Story from Bear Country Historical Context

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Socially and politically, Native Americans still feel the burden of their separate status as outsiders in their own land. Once heir to an entire continent, their communities are mostly confined to reservations on land that is unaccommodating to the way of life that sustained them for thousands of years before European colonization. Joseph Bruchac writes in his introduction to Songs from This Earth on Turtle's Back that "as many as 50 million American Indian people" may have lived on this continent in the 1400s. In the early 1900s, he continues, population figures indicate less than half a million were left.

However, between 1960 and 1980, census figures show that the American Indian population grew from 750,000 to 1,500,000. Simultaneously, the rituals, traditions, and stories of Native Americans underwent a renaissance beginning in the 1960s when N. Scott Momaday won a Pulitzer Prize (in 1969) for his book House Made of Dawn. The keen interest...

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This section contains 665 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Story from Bear Country Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Story from Bear Country from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.