For people who are all, “this is a holiday that just celebrate genocide and football!” here are some Native American historical monographs that you can use to further examine the relationships between Native American tribes and European colonizers! Warning: Fun times ahead!
Facing East from Indian Country by Daniel K. Richter.
When I was a teaching assistant for the early American course, this was one of the first books students read. Richter’s work is/was unique (I haven’t kept up with the literature, forgive me) in that he keeps Native Americans at the center of his narrative and he gets a little fast and loose with his source material to do this by “imagining” what the Native Americans would have thought or done.
Richeter’s work is that “different view” people are often looking for in Native American history. His work explores subjects like how Native Americans viewed and shaped notions of race and how they interacted with Europeans. All in all, a really good choice.
Changes in the Land, William Cronon. Bill “commodity history” Cronon is a big name historian. Translation: American historians (in certain fields) engage with his work. He looks at how colonists and Native Americans interacted with and changed the land. Fun fact: The English were dazzled by how many trees were here!
Peace Came in the Form of a Woman: Indians and Spaniards in the Texas Borderlands by Juliana Barr. This one has it all: race, gender, power, political economy… It’s dazzling. No, really.
Indians in Unexpected Places by Phillip J. Deloria — It’s a collection of essays focusing more on culture and picking up in the mid 19th century. It’s a great compilation by an amazing scholar. And if you’re a grad student who reads this in a first year seminar, you’ll find it hysterical when in every subsequent seminar everyone yells out, “taxes in unexpected places! slavery in unexpected places! women in unexpected places!”
There are many, many more monographs (monographs=academic books about a single topic as opposed to an article) out there so go find yourself a really great historiographic (history of history) essay and pick which historical narrative suits you! 😉