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Native American Political Systems
and the Evolution of Democracy:

An Annotated Bibliography

Bruce E. Johansen
Professor of Communication and
Native American Studies
University of Nebraska at Omaha


Debate and Discussion in Books, Scholarly and Specialty Journals

Awiakta, Marilou. Selu: Seeking the Corn Mother. Golden, CO: Fulcrum, 1993.

[Barreiro, Jose, ed.]. Book Review: Indian Roots of American Democracy. Whole Earth Review, No. 81 (December 22, 1993), p. 111.

Baldwin, J. "Green Delusions: An Environmentalist Critique of Radical Environmentalism." Whole Earth Review 78 (March 22, 1993), p. 121.

(*) Banks, et. al. The United States and its Neighbors. New York: Macmillan/McGraw-Hill, 1993. Brandao, J. A. [Review of Exemplar of Liberty, 1991]. Canadian Historical Review 74:3 (Fall, 1993), p. 436.

Cheney, Lynne V. "Multiculturalism Done Right..." Change, January, 1993, p. 8.

(*) Crawford, J. D. "Looking Again at Tribal Jurisdiction: 'Unwarranted Intrusions on Their Personal Liberty.'" Marquette Law Review 76 (Winter, 1993), p. 401.

Gillespie, Sheena and Robert Singleton. Across Cultures: A Reader for Writers. Second Ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1993.

(*) Hill, James F. "A Rationale for Native American Studies in a Secondary School Curriculum." Listed in ERIC [educational database], 1993. Grinde, Donald A., Jr. "The Iroquois and the Nature of American Government," American Indian Culture and Research Journal 17:1(1993), pp. 153-173.

Hughes, Robert. Culture of Complaint: The Fraying of America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Interpress Service, comp. Story Earth: Native Voices on the Environment. San Francisco: Mercury House, 1993.

Iron Thunderhorse. "Democracy: An Indian Legacy." The Witness, 76:4(April, 1993), pp. 26-27.

Jacobs, Wilbur. "Columbus, Indians, and the Black Legend Hocus-Pocus." American Indian Culture & Research Journal 17:2(1993), pp. 175-187.

Jacobs, Wilbur R. [Review of Barreiro, Indian Roots of Democracy, 1992]. American Indian Culture & Research Journal 17:2(1993), pp. 211-213.

Jennings, Francis. The Founders of America. New York: W. W. Norton, 1993.

Johansen and Grinde. "Native Voices and the Diffusion of an Idea." Akwe:kon Journal 10:2(Summer, 1993), pp. 30-39.

Knight, Margy Burns. Who Belongs Here? An American Story. Tilbury, 1993.

Kawashima, Yasuhide. [Review of Grinde & Johansen, Exemplar of Liberty, 1991], American Historical Review 98:3(June, 1993), p. 941.

(*) Macklem, Patrick. "Distributing Sovereignty: Indian Nations and Equality of Peoples." Stanford Law Review 45 (May, 1993), p. 1311.

Mancall, Peter C. [Review of Exemplar of Liberty (1991)]. The Journal of American History, June, 1993, p. 248.

(*) McNickle, D'Arcy. "Indians, American." Collier's Encyclopedia. New York: P. F. Collier Inc., 1993. McSloy, Steven Paul. "Back to the Future: Native American Sovereignty in the 21st Century." Review of Law & Social Change, Vol. 20(1993), pp. 218-300.

Mikolajczyk, Waleria. "Poland and the American Indian: Friends of the Red Man." The Warsaw Voice. January 17, 1993.

Miller, Robert J. "American Indian Influence on the United States Constitution and its Framers." American Indian Law Review 18(1993) pp. 133-160.

(*) Mitten, Lisa. [Review of Wolfson, The Iroquois.] School Library Journal, Vol. 39 (March, 1993), p. 217.

Morris, C. Patrick. "Who Are These Gentle People?" American Indian Culture and Research Journal 17:1(1993), pp. 1-15.

National Geographic Society. The World of the American Indian. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1993.

