educators to teach all Maine students (K-12) about the Wabanaki of Maine and
the Maritimes. As an annual event, the institute will serve to support educators
in the implementation of public law 2001, Chapter 403 (known as LD 291.)
The Institute is tentative pending funding. 3 credits
For any questions, please contact: The
Native American Studies office at 207-581-4450 or Email: Julie.Nowell@umit.maine.edu
The Mashpee Wampanoag and Federal Recognition
NAS 101 Adjunct Instructor (Fall semester)
5706 Aubert Hall
Office hours: Wed. 09:00-09:45; 11:00-12:00/Fri 09:00-09:45
Note: Uncommon capitalization of words and/or phrases are intentional to depict Wabanaki-Wampanoag Worldview
The Mashpee Tribe, a small Wampanoag [Native American] Community located on Nauset, now known as 'Cape Cod', approximately seventy-five minutes south of Boston, is one of five remaining Communities of the Wampanoag Nation. The Wampanoag People have the distinction of meeting the Pilgrims at "Plymouth rock" in 1621, having the first Thanksgiving festival with the English, teaching the English to plant corn and to survive in their country, and clashing with the English in America's "bloodiest" conflict known as King Philip's War.
Federal Recognition is a political and legislated Act by the Congress of the United States to extend to Indigenous Nations of this continent, the formality of political recognition and access to federal dollars earmarked for Native American Communities,
(a) Federal recognition
Federal recognition .all laws and regulations of general application to Indians and nations, tribes, or bands of Indians .shall be applicable to the Tribe and its members. US Code title 25§ 1300n
(a) Extension; laws applicable; eligibility
for Federal services and benefits
Federal recognition is hereby extended to the tribe The tribe and the members of the tribe shall be eligible for all Federal services and benefits furnished to federally recognized Indian tribes
For the past seventy years, the Mashpee Community sought formal recognition from the Bureau of Indian Affairs for eligible federal programs and services afforded to all Native American Tribes and Nations. Recently, despite incredible hardships, the Community succeeded in the "first round" of gaining recognition. Last summer, the Mashpee Tribe received its "favorable ruling" from the Bureau of Indian Affairs; the federal government will make its final determination in March, 2007.
In the mid-1930's, the Bureau of Indian Affairs devised an administrative plan to stream-line their congressional mandate to serve all Tribal Peoples and Nations within the United States. The Bureau determined a procedure to investigate legal responsibilities of the United States first, with those Indian Nations having treaties with the United States and then, to determine obligations arising with those Nations not under treaty. That administrative plan encumbered the agency with close to 400 ratified treaties with Indian Nations and well over an additional 500 unratified treaties. As a result of this encumbrance, the Bureau forgot its obligations to approximately half the existing Indian Nations in the continental United States. Thus was born the doctrine of federal recognition.
In 1975, the Congress enacted the American Indian Policy Review Commission designed to review and study the United States Indian Policy. The commission produced a massive twelve-volume report including recommendations. One of these volumes concerned Terminated and Non-Federally Recognized Tribes. With few exceptions, no eastern Indigenous Nation, at the time, benefited from services of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This non-recognition status prevented Indian Nations from vital programs and grants. This status was eventually challenged by a series of eastern tribal land claims, one of which included the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy Tribal Nations.
The Native American Rights Fund, with Pine Tree Legal Assistance,
represented these two Nations in the Maine land claims in the mid-70's and early
80's. Both Tribes sued the State of Maine for violation of the Federal Non-Intercourse
Act 1790, claiming that the State of Maine illegally seized Penobscot and Passamaquoddy
Lands and Territories without the approval of Congress, in violation of the
Non-Intercourse Acts, and without their consent. The response from Maine and
the Federal government was to dismiss the land claims on the basis of non-federal
recognition status of the Tribal Nations, making the application of federal
law governing Indian relations not applicable to the Passamaquoddy and the Penobscot.
