Native Americans/ First Nations/ Indigenous Peoples
November is Native American Heritage Month. This month we learn more about the history and culture of the people indigenous to North America.
There is a long record of First Nation occupation of the North American continent, although information about them is limited. In Ohio, the Adena culture built many of the mounds that you may recognize today, which may include the Serpent Mound. There are limited artifacts that exist, mainly because the materials that the Native Americans used rapidly deteriorated over time.
In Clark County, Ohio, the Shawnee became the dominate tribe, although tribal boundaries were not as clearly defined as European national boundaries. They were an Algonquian speaking people that would hunt in the winter and farm in the summer. In the late 18th and early 19th century, white settlers began to inhabit the Ohio Valley, coming into conflict with the indigenous people that already lived there. Wampum belts, pipe tomahawks and other artifacts demonstrated an uneasy peace between the two people. Overtime, native land was seceded to the settlers through treaties like the Treaty of Greenville.
Tecumseh, a Shawnee chief at the time, fought with the British against the newly established United States of America to protect his people and way of life. Eventually he and the British lost. Tecumseh was killed in battle in 1813.
During the 19th century, the Shawnee were pushed out of the Ohio Valley into the west. In the 1980s, they were eventually recognized by Congress as a sovereign Indian nation. They form three tribes: the Shawnee Tribe, the Absentee Shawnee, and the Eastern Shawnee Tribe.
Do you want to learn more? Here are some additional resources:
Algonquian Dictionaries and Language Resources Project (n.d.). Algonquian Linguistics Atlas. Retrieved from https://www.algonquianlanguages.ca/
History of the people. (n.d.). Shawnee Tribe. Retrieved from https://www.shawnee-nsn.gov/history
Native American Heritage Month (n.d.). The Library of Congress. Retrieved from https://www.nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov/
Omnibus Indian Advance Act, 25 U.S.C. 4101 (2000).
Redmond, B. (n.d.). The first peoples of Ohio: What we know and what we’re still learning. Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Retrieved from https://www.cmnh.org/science-news/blog/september-2019/the-first-peoples-of-ohio
Serpent Mound (n.d.). Ohio History Connection. Retrieved from https://www.ohiohistory.org/visit/browse-historical-sites/serpent-mound/
Tecumseh (2022, October 1st). Britannica. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Tecumseh-Shawnee-chief
Welcome. We are glad you are here. (n.d.). Native Land Digital. Retrieved from https://native-land.ca/
Library of Congress Guide
Library of Congress Call Numbers: E 51-99, PS and PZ
Library of Congress Subject Headings: Indians of North America; Algonquian Indians; Athapascan Indians; Caddoan Indians; Canada–Civilization–Indian influences; Classification–Books–Indians of North America; Eskimos; Libraries–Special collections–Indians of North America; Mound-builders; Off-reservation Indians; Ojibwa Indians; Piegan Indians; Reservation Indians; Russia (Federation)–Civilization–Indian influences; Sewee Indians; Shoshoni Indians; Tinne Indians; Two-spirit people; United States–Civilization–Indian influences; Urban Indians–North America
Suggested key terms: American Indian, Indians of North America, Indigenous Peoples, First Nations
All are available in the catalog.
Amirkhani, J., Bryan-Wilson, J., Franco, J. T., Johnson, A. K., Long Soldier, L., Midge, T., & Red Star, W. (2022). Wendy Red Star : delegation. Aperture.
Madsen, D. L. (2016). The Routledge companion to Native American literature. Routledge.
Mark Lynott. (2015). Hopewell Ceremonial Landscapes of Ohio : More Than Mounds and Geometric Earthworks. Oxbow Books.
Mithlo, N. M., & Martin, R. (2020). Making history : the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts : Institute of American Indian Arts. University of New Mexico Press.
Shally-Jensen, M. (2017). Native Americans (1451-2017). Salem Press, a division of EBSCO Information Services, Inc.
Susan Sleeper-Smith. (2018). Indigenous Prosperity and American Conquest : Indian Women of the Ohio River Valley, 1690-1792. Omohundro Institute and University of North Carolina Press.
Tully, J. (2016). Crooked Deals and Broken Treaties : How American Indians Were Displaced by White Settlers in the Cuyahoga Valley. Monthly Review Press.
These are listed as rare and are in the archives. They will require submitting an Archive Request Form.
Catlin, G. (1842). Letters and notes on the manners, customs, and condition of the North American Indians (2d ed.). Published by the author, at the Egyptian Hall.
Copway, G. (1847). The life, history and travels of Kah-ge-ga-gah-bowh (George Copway) : a young Indian chief of the Ojebwa nation, a convert to the Christian faith, and a missionary to his people for twelve years ; with a sketch of the present state of the Ojebwa nation, in regard to Christianity and their future prospects. Also an appeal ; with all the names of the chiefs now living, who have been Christianized, and the missionaries now laboring among them. Printed by Weed and Parsons.
Drake, B. (1841). Life of Tecumseh, and of his brother the Prophet; with a historical sketch of the Shawanoe Indians. E. Morgan & Co.
The American Indian Quarterly (ISSN 0095-182X, 04/01/1974-present)
American Indian Culture and Research Journal (ISSN 0161-6463, 03/01/1998 – 09/01/2011)
Wicazo Sa Review (ISSN 0749-6427, 04/01/1985-present)