Approved by University Studies Sub-Committee.

University Studies Course Proposal:

History 235: American Indian History

Winona State University Professor John Campbell



The Department of History strongly believes that History 235, The History of American Indians, will play an important role in the Multicultural Perspectives segment of the Universities Studies Program by providing students with an opportunity to enhance their understanding of diversity and multiculturalism in general and, more specifically, in terms of the history of Native Americans. This course is designed to address four of the five outcomes associated with the Multicultural Perspectives segment.


USP Multicultural Perspective Objective a.

According to this objective, students should become more proficient at demonstrating knowledge of diverse patterns and similarities of thought, values, etc as manifested in different cultures. This goal will be achieved in a number of ways with the course. Most basically, the very definition of the course as focusing on one particular, non-dominant socio-cultural group—Native Americans—indicates that students will be exposed to a large body of knowledge about a group of people whose culture and historical experience has been at odds with the dominant EuroAmerican experience and culture. Thus, the very existence of the course presupposes a diversity of cultures—Native American versus EuroAmerican—from the get go; or to put it more tentatively, the implicit question motivating the course is the extent to which Native American and EuroAmerican experiences and cultures have differed at any give moment and over time.

Within the course itself students will examine the coexistence and/or clash of different cultures along a number of dimensions: Native American versus European; differences between Native American groups (for example, the Pueblo people of the Southwest verses the Catawba people of the Southeast); differences in the way the different European countries interacted with Indians in America (for example, the Spanish vs. the English vs. the Russians); and, how these different areas of difference/similarity evolved over time.

Awareness of these different/similar cultures will come from a variety of course activities. While lecture and reading textbook material will oftentimes provide the chronological or structural overview of how the different groups were interacting at any given moment (such as 1600 or 1970 or anywhere in between), the specialized readings focusing on a particular tribal group and the daily discussions of those readings will provide students with an opportunity to gain a much more in depth knowledge of the different cultures and the ways in which they were different and/or similar.

The group research project examining an aspect of Anishanabe life and culture will allow students an opportunity to learn more about a tribal group of immediate geographical interest to Winona State.

The extent to which this knowledge has been digested and assimilated will be determined by periodic quizzes, the midterm, and the final.


USP Multicultural Perspective Objectives b and c

The main ways that these objectives—understanding the extent to which cultural differences influenced the interpretation and expression of events and the interactions between different groups—through lectures, class discussions of required readings and videos, and exams. While I am—as my discussion for USP Objective d indicates—a strong advocate of students closely examining particular tribal cultural and historical experiences, I also believe it is important, especially in an introductory class, for students to be exposed to sweeping generalizations regarding salient patterns of cultural behavior, interaction, ideas, and conflict. Hence, in order to help students get a sense of these patterns and the big picture, I will use the lecture part of class to convey this kind of material; periodic discussions of the textbook chapters will also help students to develop a sense of these patterns.

The midterm and final exam will also have questions prompting students to analyze and draw their own conclusions regarding the ways in which cultural differences (or as the case may be, similarities) influenced the way difference cultures interacted and interpreted shared events and experiences.


USP Multicultural Perspective Objective d

The two main ways this objective—examining different cultures through their various expressions—will be addressed are: by reading and discussing both primary and secondary texts on specific Indian tribal groups ( in this case, the Pueblo people of the Southwest, the Catawba of the Southeast, the Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) of Wisconsin, and the Lakota of the high plains) and by doing the research project on the Anishinabe. By doing this kind of intensive reading and research—as opposed to only learning about them from a lecture--students will gain a much greater sense of the different cultures by looking at their different expressions, whether it is first person autobiographical account of life as Ho-Chunk woman or in the historical reconstruction of native expressions through the use of various primary and secondary sources. Indeed, I believe that by immersing oneself in specific Indian cultures students will not only become more familiar with that particular culture but, no less important, they will also begin to develop the tools for thinking comparatively and analytically about all cultures, and not just, as in the case of this specific course, Native American Indian versus EuroAmerican.

Needless to say, the tribes selected for more intensive examination in this "case study" approach may well vary from year, particularly those living outside of the Midwest.