The Tribes sued the United States and the State of Maine in federal court. The basis of the suit claimed that doctrine/policy of non-federal recognition was not legal and could not prohibit the Passamaquoddy and Penobscot Nations from taking legal action against the federal government and the State of Maine. The federal court upheld the Passamaquoddy and the Penobscot Nations and allowed for the suit to move forward. This action paved the way for many other Nations, including the Wampanoag, and lead eventually to the Maine Indian Land Claims Settlement. The Penobscot and Passamaquoddy became 'federally recognized" as a requirement of the federal government to extend federal Indian monies and programs these Tribal Nations
In 1871, Congress enacted legislation, prohibiting the United States from entering into any further treaties with Indian Nations. Therefore, since 1871, legal acquisition of Indian Lands by Treaty has been prohibited by the only recognized protocol available to the United States. The federal recognition doctrine is thereby, legal fiction to cunningly and deceitfully obtain title or to clear and cede Indian Land title to the United States that it does not otherwise possess by lawful means.
The wording of the federal recognition legislation, creates this legal encumbrance on Indian Communities and Nations. Program dollars ear-marked for Indian Communities, are now ultimately exchanged for Aboriginal land title of that particular Indian Nation, and handed to the United States. At once, the federal government imposes a series of limitations on Indian Sovereignty, Jurisdiction, and national integrity as Nations, assuming a jurisdiction and authority it did not legally have and was never given by Treaty. The federal recognition doctrine, actually subverts Tribal Nations, the integrity of their Peoples and Territories. For the Mashpee Wampanoag, there are lands that have never been in the possession of any one other than a Mashpee Wampanoag, as an Indigenous Title of ownership since time immemorial. And since time immemorial, Wampanoag Lands have been the possession and basis of Life, Culture, and Spirituality. The "doctrine" eliminates this as reality and extinguishes inherent Wampanoag land title. "Federal recognition" is legislated conquest.
The Treaty protocol with Indian Nations is the basic, respectful, judicious and politico-legal obligation to lawfully execute fiduciary responsibilities with Indian Nations. This protocol, by US and International legal standards, is the only operative engagement with Indian Nations on a Nation-to-Nation, government-to-government basis other than war.
The socio-economic conditions wrought upon federally-recognized
Indian Country deliberates an exposé of federal Indian policy. US administrations
are habitually in conflicts of interest, conflicts of established treaty protocols,
as well as contravening international legal standards producing extreme and
dismal economic conditions in most Indian Communities. This is contrived, intentional
poverty of deprivation, imposed on Indian Country in symbiotic and skewed re-creations
of the 'domestic dependent Indian Nations" dicta provided by Chief Justice
John Marshall of the United States Supreme Court in the Cherokee Cases of the
1830's, reducing once self-sufficient and thriving Indian Nations to total economic
dependence on the United States.
NAS 102 Introduction to Wabanaki Studies: John Bear Mitchell
John Bear Mitchell
Associate Director Wabanaki Center
UMS Native Programs Waiver Coordinator
This interdisciplinary course provides an overview of the tribes
that make up the Wabanaki Confederacy. The individual tribes, the Penobscot,
the Passamaquoddy, the Maliseet and the Micmac, are discussed individually,
as well as collectively, as appropriate. This course provides a survey of the
individual tribes' history, culture, philosophy, and creation stories. In order
to contextualize the tribes' statuses today, a brief overview of Canadian, U.S.,
and Maine Indian history is provided.
This course examines in detail the worldview, way of life, art, literature, and contemporary issues of the native nations which make up the Wabanaki Confederation. It provides discussion about the confederacy itself and its impact. Additionally, the course provides an introductory overview of Maine's American Indian tribes. If possible, every class begins with a story appropriate the day's topic.
In the three spring semesters I've been teaching this course, I have had a total of 130+ students. Many of them are sitting in the classroom but about 40 students were off campus at an ITV site (interactive television site). If possible, I like to have guest speakers come into the class and give their perspectives in their areas of expertise. Expertise among the guest speakers has been diverse. They have discussed anything from petroglyphs to plants, from history to politics.
I think it is very important to have the perspective of a Wabanaki person teaching our own history and giving the students a perspective, which they may never have gotten the chance to hear. Using the Indigenous knowledge model for teaching, I have come to understand that it is important for the minority to have their voice in teaching so that our history, our people, and our life ways are discussed from a real life perspective - from those who lived it.
