Patrick Russell LeBeau is the Director of the American Indian Studies
Program and is a Professor of Writing Rhetorics and
American Cultures at Michigan State University, as well as author of
Click here for more information.
Rethinking Michigan Indian History (with CD-ROM)
Should you use "Indian" or "Native American"?
Why do we
so many Indian warriors on product labels?
Why can Michigan
Indian tribes operate casinos?
How can maps be misleading about
the role of Indians in Michigan history?
Michigan Indian History is a teaching tool that honors the
Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi and the twelve federally recognized
tribes of Michigan by recognizing their role and place in Michigan
history--exploring what most people know (or do not know) about
Each lesson includes a background narrative, a set of
hands-on activities, and provides easily understood and visual
resources. Rethinking Michigan Indian History explores large
issues of Indian stereotypes, the narrow focus on “great” Indian
the lack of knowledge of treaties and treaty rights, and the role of
maps to mislead or distort thinking about how history unfolds and
complexities of land ownership.
The lesson that explores
Indian stereotypes identifies their existence not only in U.S.
consumer culture but also in K-12 classrooms. The goal, however, is
not to rebuke the consumer for having bought Big Chief Sugar or the
teacher for having young students construct one-dimensional canoes,
paddles, and Indians out of paper and glue but to use those
activities as a demonstration of what most people know about
From this point, a foundation of facts can begin to replace
stereotypes in the learning process.
Demonstrating further how popular influences can control
knowledge, the lesson on “great” Indian men shows that the popular
preference for biographies of famous Indian warriors (Pontiac or
Tecumseh) or individual women (Pocahontas or Sacagawea) narrows an
understanding of Indians to symbolic representations and issues by
ignoring their ongoing culture.
The lesson on Indian
and maps explains and visually shows the reason the Chippewa,
and Potawatomi lived in Michigan in 1760 and live in Michigan today
in roughly the same places. Treaties are explored in a manner that
is understandable to fourth graders through adults, by showing where
Indians lived, the treaty boundaries, and tribal land holdings. This
lesson also shows Indian cartography concepts and how maps may be
Rethinking Michigan Indian History unique and important is
non-confrontational and modular approach that challenges
thinking and teaching practices, while at the same time advocates
change. The inclusion of graphic resources, handouts, and colorful
maps makes this book necessary for the teacher, student, and the
general reader who is interested in Michigan Indian history.
PRAISE FOR RETHINKING MICHIGAN INDIAN HISTORY:
“Patrick LeBeau's Rethinking Michigan Indian History is a
ground-breaking text. The lessons, historical overviews, topics,
definitions, resources, and activities are carefully researched and
clearly presented. Teachers, students, and the general public will
benefit from this illuminating book. Every Michigan teacher should
read it and a copy should be in all Michigan class rooms and
—A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff, professor emerita
English, University of Illinois at Chicago, and former interim
director, D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian History,
"...especially intended for
in conventional thinking and
teaching practices in a non-
ROM holds printable PDF file
versions of the graphic
resources, handouts, and
colorful maps...Very highly
recommended." - Wisconsin
- Midwest Book Review, Wisconsin Bookwatch
"...brilliant, engaging, and
educational tool...My one
wish is that Mr. Lebeau had
time to do such a wonderful
guide for every state."
- Midwest Book
Michigan & Great Lakes Books
CD-ROM has bonus maps and instructional material
in pdf form. Adobe Acrobat Reader version 7.0 or
higher is needed to read the CD-
Illustrated with 4-color maps and
215 pp., 6.00" x 9.00", 2004