History 235: American Indian History

Winona State University Professor John Campbell

Spring 2001 Office: Minne 336C

Tues.,Thurs.,12:30-1:50 Minne 234 457-2378


Office Hours:

M, W, F:9:30-10:15;2-3:00;

T,T 2-3:30;

and by appointment


This course provides an introduction to the history and culture of Native Americans. We start with the period before the arrival of the Europeans; we then will examine Natives’ interactions with the various European countries and cultures that colonized America, especially the Spanish and the English. We will also look at how the lives and cultures of the native peoples changed as a result of their experiences with the Europeans in the time period before the American Revolution. Many additional issues will surface once reach the l9th and 20th Centuries: Indians’ ongoing struggles with the Euro-Americans in the antebellum period; removal of tribes west of the Mississippi, Indians’ involvement in the Civil War, the final military struggles in the West, governmental policy in the late l9th Century, the rise of the reservation system and allotment, efforts of Euro-Americans to "reform" Native Americans, the impact of the New Deal and World War II on Indians, and the renaissance of Native Americans in the post WWII period, particularly with the rise of AIM and other politically and culturally active Native groups.

Themes that underlie these various topics that we will address include: European images of Native Americans, the changing nature of European domination of and racism towards American Indians, the ways in which Native Americans resisted such racism, domination, and oppression, and the changing nature of Indian culture(s).

Because Native American history and native America are composed of so many tribal groups, we, of course, can not look at each one. Instead, we will emphasize the shared experiences while not overlooking important variations and differences between tribes and their cultures. At the same time, a conscious effort has been made to focus on specific tribes—the Catawba in the southeast, the Pueblo people of the southwest, the Lakota (Dakota/Sioux) of the plains, and the Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) and Anishinabe (Chippewa/ Ojibwa) of the Upper Midwest—so students can see that Indian people did not just encounter Euro-Americans as Indians but as members of distinct nations and cultures so students can learn how different that encounter could be, depending on where and when it occurred and the tribal culture that was involved. The choice of these tribal groups for special focus (mainly through the readings) DOES NOT reflect a judgment on the instructor’s part that they are more important than other tribal groups; rather, their selection reflects, first, our geographical location (i.e. since we are a midwest university, I thought students would have a special interest in tribal groups of the Midwest) and, second, a desire to avoid being too parochial, (i.e. the need for students to learn about tribal histories and experiences much further afield in the U.S.)

The specific course requirements and expectations include the following:

1) class attendance and active participation in class discussion;

2) doing and turning in on time various quizzes (announced and unannounced) short papers, assignments, etc., that I will assign at my discretion;


4) a modest research paper based on primary and secondary sources (approximately 5-7 pages, typed, double-spaced) on Anishinabe life and culture THAT YOU MUST DO IN GROUPS OF TWO OR THREE PEOPLE.


Your grade for the course will be based as follows:

1) each of the take home essay exams will count 25% of the final grade, for a total of 50%

2) the research paper will also count 25%

3) the other 25% will be based on the combined total of the quizzes, short papers, miscellaneous assignments. As far as the quizzes, etc., go, aside from a bona fide, MAJOR LEAGUE reason (such as a medical or family crisis) for missing quizzes or turning in short papers late, there will be NO opportunities to make-up quizzes or to turn in short papers late. On the other hand, each student will be allowed one missed quiz or one missed –late short paper without getting a grade of E (failing) for that particular assignment. After you have used up your one missed quiz/late/not-turned-in-short paper , all future quizzes/short papers that you miss or try to turn in late will be given a failing grade. (If you never use up your one "miss," when figuring up your final grade, I will exclude your lowest quiz/short paper grade if this helps you.) Finally, if I assign optional short papers, and you do them, the grades you get on these optional papers will replace your lower grades on the quizzes/short papers (this assumes that you do considerably better on the optional papers than on those quizzes/short papers whose grades you would like to replace.).

4) For students on the border between, say, an A and B, I will make my final decision based on the extent and quality of the student’s participation in class.

5) Attending the Annual Powwow in the Spring [?]


Five books are required for the course. They are:

[ CT]Clifford Trafzer, As Long As The Grass Shall Grow and Rivers Flow: A History of Native Americans

[PR] David J. Weber, What Caused the Pueblo Revolt of 1680?

[CD]Leonard Crow Dog and Richard Erdoes, Crow Dog: Four Generations of Sioux Medicine Men

[WW] Mountain Wolf Woman, Sister of Crashing Thunder: The Autobiography of a Winnebago Indian

[JM] James Merrell, The Indians’ New World: Catawbas


All of these books will be eventually on reserve in Maxwell Library; all will be available for purchase in the bookstore.

