Native American and Indigenous Studies

Indigenous and Native peoples include aboriginal people of Australia, South America, and Canada. This post highlights the resources that are available in the Prairie State College Library collection, which mainly focus on Northern and some Southern American indigenous peoples.

Beginning in the 1960s, academic programs in Native American and Indigenous studies blossomed from the Native need for self-esteem and respect in North American societies. One of the first programs in American Indian Studies began at the University of Minnesota in 1964 (Morrison, 1997, p.112). And these programs have expanded well into the 21 century, with some American Indian community colleges being established over the years.In Peace, Power, Righteousness: An Indigenous Mainfesto, Taiaiake Alfred defines the terms used to identify indigenous peoples saying “Indian” (…is a legal term still in use by some indigenous people in North America), “Native” (in reference to the racial and cultural distinctiveness of individuals, and to distinguish our communities from those of the mainstream society, “American Indian” (in common use and a legal-political category in the United States), “Aboriginal” (a legal category in Canada, and “indigenous” (in global contexts and to emphasize natural, tribal, and traditional characteristics of various peoples.)” (p.23). One learns that there is a distinction in tribal affiliation as well as identity. Further, there are different ways of knowing and being in native and indigenous contexts from which we can all learn. These are some of the complexities and distinctions that one can encounter by reading the literature in Native American and Indigenous studies.

Want to learn more? Stop by the library and check out one of these resources!

Alfred, G. R. (2009). Peace, power, righteousness: An indigenous manifesto. Oxford University Press, USA.
Morrison, D. A. (Ed.). (1997). American Indian studies: An interdisciplinary approach to contemporary issues. Peter Lang Pub Incorporated.


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