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Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians But Were Afraid to Ask
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Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians But Were Afraid to Ask

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  145 ratings  ·  33 reviews
“I had a profoundly well-educated Princetonian ask me, ‘Where is your tomahawk?’ I had a beautiful woman approach me in the college gymnasium and exclaim, ‘You have the most beautiful red skin.’ I took a friend to see Dances with Wolves and was told, ‘Your people have a beautiful culture.’ . . . I made many lifelong friends at college, and they supported but also challenge ...more
Paperback, 184 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Borealis Books
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This book should have a subtitle: Things I Hadn't Thought of to Ask About Indians, But Now That You Mention It, Thank You For Explaining That.

Very informative, wonderful book, but be sure to read the introduction as well if you choose to delve into this book. He explains a lot about why the book cannot possibly answer every question about Indians and how some of it has to be his point of view or opinion, because the many Native people all have different opinions on different subjects. It makes i
3.5 stars

I have no idea how the author managed to restrain himself from answering most of the questions with "it's complicated." Indians are such a diverse group with a complex array of histories and experiences that I was a bit surprised anybody would even tackle a project like this.

The "Everything " part of the equation covered a huge range of topics and the answers were short and snappy (I'd say short and painless except reading about genocide is anything but painless for me). The answers cam
I love books like this--neatly divided into chapters using a question and answer format throughout, it invites you to read randomly--thumbing through to questions that pique your interest. There's compelling historical information--the Aztec capital city was three times bigger than any city in Western Europe at the time. There's humor--fry bread tacos should not be called "traditional"! There's sensitive delineation and explanation of terms--Treuer clearly explains Ojibwe and Anishinaabe, Sioux ...more
As the title suggests, this book contains answers to common questions non-Native people have about Native Americans--everything from "What are coming of age ceremonies?" and "Should Leonard Peltier be freed?" to questions that seem downright rude, like "Why do Indians have so many kids?" The questions are answered by the author in a personal tone. He is careful to say that he is answering from his own perspective and that if you ask a different person the same questions, you are likely to get so ...more
Everything You Wanted to Knox About Indians . . . is funny, measured, and occasionally defiant - a great mix for a primer on historical and contemporary issues in Indian country. The book is frank, concise, and covers a multitude of topics, and comes with a great set of suggested books and documentaries for anyone interested in reading further. A book I'll definitely assign.
Chuck Bradley
Interesting read. I've read much about Indian (or native American, if you prefer it) history but mostly in works written by other white folks. It was nice to have the perspective, opinion and prejudices of someone who has walked the walk. I learned a good deal from this book.
Fascinating book that answered more questions than I knew to ask, by someone who lives in Bemidji, MN (he isn’t enrolled but is Indian, and some family members are enrolled at Red Lake, which is where we buy our wild rice from). A lot of the details were about Ojibwe (Chippewa). I honestly had no idea that Indian law was so complicated, and I really appreciated the chance to learn more. I don't know why we don't know very much about our own local history--I would much rather learn about the peop ...more
I needed a good review of issues in Indian Country. This fit the bill. There are so many misunderstandings and sometimes it's hard to articulate. I would've loved to have seen some more information on original intent, Doctrine of Discovery, and how that intent has been written into law and history, but sometimes the concept muddles the present day issues. Anton Treuer handled every issue brilliantly. As someone of Ho-Chunk/Winnebago heritage, it was refreshing to see my tribe mentioned. It is ra ...more
Linda Ethier
Entertaining and informative, Treuer's book addresses the questions that non-natives have about historical and contemporary Indian issues. Highly recommended.
Emily Onufer
This book is arranged in a question and answer format, with frequently asked questions posed to the reader, followed by extensive answers by Treuer. Sections include: terminology, history, religion, culture, identity, powwow, tribal languages, politics, economics, education, and perspectives. I find this book to be a fantastic overview for those interested in Native culture. It covers a huge range of topics in a reader-friendly way, and scales a large issue down to a manageable size. It is a gre ...more
Very informative read that really breaks apart Indian stereotypes and adds more detail about the historical tension between the native people and the US government. I job Treuer did an incredible job of restraining himself: of not getting upset when explaining their grievances and unjust treatment. In general, he stuck to facts, which made the reader more sensible to his claims. He is quite persuasive at times, and drives home the larger message of refraining from generalization and stereotypes.
Laurel Bradshaw
Straightforward and easily readable. This is a no-nonsense overview of Native American history, culture, politics, and religion. Includes a bibliography for further reading.

