In the 1950s the United States government implemented a series of social programs and legislative actions that aimed to put an end to Native American tribal identity and political autonomy. These efforts had some success, particularly in encouraging young American Indians to leave rural reservations for urban areas. They also had the unintended consequences, however, of fostering a pan-Indian identity movement and fueling a generation of political activism. This presentation charts the consolidation of American Indian identity and the rising tide of Indian activism in the 1960s and early 1970s.
Don Holly, although an archaeologist by training, teaches a broad range of courses at Eastern, including Native American Cultures. His research focuses on hunters and gatherers and the archaeological history of the island of Newfoundland and the Eastern Subarctic. In 2012 he was the Fulbright research chair in native studies at the University of Alberta. He is co-editor (with Ken Sassaman) of Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology as Historical Process (U. Arizona Press, 2011) and the author of History in the Making: the Archaeology of the Eastern Subarctic (Altamira, 2013).