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HIS206: Native Peoples of North America

This course surveys the history of particular Native American groups from their prehistoric entry to North America until the development of the reservation system in the 19th century.

This course surveys the history of particular Native American groups from their prehistoric entry to North America until the development of the reservation system in the 19th century. A variety of topics will be covered as students gain exposure to anthropological, archaeological and historical resources to illuminate the changes taking place. The class begins by analyzing population movements throughout the continent. Students gain exposure to the evolution of independent cultural and social systems among indigenous tribes. Among the subjects highlighted are rituals of religion and tribal integration, ideas of family and the structure of tribal society, and the development and implementation of tribal laws. Midway through the course students will begin to examine the period of European contact and the profound social and cultural transformations that took place over the next two centuries. Both Native American and European resources from the period will guide our study of this era. During the latter half of the course, students will examine the ways in which Indian life was dramatically reconfigured as Europeans and Americans spread across tribal lands and forcefully moved Indians to reservations in the West. Throughout the term students will work with the Academy's archaeological and ethnographic holdings to gain a fuller appreciation of this fascinating subject. Open to juniors and lowers who have not taken a 300-level history course.