UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Nakona wasnonya yuhabi/Assiniboine knowledge keepers : Indigenous archiving from the 19th into the 21st… Horowitz, Joshua Ben 2014

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata


24-ubc_2014_september_horowitz_joshua.pdf [ 1.47MB ]
JSON: 24-1.0166021.json
JSON-LD: 24-1.0166021-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 24-1.0166021-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 24-1.0166021-rdf.json
Turtle: 24-1.0166021-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 24-1.0166021-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 24-1.0166021-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

    NAKONA WASNONYA YUHABI/ASSINIBOINE KNOWLEDGE KEEPERS: INDIGENOUS ARCHIVING FROM THE 19TH INTO THE 21ST CENTURIES      by   JOSHUA BEN HOROWITZ  B.A., The University of California Santa Cruz, 1994 M.Ed., Dominican University of California, 2003 M.A., Dominican University of California, 2008     A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF   DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY   in  THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (History)   THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)     August 2014   © Joshua Ben Horowitz, 2014    ii Abstract   This dissertation investigates the ways that Assiniboine peoples have kept bodies of cultural knowledge alive for their people from the reservation period in the U.S. and Canada in the late nineteenth century to the present. I intend to contribute to the archival turn with what I would call a nascent theory of Indigenous archiving. By focusing on Assiniboine people, I describe five Indigenous methods of keeping knowledge alive for their communities, including oral tradition, ceremony, sacred sites and territoriality, written texts, and artwork, as distinct from the Western methodologies of archiving. I contrast Assiniboine perspectives of archiving with what settler society collected and said about Assiniboine culture and history, and then explicate the differences between these settler and Indigenous points of view. This historical investigation of archiving Assiniboine knowledge illustrates relationships that range from animosity to reciprocity between Assiniboine and settlers regarding what it means to archive Assiniboine knowledge.  This dissertation examines archives as bodies of cultural knowledge, archiving as an action of preservation, and Assiniboine cultural practitioners as archivists or what I call keepers of cultural knowledge. Throughout this dissertation I examine Assiniboine archiving as a set of interrelated processes. I suggest that the Assiniboine have employed a constellation of Indigenous archival processes that, in particular instances, worked in synchronicity in sustaining a degree of Assiniboine cultural identities, cosmologies, and a sense of peoplehood that has both undergone change and experienced continuity over time. I show that this constellation of archival processes mitigated previous damage caused by the ways of collecting by settlers, including those methods used in the disciplines of Anthropology and History, the universities that house them, and colonial museums and national archives. I demonstrate that these ways of archiving show the potential for Indigenous peoples to work with settler archives to support their own cultural preservation and to decolonize settler efforts through reciprocal relations (repatriation, managing or working with exhibitions), such as tribally managed archives and museums. This dissertation is based on extensive archival research and oral interviews with Assiniboine people on reserves in Montana, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.   iii Preface  This dissertation is based on archival research and twenty-two oral interviews conducted entirely by the author, Joshua Ben Horowitz. The oral interviews were approved by the University of British Columbia’s Research Ethics Board [certificate #: H09-01307], under the title Nakona Knowledge Keepers, with the Principal Investigator, Dr. Coll Thrush.   The author conducted archival research in Washington, D.C. in June of 2010 under a fellowship from the Tribal Heritage Research Project, as a Fellow and founding member of the Association of Tribal Archives Libraries and Museums, at the National Archives, the National Gallery, and the Smithsonian Institution Archives, including the Cultural Anthropology Archives and the National Museum of the American Indian Archives Center. The author also researched Canadian expedition journals and Assiniboine texts at the Newberry Library during my 2010 Summer Institute fellowship at the Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies.     iv Table of Contents Abstract.…………………………………………………………………………………...ii Preface.…………………………………………………………………………………...iii Table of Contents…………………………………………………………………………iv Acknowledgements…………………………………………………..……………………v Dedication………………………………………………………………………………...vi Chapter 1: Introduction, The Storage Locker at Fort Peck…………………………….….1 Chapter 2: Azana (The Light), 1832, and the Present…...…………………….…………35 Chapter 3: Wiotijaka (Medicine Lodge), 1880 to 2012 ……………………………........69 Chapter 4: Wamakashka Istima (Sleeping Buffalo Rock)...............................................107 Chapter 5: Assiniboine Literacy - Land of Nakoda…...