Native American Studies is for
Written by: Maureen Smith
Before I became Director of Native American Studies at the University of Maine, I thought American Indian people taught about Indian stuff - whatever that was. There were non-Indians who taught courses that dealt with Indians, and some were good and some were really bad. Native American literature was almost destroyed for me by a professor who analyzed passages of great books to death, but then there was the British historian who truly respected Native people to know their own history. But I never really thought deeply about Native Studies. I guess that is sort of odd given that I am an American Indian and I spent a great deal of time in college classes - a really, really long time when I look at my college loan debt! As a Native woman I was always aware that what we learned in school was not the total real picture. But what my community taught me and that I heard in academia were worlds apart. Throughout the years I served as an advisor to Native students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, I had opportunities to do numerous presentations to all kinds of audiences and teach courses that dealt with American Indians. In these courses other teachers or professors had determined the content and it was up to me to interpret it according to my experience and expertise. As an advisor, I decided to learn how people learn in an effort to help my students be more successful in their educational endeavors. I found that one thing that was critical for Indian students to be successful was for them to see themselves in the curriculum. Around that same time (1989), Wisconsin passed ACT 31 that mandated the inclusion of American Indians into the mainstream curriculum in fourth, eighth, and twelfth grade. It became clear to me that my career path would be to focus on the inclusion of American Indians in the curriculum.
Since coming to Maine, the definition of what makes a good Native Studies program has consumed most of my time. My personal commitment to developing a good program has somewhat of an ironic twist to it. My grandmother, Martha Jane Doxtator, attended Haskell Industrial School in Kansas in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Haskell was a boarding school, where Indian children were sent, sometimes against their and their parents' wishes. The intent of Haskell, and other schools like it, was to "kill the Indian and save the man" according to Richard Pratt, the architect of the United States Government Indian education policy. Schools like Haskell not only suppressed all things Indian, they actively punished children who tried to retain any vestiges of Indian culture. Now here I am, two generations later, the granddaughter of a Haskell alumnus, charged with developing a Native American Studies Program at the University level.
The first class I thought about in depth was NAS 101: Introduction to Native American Studies. I looked at the many different programs across the United States and Canada to see what they offered. I found that some universities offered an introductory course that dealt with the various cultural groups to assist students in realizing that American Indians are not a homogeneous group. Others had introductory courses that dealt with contemporary issues. It seemed best to try to incorporate elements of both in the course here.
It was critical that the program have a specific course geared toward the indigenous peoples of this area. The students taking courses in Native Studies at the University of Maine needed to know about the Wabanaki peoples of Maine. It was critical that each of the four tribes receive equal representation and students see the tribe through the eyes of community members. To that end, I was most fortunate to bring in community members to address their own tribes. While John Mitchell teaches this course through ITV each spring, in the Summer I offer the course on the Internet. I am able to include community voices, so students who take the course in the summer are able to hear about the history and culture of the Wabanaki from well-respected community members.
While in graduate school, I began the study of the impact of the Indian boarding schools on American Indian students. This interest lead me to study in great detail the United States policies toward American Indians but more importantly it enabled me to understand the strategies American Indians have used to retain their culture and yet adapt to the modern world. My love of history developed then and I have been honored to be able to teach a survey course of American Indian History. I try to personalize the history and assist students to understand not only the United States policies but also the Native response to these policies. It is challenging to try to get all the material into one semester, but the work is very rewarding.
Topics courses can make the curriculum exciting and timely. We have offered courses through this number that focus on American Indian Women. Often students do not realize the contribution that Native women made in their communities. In this course we study Indian women individually, allowing students to see the variety of roles that Native women played, but also the diversity of gender roles within Indian communities. We have also been able to use our topics numbers to give participants credit for attending the Wabanaki Studies Commission's Summer Institute. The institute is a weeklong deep study of Wabanaki culture and history to prepare teachers to comply with LD 291: An Act to Require the Teaching of Maine Native History and Culture in K-12 schools.
My favorite course, and by far the most challenging, is NAS
490: Theory and Research Methods in Native American Studies. This course, our
capstone, allows students an opportunity to grapple not only with what a theory
of Native Studies might look like, but we also delve deeply into research ethical
issues raised by studying in Native communities. The course is challenging,
yet very rewarding as we look at cutting edge issues in Native Studies.
My adventure in Native Studies has demonstrated to me that Native Studies is for everyone. Regardless of race, Native Studies deals with people who are indigenous to an area and we owe a great debt to them, as well as to their ancestors. I feel I somehow pay back to my people, the Oneida, and to my grandmother by helping students understand the critical issues and histories of Native America
Wabanaki Summer Institute 2006
LD 291 Website
LD 291, passed by the Maine Legislature in 2001, requires that all Maine schools teach Maine Native American history and culture. This requirement presents a challenge to many teachers for whom this is a new endeavor.
