Learning Objectives

  1. Summarize the changing population characteristics of American Indians and Alaska Natives, and some of their common cultural characteristics.


  2. Summarize and explain the changing relationships between American Indians and the federal government, specially the changes in laws and policies and their effects, and the dynamics of Indian resistance and protest.


  3. Cite and explain the most important issues and trends that have animated relations between American Indians and the larger society in recent decades, including:

    • struggles over natural resources,

    • attempts to attract industry to reservations,

    • broken treaties,

    • gaming, and

    • prejudice and discrimination.


  4. Analyze the contemporary relations between American Indians and whites using the concepts of prejudice and discrimination, and assimilation and pluralism, especially in terms of:

    • acculturation,

    • secondary structural assimilation, and

    • primary structural assimilation.


  5. Assess the overall situation of American Indians today based on the concepts and information presented in this chapter.