………………...………….…...142 Chapter 6: Assiniboine Knowledge Keeping through Artwork.…………………….….182 Chapter 7: Conclusion O’ihage (The Ending of This Story)………………..………….215 Bibliography……………………………………………………………………………227 Appendix A: Interviewee Bios……………..……..…..………………………...………243 Appendix B: Question…………………………………….…………………………….251 Appendix C: RISE/IRB Intro Letter and Consent Form..………….………………….. 255               v Acknowledgements  This dissertation was made possible by the intellectual support and guidance from my Supervisor, Coll Thrush, as well as my committee members Paige Raibmon and William French. I also gained much insight on becoming a historian from professors of the History department, including comprehensive examination preparation with Joy Dixon, coursework with John Roosa, Tamara Myers, and Tina Loo, and advice from Daniel Vickers, Alejandra Bronfman, Carla Nappi, and Michel Ducharme. I learned from my fellow graduate students at University of British Columbia. In addition, I am grateful for the support of my fellow faculty, and the students and staff at Dominican University of California, including especially professors Martin Anderson, Christian Dean, Phil Novak, and Leslie Ross.   The funding fellowships and scholarships from the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of British Columbia enabled me to complete my coursework, exams, research, and the writing of this dissertation. My gratitude also goes to the Charles Redd Center of Western Studies of Brigham Young University of Utah for a summer research grant I received in 2012. At the summer institute at the Newberry Consortium of American Indian Studies in 2010, I learned a lot from professors Cary Miller, David Beck, and Scott Stevens as well as the other students in that cohort. It has been my honour to be a founding member of the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums (ATALM) since the founding in 2009. Special thanks go to Susan Feller and Melissa Brodt, as well as my colleagues in the Tribal Heritage Research Project from 2009-2012.   Thanks to Assiniboine people, such as Jeff Cummins, Robert Four Star, the late Rudolf Oliver Archdale, Larry Smith, Harry Beauchamp, Jr., Wilma Kennedy, the MacArthur family, the Lonechild family, and many others, this dissertation hopes to serve Assiniboine communities. In large part, I owe my deepest gratitude to all the interviewees who consented to interviews, and also to those that considered this project in conversation, including Kenny Ryan, Joseph Miller, Larry Wetsit, Tommy Christian, and the Medicine Lodge society members, and also David Reed Miller.  Foremost, I am grateful beyond words to the patience and emotional support of my wife Arlene Horowitz, my father, Mardi Horowitz, and my family (including Kui).  vi Dedication   This dissertation is dedicated to my lovely wife Arlene McMurray Horowitz.    This dissertation is also dedicated to Harry and Dennis Beauchamp, who passed away in the summer of 2010 much too young, and to the Beauchamp family.   Note: In the summer of 2010, while I was researching and participating in the Newberry Consortium of American Indian Studies Summer Institute in Chicago, I received a phone call from an Assiniboine-Mandan friend of mine, David Chase, who lived in Polson, Montana. He told me that his nephews, Harry Beauchamp III, 15 years old, and his brother Dennis Beauchamp, 9 years, drowned in a tragic accident after Harry tried to rescue Dennis, who had fallen into an irrigation canal near a lake in St. Ignatius, Montana. They were both Assiniboine from Fort Peck through their father, and Salish-Kootenai from the Flathead Indian Reservation through their mother. I knew Harry since he was a baby when I lived with his parents in Pablo, Montana, in 1996. His father, Harry Beauchamp, Jr., adopted me as his brother Assiniboine way, and little Harry always called me minekshi (for uncle). Harry was a true inspiration for everyone that knew him. From his earliest age he learned everything he could about his Assiniboine cultural practices and passed that onto others, always respecting his elders. He was a representative of The Youth Tribal Council of Fort Peck Assiniboines and a Firekeeper at the Medicine Lodge. I was very proud of Harry and honoured to be one of his uncles. I dedicate this dissertation in part to their memory and to all the Assiniboine youth that wish to carry on with the important cultural knowledge that their elders may teach them.           1 Chapter 1: Introduction  There’s a lot of these things that have never been written about the Assiniboine. This history is ours. People of my age now and my brother Carl, we’re preserving this. We’re documenting it. We’re finding out where all our archives are. We’re building a database so that there’s kids down the road, our children, our grandchildren [who will] want to know about our people, it will be there.  – Robert Four Star1  Relics of the past cross all the cultural boundaries that lie between past and present, and when they do they are reconstituted in the relations and means of production of each cultural zone they enter…. Their preservation is cultural. I think of institutions: archives and museums are mirrors of power and cosmologies.  – Greg Dening2   I first met Rudolph Oliver Archdale, a powerful Assiniboine medicine man (pejuta wichasha or “plants-man”), in June 1996 on the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Reservation in Wolf Point, Montana. The Fort Peck Reservation sits on the high-plains in the northeastern corner of Montana, close to the borders of Saskatchewan and North Dakota. Jeff Cummins, an Assiniboine tribal member, had invited me to drive with him to attend the Medicine Lodge, held annually in June after the first full moon on the Fort Peck Reservation.3 I knew Jeff as a sweat brother from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and we were fellow members of the Student Alliance of North American Indians (SANAI).4  After we had arrived in the town of Wolf Point, we drove to the very small Silverwolf Casino to meet Oliver, where Oliver worked as a security clerk. That day Oliver watched me play slot machines on the monitors in his back-room office before I met him in person. After I played the slot machines for a short while, I entered his office through the scent of fried foods in order to join my friends. He was wearing what I would                                                 1 Robert Four Star, 2004, accessed 3-2-2013 from website: Turtle Island Storytellers Network, under “Montana” tab (copyrighted 2004). This organization is now housed under the WisdomoftheElders.org. <www.turtleislandstorytellers.net/tis_montana/transcript_r_four_star.htm>  2 Greg Dening, Performances (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), 43. 3 See Jeff Cummins’s brief biography in Appendix A: Interview Bios. The car in which we drove was a rented white Cadillac with purple leather upholstery, a gift from Jeff’s wife to honor his recent completion of his master’s degree in social work. 4 I am part Seneca on my mother’s side, and had been involved in the Student Alliance of North American Indians and Native American Studies at UCSC for many years.  2 come to learn was his signature attire —a precisely folded bandana over his long, black hair which was tied up in a ponytail. He chose a differently coloured bandana each day to match his polo shirt: on this particular Wednesday afternoon, he was wearing a sky-blue, white-striped shirt and a paisley, sky-blue bandana that looked pristinely ironed. He smiled at me in a teasing manner and said, “Who are you? A Freeman?” I laughed because I was wearing a red sweatshirt, a bandana, and desert camouflage, fatigue pants with hiking boots.  The following day, Oliver drove me around the open plains and wheat fields of the reservation, or the “rez,” in his small, black king-cab 4x4 Ford Ranger pickup truck, which he had named “Sheepdog.” He showed me medicinal plants (in which I have a keen interest), we joked around, he asked me a lot of questions, and told me stories. We were good friends right off the bat; as he would say, we were “like two peas in a pod.” Thus began my induction into Assiniboine society and my interest in practicing and propagating Assiniboine cultural knowledge. After meeting Oliver, his brother, Robert Four Star, and many others during the subsequent four days of the Medicine Lodge, I was invited by one of Oliver’s friends, Larry Smith, to stay and make Wolf Point my home. 5 I took their kindness to heart, relocated from Santa Cruz, and lived there from 1996 to 1998. During that time, I taught vocational and cultural studies and wood-shop in Poplar secondary schools, nearby tribal headquarters for the reservation. Since 1998, I have returned every year, whenever possible, to participate in the Medicine Lodge. This is when and how my interest in perpetuating Indigenous – specifically Assiniboine –cultural knowledge began. I lived in Wolf Point on the Fort Peck reservation for several years, participated in ceremonies and daily life, and took Assiniboine language and etiquette classes at the Fort Peck Community College with Robert Four Star. In 1998, he adopted me as a son. Robert Four Star’s Assiniboine name is Wamakashka Doba Inazhi, which translates as Buffalo Stops Four Times. He is the Chief of the Red Bottom Band of Assiniboine, one of the last traditional chiefs of Assiniboine in either the U.S. or Canada, and he is a keeper of Assiniboine cultural knowledge. Robert is also a faculty member of the Fort Peck Community College, and my most important consultant, cultural adviser, and                                                 5 See Robert Four Star’s and Larry Smith’s brief biographies in Appendices A: Interview Bios.  3 interviewee. I left Fort Peck in 1998 to move to Marin County in California in order to get a secondary teaching credential at Dominican University of California, which I received in 2000. When I left Fort Peck I had every intention of returning as a teacher and to co-founder a non-profit organization dedicated to Indigenous outdoor experiential education.  