North American Indian Thought and Culture

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Contains over 119,000 pages of text and images. Included are biographies, auto-biographies, personal narratives, speeches, diaries, letters, and oral histories. The database represents the largest compilation ever created of biographical information on indigenous peoples from all areas of North America.

The database is dedicated to telling the life stories of both the well-known historical figures such as Pocahontas and Sitting Bull, and also the lesser-known men and women whose day-to-day experiences give an equally valuable portrayal of Indian culture.

The collection is comprised of material that covers the entire history of North America; from 17th century accounts of the first encounters involving Indians and European colonists to the stories of aboriginals living in a 21st century world. Every stage of life is represented—birth, adolescence, adulthood, and death. Future releases will contain a comprehensive index of the entire Doris Duke Indian Oral History project that is held at the seven repository universities across the United States. For the first time, researchers will be able search the subject matter discussed in those oral histories as well as cross-reference it with other materials in the database.

The collection presents the entire spectrum of native peoples' experiences from their own point of view. Firsthand accounts reveal how Indians lived, thought, and fought to protect their interests; how the tribes interacted with each other and the white invaders; how they reacted to the constantly changing and challenging situations they faced; and how they struggled to maintain their cultures while living in a society that often expects them to abandon it for acculturation. Many of the biographies are about Indians pursuing their everyday lives and reflecting on what was happening to them. These accounts offer a direct window on Indian attitudes toward the earliest European settlers and the resultant transformations that took place, first as trade was established and later as displacement forced tribes into unfamiliar territories.

(from the website)

This is an Alexander Street database, unique because they provide full text and primary documents. You can browse or search for people, events, encounters, authors, flora, fauna, places, and years. Link to the full text or image.


This database includes the images and full text of the documents included.

from the 17th century to the present
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