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
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