Today we’re going to finish up our discussion of Georges Sioui’s For an Amerindian Autohistory. The students did a very nice job critically reading the first half of the book. Our discussion covered our interpretations of Autohistory and Sioui’s description of Amerindian values vs. Western values. We had a great discussion about Sioui’s motivations: is he being extreme to elicit a response (a la Vine Deloria) or is this his honest view of how to to tell American Indian history? We also had an animated discussion about Sioui’s proposition that American Indian societies are matriarchies that value women more than Western societies. (What do you think?)
Today, we’re going to focus on the big themes that come from Sioui’s work:
1. Is Amerindian Autohistory an effective method for historical research and education?
2. Is the theory of evolution the problem with Western societies? (Very loaded question)
3. What is the Amerindian value system as laid out by Sioui? Could it solve our modern environmental, social, and political problems?
4. As always, what does an anthropological viewpoint have to add to these questions?
The students’ next ePortfolio posts will be evaluating Sioui’s ideas of Autohistory and Amerology, so stay tuned.