For students at Winona State University, this course will satisfy the Multicultural Perspectives requirement of the University Studies Curriculum. As such, it addresses the following four objectives required of courses in the Multicultural Perspectives category:

    1. promoting knowledge of diverse patterns and similarities of thought, values, and beliefs as manifested in different cultures;
    2. understanding the extent to which cultural differences influence the interpretation and expression of events, ideas, and experiences;
    3. understanding the extent to which cultural differences influence the interactions between individuals and/or groups;
    4. examining different cultures through their various expressions; and/or

To help students see where each of these objectives is being addressed during the course of the semester, I use the following set of symbols to indicate which objectives are being addressed when:

USO a=objective indicated by letter a above;

USO b=objective indicated by letter b above;

USO c=objective indicated by letter c above;

USO d=objective indicated by letter d above.






1 1/9 Introduction to the Class

2 1/11 Before Columbus (USO a, d)

Discuss: CT: preface, ch. 1

3 1/16 Indians and Colonizing Europeans, I (USO a, b, c)

Discuss: CT, ch. 2.

  1. 1/18Indians and Colonizing Europeans, II (USO a, b, c, d)
  2. Discuss, PR, pages 1-40

  3. 1/23Indians and Colonizing Europeans, III (USO a, b, c)

Discuss, CT, ch. 3, 4

6 1/25 Conflicts in the late 1600’s and early l700’s (USO a, b, c, d)

Discuss, PR, pages 41-80

7 1/30 Indians, Europeans, and Scalping (USO a, b, c, d)

Discuss, PR, pages 81-129

8 2/1 Indians and the European Wars for Empire in the l8th Century (USO a, b, c, d)

Discuss, JM, preface through chapter 1

9 2/6 Changes in Indian Society by the l8th Century (USO a, b ,c, d)

Discuss, JM, chapters 2, 3

10 2/8 French and Indian War (USO a, b, c)

Library Instruction (Meet in the Library) [tentatively scheduled]

2/13 Assessment Day, no class

11 2/15 Native Americans and the American Revolution (USO a, b, c, d)

Discuss, JM, chapters 4,5

12 2/20 Indians and Government Policy in the Early National Period (USO a, c)

Discuss, CT, chapters 5,6

13 2/22 Indian Removal and the Trail of Tears (USO a, c)

Discuss, CT, chapter 7,

  1. 2/27Westward Expansion, I (USO a, c)
  2. Discuss, CT, chapter 8

  3. 3/1Westward Expansion, II (USO a, b, c, d)
  4. Discuss, JM, chapters 6, 7,and epilogue

    (Read CT, ch. 9) [ hand out midterm?]

    Spring Break

  5. 3/13Indians and the Civil War (USO a ,b, c)

Discuss, CT, ch. 10

17 3/15 Watch and Discuss Video on Dakota Conflict of l862; [midterms due] (USO a, b, c)

18 3/20 Indians and Govt. Policy after the Civil War (USO a, c)

Discuss, CT, ch. 11

19 3/22 Conflicts on the Plains, I (USO a, b, c)

Discuss, CT, ch. 12

20 3/27 Conflicts on the Plains, II (USO a, b, c)

Discuss, CT, ch. 13

21 3/29 Guest Lecturer: Prof. Cindy Killion (USO a, b)

Discuss, CT, ch. 14

22 4/3 Watch and Discuss Video on Indian Boarding Schools: (USO a, b, c)

23 4/5 Government Policy, "Reformers", and Indians in the late l9th Century (USO a, c)

Discuss, CT, chapter 15

24 4/10 The Land Grab continues (USO a, c)

Discuss, WW, foreword, preface, photos, chapter 1 through chapter 5, pages 111-130

25 4/12 Indians, the New Deal and World War II (USO a, b, c)

Discuss, CT, chapters 16 and chapter 17

26 4/17 American Indians at Mid-Century (USO a, b, c, d)

Discuss, WW, chapter 6 through pronunciation guide, and pages 131 to the end

(Read CT, chapter 18)

27 4/19 A Lakota Life and Perspective: Leonard Crow Dog (USO a, b, c, d)

Discuss: CD, chapters 1 through 7

Discuss: CD, chapters 8 through 16

28 4/24 Native American Political Activism Since the Mid-l960’s (USO a, b, c)

Discuss, CT, chapter 19

29 4/26 Native American Cultural Renaissance in the last few decades (USO a, b, c, d)

Discuss, CD, chapter 17 to the end

Discuss, CT, chapters 20, 21