The LD 291 website was designed to assist Maine K-12 teachers in meeting state mandated protocols for integrating the study of Maine Native American history and culture into general public school curricula. Maureen E. Smith, Director of Native American Studies Program at the University of Maine and Chair of the Wabanaki Studies Commission, has taken the leading role in spearheading the effort to create an effective online resource. Julie Nowell, Administrative Assistant for the Native American Studies Program, created the design for the website and serves as its Webmaster. Deborah Colbert, PhD candidate in anthropology from the University of Oklahoma, has assisted with organizing lesson plans and other resources, as has John Maddaus, Associate Professor Education at the University of Maine.
The LD291 website currently offers access to several types of resources. The website has direct links to lesson plans designed by teachers who have attended past Wabanaki Summer Institutes, an annual week-long seminar open to Maine teachers who want an intensive training experience. Most lesson plans are organized specifically to meet Maine's (Concentrated Areas of Study) Learning Results Wabanaki Summer Commission's criteria. In order to make it easier for teachers to decide which lesson plans might be best for their particular student groups, the lesson plans have been organized according to Concentrated Areas of Study as well as by topic. There are cross-referenced search function links on the website by which users may look for lesson plans under many different areas, including Maine Learning Results areas of study, tribes, grade span, instruction/assessment tools, group size, and keywords.
In addition, it has links to individual Wabanaki tribal websites, the text of LD 291the law passed in 2001 that mandates public school curricula in Wabanaki studies, the final report of the Wabanaki Studies Commission, and a variety of other teaching resources. Many files are in a PDF format and with this in mind, there is a download link to a free version of Adobe. The website is a work in progress, and those working on the website invite feedback from teachers and others who use it. Our goal is to make it a useful and enriching resource through ongoing efforts to revise the content and design of the website, adding new lesson plans and links, or providing other types of resources that users feel would be of most assistance in the classroom. Additionally, it is hoped that future participants in the Summer Institutes will use the website to identify areas not already covered by existing lesson plans and design new lesson plans that will fill in the gaps.
On a broad scale, it is hoped that the LD291 website will ultimately serve as a model for others interested in developing public school educational materials on Native Americans. Together with the NAS 102 course Introduction to Wabanaki Studies (offered by ITV in spring semesters and online during the summer) and the Wabanaki Studies Institute, the LD 291 website contributes to equipping teachers with the knowledge and skills to teach Wabanaki Studies.
Native American Studies Graduate Assistant
Laura Geoghegan originally hails from Boston, Massachusetts. Before entering graduate school, Laura worked at The Children's Museum of Boston, as an Exhibit Interpreter and as an Assistant to the Native American Programs department. Her favorite duties included: working with school groups in the Native American program's Study Storage Collection of artifacts and art work, interpreting a century old Silk Merchant's home from Kyoto, Japan, and helping out with the care of the Museum's five African red-eared turtles, with whom she had been acquainted since childhood. Her most valued skills learned on the job included Python socialization and making origami cranes as well as her personal favorite: Turtle/Human diplomacy! As a Graduate student, Laura has a strong interest in 18th century American history, increasingly centered on the military and diplomatic conflicts between Europeans and then Americans and Native peoples. Her Master's thesis has explored the role of Henry Knox, first Secretary of War under George Washington, and his involvement on the Northwest Ohio Frontier between 1787 and 1794.
The first chapter of the thesis will explore the historiographical issues surrounding Henry Knox. Although the thesis focuses on Knox's career after the American Revolution, it was that event that both allowed Knox to become prominent, tied his professional advancement strongly to George Washington and made him as much of a candidate to be remembered as a "founding father" figure as many of his contemporaries. The chapter will briefly discuss the absence of Knox in many of the newer revivals of scholarship about key figures of the Revolution, as well as exploring the narrative treatment Knox has received.
