American Indians •  Reference/Self-Help and History

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Encyclopedia of the American Indian in the Twentieth Century

Alexander Ewen
Jeffrey Wollock

At the dawn of the twentieth century the universal consensus was that the American Indian was about to “vanish.” More than two centuries of devastating wars, forced migrations, confinement, starvation, and disease had cost untold Indian lives, and the Native population was at a historic low. Pressure for land and resources was intense. Advocates and reformers urged the government to “assimilate” Indians by breaking up their remaining land base and stamping out tribal cultures.

Yet American Indians did not disappear. Rather, they have adapted and thrived, maintaining much of their cultures, languages, and identities. The Encyclopedia of the American Indian in the Twentieth Century provides a comprehensive overview of this dramatic process through profiles of key individuals, organizations, government policies, and events that have defined Native history since 1900. Providing one-stop alphabetical access to information not readily available in other sources, with extensive cross-references and suggestions for further reading, this authoritative reference work offers the clearest and most unified picture of the American Indian in the twentieth century.


Alexander Ewen, a member of the Purépecha Nation, is the director of the Solidarity Foundation, a research organization that works on behalf of indigenous peoples. An award-winning journalist and a founding member of the Native American Journalists Association, he is the author of numerous articles, chapters, and papers about Native issues and the coauthor of Voice of Indigenous Peoples: Native People Address the United Nations.

Jeffrey Wollock is the research director at the Solidarity Foundation. He is the author of many publications on Native issues as well as scholarly articles and books on other aspects of cultural and intellectual history, including The Noblest Animate Motion: Speech, Physiology, and Medicine in Pre-Cartesian Linguistic Thought, and he also edited the posthumous publication of Frederick Ewen’s A Half-Century of Greatness: The Creative Imagination of Europe, 1848–1884.


“The encyclopedia . . . presents a comprehensive history of Native Americans during the last century; to that end it focuses on notable figures, events, and government policies that have shaped the history.”


Publishers Weekly

“This unique collection gives us personal narratives of Indian personalities, movers, shakers, heroes, and professionals. Even more important, it details how movements and organizations developed to deal with the changing times from reservations to the modern age to our present-day realities.”


Indian Country Today

“This overview of Native Americans will serve as a fine starting place for students researching the recent history of indigenous peoples.”



8.5 x 11 in. 552 pages 67 halftones, 8 maps