History of American Indians and the United States

Self-Identification and Authenticity

Dr. Kane

mkane2@albany.edu Humanities 109 | MWF 9:20 - 10:15 AM

Office Hrs: M 10:20 - 11:20 & F 1:30 - 3:30

Social Science 60S

Monday, September 11

coming up

  • Policy piece due Monday Sept 18 (BB)
  • OPTIONAL feedback via Blackboard
  • check "References" and "Suggested Readings" section of First Peoples

today's class

  • culture and biology
  • "authenticity"

Garroutte, Self-Identification

  • how does self-identification complicate legal definitions of "Indian"? what are the political implications? what are the social implications?
  • why does the New Age movement present a problem for Indian culture, identity, and sovereignty?

why not DNA?

  • no DNA for specific tribes
  • enrollment and recognition tribe-based
  • Y-chromosome haplogroup inheritence
  • Y-chromosome haplogroups distinct but not universal
  • mtDNA in common with Asian and Polynesian groups

US naturalization vs. definitions of Indian

  • US citizenship purely political - anyone can become a member
  • "Indian" is political, historical, biological, and/or cultural depending on situation
  • conflation of political rights with race and/or culture

put a wolf on it

Google "Native American" images

Mashpee and Mashantucket Pequot

  • the "rich Indian" problem
  • who defines "authenticity"?
  • Trump-funded geneology research (Aug 2017 court filing) & 1993 lawsuit
  • 2005 Schgaticoke and Eastern Pequot loss of recognition
  • 2017 BIA rules change - may not re-petition after denial

Makah whaling controversy

  • 1855 Treaty of Neah Bay
  • controversy over "authenticity" with use of harpoon gun
  • harpoon gun policy developed in conjuntion w/ federal wildlife officials to minimize whale injury/pain
  • 2007 hunt against federal agreement resulted in prison time
  • 2015 petition to open hunting before SCOTUS

"A Way of Life - The Meaning of Food"

"authenticity" as a social construct