Laura's research also addresses Knox's role, however peripheral, in the first two campaigns against Native Americans in the Ohio region, the first led by Josiah Harmar in 1791, the second by Arthur St. Clair in 1792. Both military campaigns ended in extensive defeat for the United States. The chapter will begin with a discussion of the previous conflicts, treaties and peaces that had made the Ohio region such a murky zone of give and take between several cultures. The chapter will also discuss Knox's early proposals for Indian Policy in his new government and the motivations behind his ideas. The blunders of the Harmar and St. Clair forces made continuing diplomacy more important than victories might have. The defeats also made themselves present in Knox's increasingly obvious goal of rendering diplomacy unnecessary through military victory. The chapter will evaluate not only Knox's role in the defeats of Harmar and St. Clair but what those defeats meant to the final campaign under Wayne and the diplomatic attempts surrounding Wayne's extensive time in the field.
Laura's thesis concludes with an exploration of Knox's involvement with Indian policy in the long period of training Anthony Wayne's military force on the Pennsylvania and Ohio frontiers that culminated with Wayne's victory at the battle of Fallen Timbers. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss what understanding Henry Knox had acquired during his tenure as Secretary of War about military interaction with Native Americans. Whatever the ethical or cultural motivations behind his involvement with Indian policy, Knox displayed a significant effort to define how not only his government would conduct business with Native American tribes but how he would do so as its Secretary of War. While Anthony Wayne could justly claim credit for achieving the only military victory of the three campaigns, Knox's correspondence with his field commander shows that he contributed toward the success at Fallen Timbers.
Laura's Master's degree research has concentrated on the three campaigns Knox supervised against the tribes of the Ohio and Pennsylvania frontier. For her doctoral research she hopes to turn to the Native American perspective of the breakdown of diplomatic balance on the North American Frontier regions, and the experience of the Native American diplomats and War leaders who fought to preserve their sovereignty. She is particularly interested in the concept of the Middle Ground, as other scholars have labeled the region of the Ohio and Pennsylvania frontiers because of its constant give-and take atmosphere. She has an interest in both the evolution and eventual destruction of this region and hopes to write about figures like Joseph Brant and Little Turtle, two examples of diplomats who could use negotiation as a weapon equally to outright warfare.
Featured NAS Minor Students
NAS Minor: Sara Willett
Secondary Education Major
My name is Sara Willett and last May I graduated from the University with a Bachelors of Science in Secondary Education. It's been a long journey that has brought me to the University of Maine and the State of Maine. I am originally from the town of Tiverton in the State of Rhode Island. I grew up in a Portuguese American environment, which had a profound impact on me.
From an early age I possessed an intense interest in Native American Studies. This interest stood out through out my schooling. After high school, I was accepted at Johnson & Wales University as a Sports Entertainment Event Manager Major. After almost two years, my plans were halted when I was forced to take a Medical leave after getting pneumonia. In that time, I made the decision to leave Johnson & Wales. I decided that I wanted to become a teacher with the purpose of bringing awareness to Native American history/culture. In addition I decided to move to Maine. After careful consideration, I decided to become a student at the University of Maine for the Native American Studies program.
Two years ago I not only moved up here, but I became a part
of the Native American Studies program. Since coming up to UMaine, I have
had an amazing educational experience. I have learned so much about Wabanaki
people and in addition, I have learned a lot about myself. While here, I have
developed a deep interest in the Penobscot people and their relationship to
the Penobscot River. This year I had the opportunity to teach lessons based
on LD291 in conjunction with my student teacher internship. Now that I have
graduated from the College of Education and Human Development, I have moved
on to employment in another field. However my NAS endeavors have not ended.
I plan on completing my minor in Native American Studies and continuing my
education. It is my hope to continue sharing with others the importance of
bringing awareness to Wabanaki issues both past and present.
NAS Minor: David Slagger
Elementary Education Major
Enrolled Member of The Aroostook Mi'kmaq Nation
G'we= Greetings, My name is David Slagger. I am enrolled in the College of Education and Human Development, and I'm nearing the end of my sophomore year. My minor is in Native American Studies. In 2005, I completed an internship at the Smithsonian National Museum of The American Indian. This was a great learning experience for me in our nation's capital, Washington D.C.. In spring 2006, I received my Maine Studies Certificate based on all the Maine Native American classes I have taken here at the UMaine.
Also in 2006, I created a new student organization called
Maine First Nations Relations. This is a student organization for educators
to learn more about Maine First Peoples. This past summer, I completed the
2006 Wabanaki Summer Institute. This summer, I worked with Phyllis Brazee
to organize a trip to the Aroostook Band of Mi'kmaqs in Presque Isle for University
of Maine faculty and staff. Participants came from the College of Education
and Human Development, the Wabanaki Center, the ALANA Center, the Maine Folklife
Center, the Canadian-American Center and the Dean of Students Office.
