American Indian Sovereignty and Activism in the 20th and 21st Centuries | Newberry

American Indian Sovereignty and Activism in the 20th and 21st Centuries

Wednesday, January 27, 2021


The Newberry

Rose Miron, Newberry Library
Newberry Teachers' Consortium

Two of the biggest misconceptions about American Indian peoples in the United States is that they 1) have disappeared, and 2) are just like any other racial group. Instead, American Indian nations are sovereign nations that are still here. This seminar will explore American Indian history through the less common lens of sovereignty and nationhood, focusing on what happened to American Indian peoples following the end of the so-called “Indian Wars” and why a series of federal policies in the late 19th and early 20th century continue to shape whether Native sovereignty is respected or ignored in the continental United States today. We will consider major policies and events like the creation of Indian reservations, the allotment of Indian land, the recognition (or lack thereof) of tribal governments, and the relocation and migration of Native people to urban areas. Accordingly, we’ll also consider how American Indian nations and activists have responded to these events. We will end by examining how a few of the contemporary issues facing Native people today, such as pipelines, missing and murdered Indigenous women, and the frequent adoption of Native children, are linked to the ongoing struggle to defend Native sovereignty.

Cost and Registration Information 

Newberry Teachers’ Consortium participants may register for this seminar through their designated school administration contact, as space permits. Individual educators without a subscription package at their home institution may register for this seminar by purchasing an individual seminar slot at the time of registration. Registration for all NTC seminars opens Friday, September 11, 2020. For more information about NTC subscription packages, please contact Cate Harriman, Teacher & Student Programs Coordinator, at

A link to the assigned pre-readings for the seminars, as well as instructions for logging onto the Zoom session, will be distributed to participants via email.

If you believe you are registered for this seminar but have not received an email confirmation or reminder, please contact Teacher Programs staff at