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Chronicled here are 500 years of the complex dynamics of Mi’kmaq culture. This text explores the group as a tribal nation – their ordeals in the face of colonialism and their current struggle for self-determination and cultural revitalization.

Harald E.L. Prins, Kansas State University

Harald E.L. Prins is a University Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at Kansas State University (KSU). Academically trained at half a dozen Dutch and U.S. universities, he came to the U.S. as a List Fellow at the New School for Social Research in New York City. He has taught at Radboud University (Netherlands), as well as Bowdoin College and Colby College in Maine, and as a visiting professor at the University of Lund, Sweden. He has received numerous honors for his teaching, including the Conoco Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching in 1993, Presidential Award in 1999, Coffman Chair of Distinguished Teaching Scholars in 2004, Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year for Kansas in 2006, and the AAA/Oxford University Press Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching of Anthropology in 2010. His fieldwork focuses on indigenous peoples in the Western Hemisphere, and he has long served as an advocacy anthropologist on land claims and other native rights. In that capacity, Dr. Prins has been a lead expert witness in both the U.S. Senate and Canadian federal courts. He has refereed for 40 academic book publishers and journals. His own numerous academic publications appear in nine languages, with books including The Mi'kmaq: Resistance, Accommodation, and Cultural Survival (Margaret Mead Award finalist). Also trained in filmmaking, he served as president of the Society for Visual Anthropology, and has coproduced award-winning documentaries. He has been the visual anthropology editor of American Anthropologist, co-principal investigator for the U.S. National Park Service, international observer in Paraguay's presidential elections, and a research associate at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.
  • This text spans 500 years of the complex dynamics of Mik’kmaq culture. The Mi’kmaqs, who still inhabit northern Maine and Canada, were among the first Indians to encounter European colonists.
  • Direct quotations of Mi’kmaqs and outsiders enable the reader to appreciate different, and sometimes conflicting points of view.
  • The author has worked on a successful Mi’kmaq native rights case for ten years, helping one Mi’kmaq band gain federal recognition and a land claim settlement.
1. Introduction: Quest for Cultural Survival.
2. Problems and Challenges: The Politics of History.
3. Aboriginal Baseline: A Historical Ethnography.
4. First Contact: Europe’s Advent and Klu’skap’s Exit.
5. Moving In: European Colonists in Mi’kmaq Country.
6. Christianizing the Mi’kmaq: “Black Robes” and “Bare Feet”.
7. Accommodation and Resistance: Mi’kmaq Life in the Colonial Period.
8. Cultural Stress: Alcohol Rage and Beaver Wars.
9. Colonial Wars and Alliances.
10. Colonial Wars: Losing the Armed Struggle for Independence.
11. More Treaties and Broken Promises.
12. Survival under Internal Colonialism.
13. Mi’kmaq Cultural Survival: A Tribal Nation in the Modern World.
Films on the Mi’kmaq: An Annotated List.