What have you always wanted to know about Indians? Do you think you should already know the answers—or suspect that your questions may be offensive? In matter-of-fact responses to over 120 questions, both thoughtful and outrageous, modern and historical, Ojibwe scholar and cultural preservationist Anton Treuer gi
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Ojibwe scholar Treuer has set up this book as a series of question which answer many of the things non-Native Americans want to know about, but may be afraid to ask for fear of being offensive. In matter-of-fact answers touched with humor, he responds thoughtfully to 120 questions such as: What is appropriate terminology for speaking about Native people; when did Indians get to North America; do Indians live in teepees; what is a powwow; and more. In the process he talks about re
Dori Marszalek
I met the Author Anton Treuer and heard him speak at Mill City Museum in May 2012. I could have listen to him forever. He is a patient, humorous, educated man and an amazing bridge builder.
Jim Johnson
The author did a fairly good job of answering questions about Indians. As someone who spends a lot of time around Navajos, it was interesting to read the perspective of these issues from someone from another tribe.
The intriguing title drew me in. The combination of an academic with a solid connection to his subject matter and a format that allows easy browsing and focus on topics of interest has kept me moving through this book at a good clip.

Truth be told, many of these questions hadn't occurred to me, but I am thoroughly enjoying enhancing my knowledge of Native Americans. This will help as I delve into other works on American history.

Some of the questions seem simplistic but the answers are nuanced an
This book is written in a question/answer format. I had seen the author, Anton Treuer, speak at a conference and became interested because it was such a great presentation. There are some really important and interesting observations on racism. Treuer gives good explanations for helping us understand why and when behaviors or statements can be offensive, even when unintentional. I think there is something for most of us to learn from this book, but many of the lessons definitely apply to any cla ...more
Very informative read that really breaks apart Indian stereotypes and adds more detail about the historical tension between the native people and the US government. I job Treuer did an incredible job of restraining himself: of not getting upset when explaining their grievances and unjust treatment. In general, he stuck to facts, which made the reader more sensible to his claims. He is quite persuasive at times, and drives home the larger message of refraining from generalization and stereotypes.
Anton Treuer is Indian, well educated, philosophical and objective in his book regarding the life of the many Indian tribes that live throughout North America as well as other countries. The subject is great for anyone who is interested in the history of whites and Indians as well as more of the details as to how the sovereignty and political life of Indians as evolved. A little knowledge goes along way toward understanding why all of us behave the way we do.
Nov 27, 2014 Don rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
This is a nice collection of native American facts and history snippets. The author tries real hard to imagine questions and then provide thoughtful answers--thoughtful enough to anticipate most reader's (or at least my) ignorance.
This book is grouped by topic which has questions that Mr Treuer answers. More of a reference book than a sit down and read through it book, it is well written and engaging. Depending on the question you're reading you may get angry, laugh and/or think. Good addition to the books on Native Americans. Mr Tueuer often speaks on NPR. It's worth looking up his interviews as he is as well spoken as he is a good writer.
it's laced with humor and irony... hard to guess on first look whether the title is shocking, insulting or what, but it's pretty straight-forward. developed from speaking events by an Ojibwe PhD because the same darn stuff comes up over and over, so preparing responses besides "it's complicated" turned into a book. I gave it 4 stars because I'm stingy and am saving the 5th in case I'm ever inspired to use it
Jennie Lanz
Very similar content to his brother David's book Rez Life: An Indian's Journey Through Reservation Life, but more in a question-answer format. Good information, but liked the way Rez Life flowed better.
Angela Gebhardt
Extremely informative for anyone wanting to learn about anything Native American. Amazing book written in laymans terms with a question/answer format. You don't have to read it cover to cover but can bounce around in areas you have questions or areas of interest. Id suggest this for any social work student.
An excellent EXCELLENT read with heaps of suggested materials to add to your (hopefully widening) perspective on the First Nations. Challenging to address such diverse populations of individuals with such specificity and detail in so few pages but Treuer does so superbly.
I had to take this back to the library before I finished it, but it's really a very good collection of questions and answers that help strip away lots of stereotypical and overly-romantic notions about Native Americans.
I ws disappointed in this book. I was hoping for history and the ocnflicts and lifestyle dirrerences between dirrerent tribes, but got mainly current conditions.
Heidi Schutt
An interesting guide to learning about Indians. I appreciate the lengthy list of resources in the back of the book.
Very informative. A little humorous in spots. Makes me want to ask more questions.
Andrea Robinson
This was quite an informative book. Easy to read and interesting.
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Dr. Anton Treuer (pronounced troy-er) is Executive Director of the American Indian Resource Center at Bemidji State University. He has a B.A. from Princeton University, M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He is Editor of the Oshkaabewis (pronounced o-shkaah-bay-wis) Native Journal, the only academic journal of the Ojibwe language and author of 9 books.

Dr. Treuer has sat on many organ
More about Anton Treuer...
The Assassination of Hole in the Day Ojibwe in Minnesota Living Our Language: Ojibwe Tales & Oral Histories Oshkaabewis Native Journal (Vol. 1, No. 1) Oshkaabewis Native Journal (Vol. 1, No. 2)

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