Descriptions of Indian peoples of the Northeast date to the Norse sagas, centuries before permanent European settlement, and the region has been the setting for a long history of contact, conflict, and accommodation between natives and newcomers. The focus of an extraordinarily vital field of scholarship, the Northeast is important both historically and theoretically: patterns of Indian-white relations that developed there would be replicated time and again over the course of American history. Today the Northeast remains the locus of cultural negotiation and controversy, with such subjects as federal recognition, gaming, land claims, and repatriation programs giving rise to debates directly informed by archeological and historical research of the region.
The Columbia Guide to American Indians of the Northeast is a concise and authoritative reference resource to the history and culture of the varied indigenous peoples of the region. Encompassing the very latest scholarship, this multifaceted volume is divided into four parts. Part I presents an overview of the cultures and histories of Northeastern Indian people and surveys the key scholarly questions and debates that shape this field. Part II serves as an encyclopedia, alphabetically listing important individuals and places of significant cultural or historic meaning. Part III is a chronology of the major events in the history of American Indians in the Northeast. The expertly selected resources in Part IV include annotated lists of tribes, bibliographies, museums and sites, published sources, Internet sites, and films that can be easily accessed by those wishing to learn more.