chapter  13
23 Pages

Issues and Puzzles

WithAlice Beck Kehoe

A history of America can be constructed from the data of prehistory. It should be prepared, to do justice to America’s First Nations and to present the circumstances at the inauguration of United States history. Partly as the result of legal confirmation of treaty stipulations, partly because the American Indian population has been growing and increasingly obtaining education and off-reservation employment, First Nations’ sovereignty under treaty relations is increasingly acknowledged. America’s First Nations come from other cultural traditions, so “the way a society works” may be quite different for them – a simple example would be Iroquois government based on representatives from matri-lineal clans, instead of the European custom of patrilineal, patriarchal households. This suggests the collaboration of First Nations members who grew up in their nations’ culture can be productive of hypotheses and models that might not occur to a Western-trained archaeologist lacking the experience of living in a non-European culture.