In the end, although I did not return to Fort Peck to live, I did co-found the non-profit called the Indigenous Learning Institute. Its first project at the Fort Peck reservation was called the Wamakashka Oeti (Bison Camp), which ran from 2001 to 2005. As an outdoor experiential cultural education project, this endeavour brought Assiniboine families together to live outside for one week to practice cultural activities, such as hide tanning and drum making. My thesis for my Master of Science in Education at Dominican, completed in 2003, examines the learning outcomes of the Bison Camp.6 In my somewhat circuitous life journey, between 2000 and 2002 I lived on Oahu in Hawaii, and taught various subjects at a brand-new Native Hawaiian Charter School called the Hakipu’u Learning Center that utilized experiential and Native Hawaiian cultural knowledge as the foundation for its curriculum. The school’s motto, “ma ka hana ka ‘ike” (“knowledge is gained by doing”), illustrates an important idea, namely, embodiment through experiential education; I expand on this idea further in Chapter 2 of this dissertation. This was one of the first Native Hawaiian Charter Schools in a network of several throughout the Hawaiian Islands, part of a growing emphasis on Native Hawaiian cultural practices in education, such as tending kalo (taro) fields, the study of political struggle for land rights, and general Native social life. I was truly honoured to be a founding teacher at that school. What I learned from the Native Hawaiian community influences my scholarly interests in archiving the cultural body of knowledge to this day. In January 2002, while on a school bus with Hakipu’u students returning from a field trip to the local fishponds, called lo’i in Hawaiian, I received a tragic phone call. Oliver had passed away at the young age of 46.  He had had a very rare disease that devastated his kidneys; in addition he suffered from severe sleep apnea, had tremors, and was very overweight, even for a very tall, near six foot, big-boned man. One of the                                                 6 Josh Horowitz, “A Case Study of the Wamakashka Oeti (Bison Camp): Evaluating the Impact of Indigenous Learning on Cultural Integrity and Family Wellness for Nakonabe at Fort Peck at Assiniboine and Sioux Reservation,” (unpublished master’s thesis, Dominican University of California, 2003).  4 wisest, kindest, and funniest persons I have ever known, he also was one of the most important cultural practitioners of the Assiniboine, especially regarding ceremonies, plant knowledge, and the Assiniboine language. He was a living archive of Assiniboine cultural knowledge. The amount of knowledge and experience I personally learned from him goes far beyond the scope of any dissertation or book. When he passed away, vast amounts of specific cultural knowledge that had not been passed onto others went with him.   I flew from Oahu to Montana the next day to attend Oliver’s funeral. People from all over the world also attended his funeral, which was held in a high school gym auditorium after an all-night wake of traditional Assiniboine pipe ceremonies and prayers. Oliver was so important to his people that his funeral included a horse-drawn casket and a slow procession along to the gravesite in Frazer along the single lane, backcountry road called Indian Highway. At the side of his grave, the ceremonial singing could be not only heard, but also felt throughout my body. This was one of the saddest days of my life. This dissertation is dedicated to Oliver’s memory and to remembering him as a truly important cultural archivist: a loving, vital keeper of Assiniboine cultural knowledge. Through my experiences as a teacher living on the Fort Peck reservation 1996-1998, directing the Bison Camp from 2002 to 2005, participating in Assiniboine ceremonies, teaching Native Hawaiian experiential education from 2000 to 2002, and studying archival theory in Indigenous and cultural history at The University of British Colombia (UBC), I conceived of and developed this dissertation. My academic inquiry in this project would not have been possible without the last 20 years of my personal experience and connections with the Assiniboine people, including Jeff Cummins, Oliver Archdale, and Robert Four Star.   Gaining the trust and respect of people within Assiniboine communities to conduct interviews and research came after years of cultural participation, service, and scrutiny of me by the tribe’s elders. In addition, in order to understand what it means to keep Indigenous bodies of cultural knowledge alive – sustained over time for future generations – scholars studying specific Indigenous peoples, such as my study of the Assiniboine, require an understanding of those Indigenous cosmologies, worldviews, or  5 cultural systems of thought. From my personal experience with Assiniboine people I learned how to treat Indigenous elders as what storytellers and authors, Michael J. Caduto and Joseph Bruchac (Abenaki), have called “keepers” of bodies of knowledge.7 This precept informs my academic research involving Indigenous peoples. Scholars engaged in archival studies and Indigenous studies, as well as cultural specialists involved in archival work, museums, or tribal government cultural departments of other Indigenous nations might learn from how Assiniboine knowledge-keepers have sustained bodies of cultural wisdom. Cultural historians can learn from the various ways that Indigenous archival processes reveal unique sensibilities concerning knowledge that differ from Western notions, such as sacred knowledge, and how that knowledge is attained, recorded, and maintained as history for particular communities. For example, in Indigenous peoples’ histories, such as the Assiniboine, they often consider that a spiritual energy, or wakan, is neither good nor evil, but that