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Hands-On History - "Hidden Histories: Finding Native American Stories in the Archives"

Thursday, November 17, 2016 - 6:00pm to Friday, November 18, 2016 - 8:45pm

BooksLead scholar: Alice Nash, University of Massachusetts Amherst
In collaboration with the Public History Program at UMass Amherst

It’s a common misconception that what we know about Native American history was either “written by the conquerors” or passed down through oral tradition. In fact, Native American histories can be found in the archives through a variety of materials, such as newspapers, captivity narratives, manuscripts, maps, sermons, photographs, government documents, and books and pamphlets in Indigenous languages. Through scholarly discussions and hands-on workshops with material from the AAS collections, this program will examine the kinds of archival resources that represent Native American stories and strategies for approaching them.

The program will also highlight the most recent work being done in the field of Native American history, part of which is explored through the AAS online exhibition From English to Algonquian: Early New England Translations, curated by Kim Pelkey, AAS head of readers’ services. The exhibition looks at the earliest publications in the Algonquian language and the relationships between the colonists and native peoples of New England that made them possible.

Lead scholar Alice Nash is associate professor of history and director of the Undergraduate Program in History at UMass Amherst. She recently completed a two-year term as director of the UMass Certificate Program in Native American & Indigenous Studies. She has published numerous articles on northeastern Native American history and, with Christoph Strobel, co-authored the book Daily Life of Native Americans from Post-Columbian through Nineteenth-Century America (2006). In 2003-2004 she held the first Fulbright-Université de Montréal Distinguished Chair, and she just received her third grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to run a Summer Institute for K-12 Teachers in July 2017 on Teaching Native American Histories, co-directed with Linda Coombs (Aquinah Wampanoag).


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