(*) Richter, Daniel K. "Whose Indian History?" William and Mary Quarterly 3rd Ser. 50:2(April, 1993), pp. 379-393.

Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples [Canada]. Partners in Confederation: Aboriginal Peoples, Self-Government, and the Constitution. Ottawa: Government of Canada, 1993.

(*) Tooker, Elisabeth. [Review of Exemplar of Liberty (1991)]. Northeast Anthropologist 46(Fall, 1993), pp. 103-107.

Utter, Jack. American Indians: Answers to Today's Questions. Lake Ann, Mich.: National Woodlands Publishing Co., 1993.

Waters, Frank. Brave Are My People: Indian Heroes Not Forgotten. Santa Fe: Clear Light Publishers, 1993.

(*) White, John. "Canassatego, Father of Our Country: Iroquois Influence on the Founding of the United States." Minnestrista Council for Great Lakes Native American Studies, 1991-1992 Proceedings of the Woodland National Conference. Muncie, Indiana: Minnestrista Cultural Center and Ball State University, 1993, n. p.

(*) Versluis, Arthur. The Elements of Native American Traditions. Rockport, Mass.: Shaftesbury, Dorset, 1993.

Newspapers, Magazines, and Newsletters

__________, "Choosing New Iroquois Representatives." Business Wire, July 12, 1993 [in LEXIS].

__________. "Native Americans and the Birth of Democracy." [Book review of Lyons, et. al., Exiled in the Land of the Free, 1992.] February 21, 1993, St. Louis Post-Dispatch Everyday Magazine, p. 5-C.

__________. "Who 'Invented' Democracy? July 2 Events Honor Native Americans." Aspen [Colorado] Times Daily, July 1, 1993, p. 10.

__________. "A Curriculum Guide to Learning About Native Americans." Tekawitha Newsletter (Great Falls, Montana), March-April, 1993, p. 4.

__________. "Multicultural Law a Weapon For Indoctrination by Zealots." Omaha World-Herald, September 26, 1993, p. 12-B

Alia, V. [Review, Lyons, et. al., Exiled in the Land of the Free(1992)]. CHOICE, vol. 30, No. 9 (May, 1993), p. 1535.

Associated Press. "Multicultural Law Misunderstood, Educator Says." Omaha World-Herald, September 19, 1993.

Casey, Constance. "The Thinking Man's Rush Limbaugh." Los Angeles Times, May 23, 1993, Book Review Section, p. 10.

Dawson, Greg. "Turner Retells the Story of Indians..." Orlando Sentinel, December 5, 1993, p. D-1.

Durling-Jones, Voyce. "A Paradigm Shift in the Americas: Biopolitics and Bioeconomics." Tekawennake [Brantford, Ontario], July 7, 1993, pp. 5, 14.

(*) Endrst, James. "Turner Project Seeks to Set the Record Straight on U.S. History..." Hartford Courant, December 3, 1993, p. B-1.

Ergo, David. "Our Debt to the Iroquois." [Letter to the editor], San Francisco Chronicle, October 16, 1993, p. A-20.

Feran, Tom. "'Geronimo Fits in With Turner's Vision: Cable Magnate Wants to Make a 'Roots' for Indians." Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 5, 1993, p. 10-I.

Freeman, John. "'The Broken Chain' is Honorable, but Devoid of Passion." San Diego Union-Tribune, December 12, 1993, p. 8, TV Week.

George, Doug (Kanentiio). "Mohawk Teacher Dispels Myths." Syracuse Herald-American, October 3, 1993, n.p.

Gould, James Jay. "Green Delusions: An Environmentalist Critique of Radical Environmentalism." The Progressive 57:3 (March, 1993), p. 39.

Hepworth, James K. "We Missed a Chance to Make a Point." Lewiston [Idaho] Morning Tribune, November 6, 1992, p. 30.

Hodgson, Godfrey. "The Smelting Nation." [Review of Schlesinger, Disuniting America] The Independent [London, England], January 11, 1993, p. 23.

Holsopple, Barbara. "Ted Turner Revisits Indian History, Starting With Geronimo, Iroquois." Phoenix Gazette, December 3, 1993, p. 26.

