This online collection features reference content, hundreds of primary documents, and thousands of images. The Analyze sections pose historic quandaries that invite learners to examine issues from all angles and develop their critical thinking skills, while easy-to-use search and browse features facilitate research at every level. From pre-contact to the colonial era into the 21st century, and from the Inuit of Alaska to the Seminole of Florida, AIE is an indispensable electronic research and learning resource.
Before European colonialists arrived on the continent, Native societies were stewards of the North American landscape, living in complex cultural and political structures. Many of these societies and their cultural and political systems have influenced the span of nations they encompass in many tangible ways, from the U.S. Constitution and simple place names to fashion and spirituality. The fascinating—and often tragic—historical record of how these disparate cultures interacted is an essential part of our past and present that merits close study.
For nearly 100 years, from 1778 to 1871, the United States negotiated well over 400 treaties with Native American nations. During this period, approximately 370 treaties were ratified by the U.S. government, binding agreements in pursuit of peace, loyalty, land, and resources. The American Indian Experience database now features these ratified treaties in its collection of American Indian Treaties, digitized from federal sources. Students can explore this important period of American history through primary documents which contain PDF's of the original hand-written 19th-century treaties. Complete with overviews on the treaty-making process, each document is accompanied by a brief explanation of its significance, the tribes involved, U.S. and Native signatories, and of the site chosen for treaty negotiations. Every treaty is further supplemented by essays contextualizing treaty making by U.S. region, time period, and Native group, and by examinations of treaty negotiations as they have evolved over time for Native Americans and for the federal government. Each of these essays contains links connecting students to related content that provides further study and brief bibliographies for further reading.
College students need to understand the extensive role of Native Americans in history—beyond having a passing familiarity with iconic figures. Understanding the Native Peoples of North America is important to better comprehend not only our shared history but also that which came before.
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