This has spawned a new relationship between the University
and the tribe. This October 18th, the University hosted five Mi'kmaq students
from Aroostook County area High Schools and one adult for a daylong tour of
the UMaine campus as well as lunch with the provost of the University of Maine.
This is an historic time for the tribe and its youth. I have enjoyed working
with folks from across campus. I continue to be excited for my Tribe and my
future studies at the University of Maine.
Nicholas Smith Profile
Nicholas and Edith Smith, In front of a display of some of his photo collection
During his presentation at Fogler Library on October 12, 2006, Nicholas N. Smith presented photographs and a paper documenting a remarkable half-century of study and friendships with Maine and Northern Native American tribes. The presentation took place in the Special Collections room at Fogler Library on the Orono campus of the University of Maine. The photographs and some artifacts ranged over decades of Smith's experience in visiting traditional hunting camps, collecting oral histories, exploring primary documents and trying to reinforce the strong and rich cultural details of the continuing presence and resilience of Native peoples during the 20th century.
Smith related the beginning of a remarkable professional and personal span of experience. Smith graduated from the University of Maine in 1950 with a B. A. in History. He has fond memories of his undergraduate explorations of both the more conventional forms of American History and also of his time learning about Medieval Europe. He is the first to admit, however, that upon graduation, his career and life followed a very different path. Upon graduation, Smith began a process familiar to many new degree holders in the Liberal Arts. He had to decide how and in what way he could practice his training, make important contributions to the advancement of his discipline, and earn a living. In considering which area of history to focus on, Smith realized that the notable contributors to Native American historical studies were retiring quickly and not seeing much interest in replacing them. Smith decided to pursue Native American history at that time, only to find himself facing two significant challenges. Not only was all of his training in European or Euro-centric history, Native American Studies, or even Ethnohistory were disciplines in a pre- embryonic stage. The University of Maine itself did not even offer courses in the foundation disciplines that, in 1950, constituted training or preparation in Native American history: Anthropology, Archaeology, Museum Studies or even Maine Native history. Smith began a job at a war manufacturing plant to cover his expenses while he volunteered at Salem's Peabody museum, where he was captivated by the rich introduction to Wabanaki tribal history in the Edwin Tappan Adney papers.
Smith's early work in museums led to a series of projects
that combined work Maine, such as the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor with teaching
at Island falls and with oral history collection from Wabanaki elders. Smith
has always had a special interest in the folklore and oral histories of the
Maine Wabanaki and other Northern Native groups, and frequently commented
on his experiences with collecting that material during his presentation.
One of the key problems he addressed was the simple technology and logistics.
Again and again Smith discussed the combination of primitive recording technology
and long distances to traditional hunting camps that combined to protect traditional
cultural patterns, to some extent, but also made it more difficult to collect
oral histories. Smith also argued about difficulty of academic folklorists
who attempted to interpret Native American oral pieces upon Eurocentric principles
and themes. Smith regretted the loss of original meaning behind the many details
of Wabanaki stories as they were run through the pattern of interpretation
outside the languages that had produced them.
Smith's career itself is another example of great presence
and resilience. He has committed over fifty years to the preservation of Native
American history and culture. His most recent expression of that dedication
is the compilation of source material, resources and relevant tribal information
on Wabanaki cultural history. Recently Smith has converted this aptly named
"labor of love" into a CD ROM database, which he supplies, on request,
at a price that does not cover the work or the maintenance of the program.
Clips from his film footage have been used in the making of two Public Television
documentaries and he continues to update the WABIB database. He expressed
gratitude during he is presentation for the generosity of his Native American
friends and contacts who have allowed him to participate in "segments
of real life" during his research. Smith also expressed appreciation
for the efforts of his daughter Wanda and her contributions to his work, and
his wife of 50 years, Edith, for her generous support of his goals and his
research. Nicholas N. Smith can be reached at: 34 Beech Dr. Brunswick, ME
Home #: 207-373-0945.
Nicholas Smith (left) and Librarian Joe Fernandez (right)
listening to Penobscot elder, Arnold Neptune (center)