Holston, Noel. "TNT Indian Shows Are a Fine Start." Minneapolis Star-Tribune, December 5, 1993, p. 1-F.

Howell, Peter. "Rock-Rap Rage Hammers at 'Elitist Wall.'" Toronto Star, January 14, 1993.

Hum, Debbie. "Ottawa Has No Right to Impose its Law on Natives: Mohawk." Montreal Gazette, March 18, 1993, p. A-5.

Johansen. "Defending Multiculturalism." Omaha World-Herald, October 8, 1993, p. 23.

Johns, Donald. "Native Roots: How the Indians Enriched America." Whole Earth Review, December 22, 1993, p. 110.

Jones, Jeff. "Capitol Intensive: Indian Guide." Metroland [Albany, N.Y.], January 28, 1993.

(*) Kampert, Patrick. "'Chain' Gives Native Americans Historical Due." Chicago Tribune, December 12, 1993, TV Week, p. 3.

LaLonde, Michelle. "Mohawks Express Great Hope for Aboriginal Royal Commission." Montreal Gazette, May 4, 1993.

LeMay, Konnie. "Native Actors Shine in TNT's 'The Broken Chain.'" Indian Country Today, December 22, 1993, pp. A-1, A-2.

Leonard, John. "The Broken Chain." [Television review] New York Magazine, December 13, 1993, p. 94.

Lipsyte, Robert. "Lacrosse: A Goalie Keeps Faith for an Iroquois Nation." New York Times, January 29, 1993, p. B-14 [Sports].

Miller, John J., "The Moonbeam of Self-Esteem." Newsday, June 2, 1993, p. 84.

Rayl, A.J.S. "New Technologies, Ancient Cultures..." Omni, August, 1993, p. 46.

Rheingold, Howard L. "Indian Roots of American Democracy." Whole Earth Review, December 22, 1993, p. 111.

Seligman, Daniel. "Measuring PC: Those Influential Iroquois..." Fortune, April 19, 1993, p. 159.

Smolla, Rodney A. "Last in War, Peace, and the Supreme Court." New York Times Book Review, April 11, 1993, p. 22.

Will, George. "'Compassion' on Campus." Newsweek, May 31, 1993, p. 66.

Zoglin, Richard. "Ted Turner Goes Native." Time, December 6, 1993.

Other items

  1. Advertising flyer, Syracuse University Press, for Concerning the League: The Iroquois League Tradition as Dictated in Onondaga by John Arthur Gibson, to be published in 1993. Referring to the narrative of the Iroquois League's creation, the flyer says: "This is the received text of one of the great works of the human mind, comparable to the Popol Vuh of the Quiche or the Tibetan Book of the Dead -- a crucial and, in some parts, ancient text. (This is a text, moreover, in which some see a direct formative influence on the constitutional thought of Thomas Jefferson.)" The reference is notable because, during the formative years of the "influence thesis," Grinde, Johansen, and others offered their works to the Syracuse University Press for publication, and were uniformly rejected after review by people who Deloria [1992] calls "the old-boys network of anthropology."

  2. Letter, Sarah A. Pletts (Sarah Pletts Dance Theatre/Living Arts Foundation, Aspen, CO.) to Johansen, Feb. 23, 1993. "We are planning a series of events in early July honoring the contributions of Native Americans to the ideals and thinking of early colonists....Your book, Forgotten Founders, has been of great help to us in our research." The Sarah Pletts Theatre sponsored a similar set of events in the summer of 1995.

  3. Letter from John Fadden, May 24, 1993, regarding speculation in upstate New York media that the headdress atop the Statue of Freedom (on the U.S. Capitol) is a traditional Iroquois Gustowah. Packet includes a number of photos and a description of the statue sent by the Architect of the Capitol, including this description of the headdress: "Her helmet is encircled by stars and features a crest composed of an eagle's head, feathers, and talons, a reference to the costume of the American Indian." The headdress appears to be a mixture of early American patriotic symbols typical of revolutionary-era artwork (although the statue was not created until the 19th century). Depiction of America as an American Indian woman was common in revolutionary artwork, although, in point of historical fact, the Gustowah was worn by men, not women, in Iroquois society.

