How to Learn More about Native Americans

Your Local Indian Community and their agencies

Individual Indians

Indian Newspapers and Magazines

Your religious community's literature and history

Other religious communities' literature

Field Trips to Indian agencies, powwows, or communities

Schools and Libraries

University Presses

Outside speakers

Community Events such as lectures and gallery showings
(They can reflect Indian attitudes about life and society)

Bureau of Indian Affairs and tribal governments
(useful mainly for factual information,
but consider the source.)

Your first and most helpful resource will be the Indian community. You will likely be received with mistrust, if they think you are non-Indian, or if you actually are. Well, think about it. We in the Indian communities are bombarded with outside people. They want to go to our ceremonies, which is roughly equal in manners to having a stranger asking to . . . uh . . . have relations with you. Or they want us to perform for them, like dancing bears. Again, nothing wrong with us doing a little cultural education through dancing. However, it does get old after awhile. I guess it would be too much of a shock for some folks to just come to our homes and see us using electricity.

Get lots of opinions from Indians, even opposing opinions. Because when you check out all the other resources, it becomes very confusing, and everyone claims to be an expert. It is a constant source of irritation to me to visit a public library, and see respected works shelved next to works of lesser value (for which the scholarly term is "moose hockey"). And it shouldn't have to be mentioned that something is not necessarily true because you see it in print, on television, or in the movies.

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