Today we’re going to be discussing the first half of Georges Sioui’s For an Amerindian Autohistory. In this work, Sioui promotes the Amerindian worldview and why American Indian history should be told by American Indians. He also puts his philosophy to practice and tells the history of Northern Iroquoian peoples after the arrival of Europeans. I like to begin the semester with this work because it forces us to think about how American Indian cultures are described and how their history is told by Euroamericans. That said, it must be read critically and with an eye toward core anthropological concepts like cultural relativism.
In the end, the book encourages conversations about the colonization of history, Western vs. non-Western worldviews, the relationship between culture and cultural values, and the utility of traditional American Indian values in the modern world.