  4. By 1993, ten professors in eight different academic fields had incorporated the idea of Native American influence on United States political ideas and institutions into their teaching at the University of Nebraska at Omaha:

    Dale Krane (history of public administration)
    Hugh Cowdin (mass communication and public opinion)
    Steve Witala (American politics -- political science)
    George Garrison (black studies)
    Michael Tate (American history)
    Dave Nicklin, who retired 5/93 (English)
    Dale Stover (philosophy & religion/Native American humanities)
    Lourdes Gouveia (sociology)
    Bruce Johansen (Communication/Native American humanities)
    Orville Menard (Political Science)
    Jo Behrens (Native American Studies)

  5. Personal correspondence, Elisabeth Tooker to Donald A. Grinde, Jr., replying to Grinde's proposal of a program, with Johansen, at the annual Iroquois Research Conference to be held near Albany October 1-3, 1993. Tooker [see 1988, 1990] was program director for the conference that year. "Am I to presume that this is another of your jokes, that you are yet again pulling our collective legs as you did in Exemplar of Liberty?" Files contain this letter, and correspondence related to it from Grinde to Johansen and from Johansen to Tooker. Tooker's reply of July 28, 1993 accepting Johansen and Grinde's paper session also is included: "I asked you a question....You answered it."

  6. Personal correspondence, David Ned Blackmer, Metz, France, to Johansen, July 18, 1993, regarding plans to translate Exemplar of Liberty [1991] into French.

  7. Brochure, "Our Constitution: The Native American Influence," undated. Received from John Kahionhes Fadden, September 13, 1993. Published by the Schenectady Museum with a grant from the The New York State Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution. This booklet briefly summarizes Iroquois political traditions, and rather vaguely suggests that they may have influenced the evolving British colonies and United States c. 1754 - 1800, especially through Ben Franklin.

  8. Johansen and Grinde presented papers related to "influence" at the annual conference on Iroquois Research, Rensealearville, NY, October 2.

  9. Leaflet, "University of Nebraska at Omaha Native American Studies...A Colloquium...Bruce Johansen..."The Politics of the Iroquois Roots of Democracy: Encounter with Academic Trolls...November 10, 1993...Milo Bail Student Center." About 70 people, mostly students, attended the hour-and-a-half long colloquium.

  10. Transcript #863, "Independence Day: Our Indian Legacy," Larry King Live, Cable News Network, July 5, 1993. With Pat Mitchell sitting in for Larry King, the show observed Independence Day by inviting Oren Lyons to talk about Native American precedents for United States fundamental law. Lyons described Iroquois consensus-making practices, the story of the Peacemaker, and colonists' early encounters with Native Americans that provided channels of communication for Native American ideas. Lyons also described the contents of his new book Exiled in the Land of the Free [1992]. Lyons described one student of his in Buffalo who was "very angry" because, at age 32, with four children, he had never been told of the Iroquois influence on U.S. fundamental law. "My children are going to hear about this," Lyons quotes the student as having said. Lyons also answered calls from the audience about "influence" assertions. One caller stressed the importance of women in the Iroquois political system. Lyons thanked the caller, and described ways in which Iroquois clan mothers nominate leaders in the confederacy.

  11. Transcript #351-3, Bob Cain, Cable News Network. "Native Americans had Major Role in Concept of Democracy." July 5, 1993. Television interview with Oren Lyons regarding his new book Exiled in the Land of the Free [1992].

  12. (*) Leaflet, "A Series of Programs...Featuring Sally Roesch Wagner, in a Variety of Presentations." This was a series of seven presentations sponsored by the Santa Clara [California] Humanities Coalition between March 6 and March 9. On March 7 (10 a.m.), at the Los Gatos Unitarian Fellowship, Wagner spoke on "The Influence of the Iroquois on Women's Rights." The same evening, she gave a dramatic presentation at the San Jose Unitarian Church, "Matilda Joslyn Gage and the Iroquois Suffragist Alliance."

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