Rethinking the Concept of ‘Marginalized’ Indians: An example from Southern New England
Author(s): D. Rae Gould
After repeatedly encountering the concept of Indians as ‘marginalized’ populations in research on southern New England Indians, I began to ask what this meant and, more importantly, in comparison to whom Native people were marginal? This paper reconsiders the twentieth-century practice of categorizing Native people as ‘marginal’ (thus continuing the practice of seeing them as ‘other’). This reconsideration is necessary because this practice perpetuates the belief that Euroamerican culture provides the standard against which others are compared. Natives and Euroamericans intersected in many ways throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, beyond simple power relations such as those established by Indian guardianship systems. This paper analyses architectural structures to compare Native and non-Native economic and social conditions and demonstrate that characterizing Indian people as ‘marginalized’ fulfills a modern-day desire to understand Natives as different, distinct, or ‘other,’ rather than as complex individuals who often transcended boundaries to meet social, political, and economic needs.
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Rethinking the Concept of ‘Marginalized’ Indians: An example from Southern New England. D. Rae Gould. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436622)
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