Spirited Encounters In History Summary

Improved Essays
Who are the “rightful owners” of history? Karen Coody Cooper argues that the history of

the American Indian belongs, first and foremost to that group, and secondly is being grossly

misinterpreted. In the recent past, a Eurocentric view on Native American history has caused

contention between public institutions and the indigenous peoples. According to Cooper,

American Indians were presented as uncivilized and inhuman. These public prejudices led to a

back lash lead by indigenous peoples to change the narrative set forth by “the white man”.

Cooper’s monograph, Spirited Encounters: American Indians Protest Museum Policies

and Practices focuses on actions carried out specifically by Native Americans in opposition to

the status quo of representation of Native
…show more content…
This quote can also be used in the context of many other issues within the modern

museum.

Jefferson, Alphine W. Spirited Encounters: American Indians Protest Museum Policies and
Practices. The Public Historian 33, no. 3 (Summer, 2011): 138-143.

In his scholarly review of Spirited Encounters: American Indian Protest Museum

Policies and Practices, Alphine W. Jefferson’s asserts, “Therefore, to elevate one set of items

above another is tantamount to making ethical decisions from a Eurocentric and external

perspective. In this process, the internal perspective is minimized and the Indigenous perspective

subject to criticism and ridicule.” Jefferson makes the same connects that I do, relating to

“internal perspectives”. When certain practices and oral histories are keep secret or within the

cultural group, a historian may have to see things from an anthropological point of view.

Jefferson concludes that the presumptions place on the American Indian were not the only

problem museums faced. Academic presumptions also existed and continue to exist.

Presumptions at an academic level can filter down and effect how the public interprets this

fragile piece of

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