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The Alaska Native Reader: History, Culture, Politicsby Maria S. Williams
Synopses & Reviews
Alaska is home to more than two hundred federally recognized tribes. Yet the long histories and diverse cultures of Alaskaandrsquo;s first peoples are often ignored, while the stories of Russian fur hunters and American gold miners, of salmon canneries and oil pipelines, are praised. Filled with essays, poems, songs, stories, maps, and visual art, this volume foregrounds the perspectives of Alaska Native people, from a Tlingit photographer to Athabascan and Yupandrsquo;ik linguists, and from an Alutiiq mask carver to a prominent Native politician and member of Alaskaandrsquo;s House of Representatives. The contributors, most of whom are Alaska Natives, include scholars, political leaders, activists, and artists. The majority of the pieces in The Alaska Native Reader were written especially for the volume, while several were translated from Native languages.
The Alaska Native Reader describes indigenous worldviews, languages, arts, and other cultural traditions as well as contemporary efforts to preserve them. Several pieces examine Alaska Nativesandrsquo; experiences of and resistance to Russian and American colonialism; some of these address land claims, self-determination, and sovereignty. Some essays discuss contemporary Alaska Native literature, indigenous philosophical and spiritual tenets, and the ways that Native peoples are represented in the media. Others take up such diverse topics as the use of digital technologies to document Native cultures, planning systems that have enabled indigenous communities to survive in the Arctic for thousands of years, and a project to accurately represent Denaandrsquo;ina heritage in and around Anchorage. Fourteen of the volumeandrsquo;s many illustrations appear in color, including work by the contemporary artists Subhankar Banerjee, Perry Eaton, Erica Lord, and Larry McNeil.
Includes a selection of nonfiction, fiction, recipes, and visual art by indigenous elders, artists, scholars, lawyers, and hunters that demonstrate the tensions and contradictions, as well as the continuities, which characterize the history, politics, and
This portrayal of Native Alaska brings together essays, poems, songs, stories, maps, and visual art. Most of the selections are by Alaska Natives; many were written especially for this volume.
About the Author
Maria Shandaacute;a Tlandaacute;a Williams is Associate Professor of Music at the University of New Mexico.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations xi
Alaska and Its People: An Introduction 1
I. Portraits of Nations: Telling Our Own Story 13
II. Empire: Processing Colonization 115
III. Worldviews: Alaska Native and Indigenous Epistemologies 217
IV. Native Arts: A Weaving of Melody and Color 257
V. Ravenstales 337
Suggestions for Further Reading 363
Acknowledgment of Copyrights 381
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