Thomas King’s The Inconvenient Indian offers a penetrating, provocative look at the history of North American Indian-white relations in North America. It focuses on government efforts to remove and relocate Native peoples and white efforts to exterminate and assimilate them. It contrasts popular perceptions of what King calls “Dead Indians,” the romantic reminders of a largely fictional past (“dignified, noble, silent, suitably garbed”), and “Live Indians,” contemporary and contemptible (“invisible, unruly, disappointing”). And, to explain the complexities of Native resistance and reinvention, it offers a concluding chapter titled “What Indians Want.”

Read. Reflect. Engage.

A Note from Loren Ghiglione, One Book One Northwestern Faculty Chair

A major event of the One Book One Northwestern year will occur on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 13-14, when Thomas King, the author of the 2015-16 One Book selection, The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America, will visit campus.  He will speak in Chicago to NU law school and medical audiences on Tuesday, October 13, 12-1 p.m. in the law school’s Arthur Rubloff Building, room 150, 375 E. Chicago Avenue, Chicago.   His keynote presentation on the Evanston campus, followed by a book signing, will occur Wednesday, October 14, 5-6 p.m., in Fisk Hall, room 217, 1845 Sheridan Rd, Evanston.  King will be interviewed about the history and experiences of Native people in North America by Medill Professor Loren Ghiglione, chair of the One Book steering committee. 

“One November Morning—the Sand Creek Massacre,” an exhibit in the Norris Center’s Dittmar Gallery by artists who are descendants of the Cheyenne and Arapaho victims at Sand Creek, will continue this week.  The Sand Creek Massacre has special importance to the Northwestern community.  In recent years, Northwestern students questioned the role in the massacre of university founder John Evans, who served as governor of the Colorado territory during the time of the 1864 massacre.  A 2014 report by a university-commissioned John Evans Study Committee is available here. Also, the 2014 report of Northwestern’s Native American Outreach and Inclusion Task Force is available here.

Historian Ari Kelman, who will speak at Northwestern on February 3, 2016, contends that “so much uncertainty shrouds Sand Creek that seeking an unchallenged story of the massacre may not be merely futile, but also counterproductive.”  For other accounts of the massacre and John Evans’s role, see the 2015 report of the University of Denver’s John Evans Study Committee (Evans was also a founder of that university) available here and an hour-long documentary by Rocky Mountain PBS about the massacre, available here

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Loren Ghiglione
Medill Professor of Journalism, 2015-16 One Book One Northwestern Faculty Chair

Nancy Cunniff

Nancy Cunniff
Senior Program Coordinator One Book, One Northwestern

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