STANTON SHARP TEACHING SYMPOSIUM
Saturday, February 9, 2008
8:30 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Sponsored by the Clements Dept. of History
Southern Methodist University
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. SESSION II
"The Nations Within: Native Americans in the 20th Century"
Professor Sherry Smith
101 Dallas Hall
Description: Have you ever wondered why Native American tribes can establish gambling casinos in states which otherwise forbid gaming? Do you know why they are exempt from certain taxes that other Americans must pay, why they can levy taxes on corporations drilling for oil or mining on their reservations, or why they can sometimes hunt and fish outside of state imposed "seasons"? What is an Indian tribe? Why are they still part of the American system in the 21st century? Why do Indians seem to exercise special rights that other Americans do not have? This workshop will investigate the history of these "nations within." It will examine the genesis and evolution of tribes and tribal governments from the colonial period to the present. It will help teachers convey to students that Indians are not simply static figures of the American past, but people with political and economic power who are still very much alive, and exercising power, in the United States today.
Sherry Smith is a historian of the American West and Native American history. She teaches courses on these subjects at SMU where she is also the Associate Director of the Clements Center for Southwest Studies. She is currently writing a book on the 1960's/1970's period when Native Americans and many of their non-Indian allies pushed for recognition of treaty rights and tribal sovereignty - and won.