Reviewer’s Notes

Native Peoples of North America is a groundbreaking new text for undergraduate introductory courses in Native American Studies. Dr. Susan Stebbins, the author, is a Native American scholar who is trained as a cultural anthropologist and specializes in Native American and Indigenous Studies. As such, she writes this accessible text from an anthropological perspective, carefully presenting basic concepts of cultural anthropology such as ethnography, kinship, fieldwork, demography, society, modes of subsistence, type of political organization, and assimilation, while using Native North American examples to illustrate and explain each point. This book could, therefore, be successfully used to teach Introduction to Cultural Anthropology at tribal colleges, as well as courses in Native American Studies at other colleges and universities.

Clearly covering topics as the devastating influences of European-introduced diseases, the varying perspectives held by the colonial nations about Native people, indigenous religions, revitalization movements, federal Indian policies, and expressive culture, Stebbins draws on a wealth of examples from prehistoric sites to contemporary events to effectively tell the story of the hundreds of different societies making up what is known today as Native North America. While doing this, Stebbins does not treat Native North America or its peoples as isolates as has been done for generations in hegemonic discourse. Rather, she systematically places them within the context of world cultures in both time and space in order to dispel stereotypes and build multicultural understandings.

Dr. Maureen Trudelle Schwarz, Professor, Anthropology,
Syracuse University

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