it permeates reality. As a cultural historian trained in secular Western history, I acknowledge wakan as a belief held by both Assiniboine and Sioux peoples. Further, I am open to the possibility of experiencing a sacred and mysterious force in the Indigenous knowledge I examine in this dissertation. According to the Assiniboine elders who I learned from, the Assiniboine are a First Nations/Native American tribe of the Nakona (or Nakonabi for plural), or Nakoda or Nakota, all of which translate to “The Friendly People.”8  The name Assiniboine is a Cree word that means Stone Boilers.9 In Morley Alberta, Canada, the Stoney, as another way to speak of the Nakona, consider themselves Assiniboine. Robert Four Star taught me that the correct spelling and pronunciation of the word is Nakona, and most Assiniboine I interviewed agree; nonetheless, different people on different reserves have their own opinions on the matter, which are sometimes hotly debated. Anthropologists and linguists                                                 7 See a series of books with the word “Keepers” in the title by Michael J. Caduto and Joseph Bruchac, such as Keepers of The Earth: Native American Stories and Activities for Children (Golden, Colorado: Fulcrum, 1988). 8 Robert Four Star Interview #2, May 30, 2010, in his office at FPCC, Wolf Point, MT. 9 The synonymy or names of the Assiniboine are debated by linguistic anthropologists; Douglas Parks claims that “Stone Boilers” is incorrect: the correct Ojibwa term in historical records assini-pwa-n  means “Stone Enemy.” However, I learned through oral histories that the correct translation of Assiniboine is “Stone Boilers” in Algonquin languages. For a summary of this issue see DeMallie, Raymond J., and David Reed Miller, “Assiniboine,” in Handbook of North American Indians, William C. Sturtevant, ed., Vol. 13, “Plains,” Part I (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 2001), 590-592.   6 consider Assiniboine a Sioux language, but many Assiniboine do not identify themselves as Sioux. This dissertation acknowledges the various assertions of unique Assiniboine identity, language modification, and complexity in its historical analysis.10 This diversity of opinions regarding how Assiniboine people refer to themselves as Nakona, Nakota, Nakoda, or Stoney and the correct pronunciation of certain words in the Assiniboine language illustrates an important point about Assiniboine identity. Assiniboine people see themselves simultaneously as both a unified people that share a collective sense of peoplehood and as diverse communities that practice similar bodies of cultural knowledge quite differently in relation to each other and to other Indigenous groups. At the same time, they see themselves and their several reserves and multiple communities within those reserves as different peoples, each with individual interpretations of the various bodies of cultural knowledge. For Assiniboine people, this simultaneous sameness and difference seems quite normal: their band, kinship, birthplace, and participation in cultural practices and ceremonies carry more importance for individual Assiniboine communities than the specific reservation in which they are enrolled. In relation to other tribes or to nation-states though, it is clear that Assiniboine people see themselves as one people that share a common legacy of historical colonization with other Indigenous peoples, as well as in their collective efforts to sustain bodies of cultural knowledge. This contrast and simultaneity in sameness and difference amongst and between Assiniboine communities illustrates the inadequacy of the term “tribe” as applied by early explorers, settlers, government officials, and contemporary scholars: a sense of peoplehood seems more appropriate for this dissertation. I have chosen to use the word Assiniboine throughout this dissertation, except when quoting others, because it seems to be the most accepted term across those differences. Self-identification, in terms of naming and use of Indigenous language, reveals an important archival process in and of itself: this dissertation acknowledges and uses Assiniboine language as much as possible in relevant and appropriate instances.                                                 10 I draw on some standard ethnographic material on the Assiniboine from the Handbook of North American Indians here. For more ethnography about Assiniboine and Stoney, see Raymond J., DeMallie and David Reed Miller’s, “Assiniboine,” and Ian A.L Getty and Erik D. Gooding’s, “Stoney” in Handbook of North American Indians, William C. Sturtevant, ed., Vol. 13, “Plains,” Part I (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 2001), 572-595, and 596-603.  7 Assiniboine people currently reside on nine different reservations in the U.S. and Canada that were established in the late nineteenth century. On two of these reservations, in Montana, they share their reservations politically and socially with other tribes, yet historically they were not allies. In one instance, at Fort Belknap Reservation, they share the reservation with the Gros Ventre (A’ani), and at the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Reservation they share the reservation with Dakota (mostly Yankton, Wahpeton, Sisseton, and other Sioux groups). In Canada, smaller communities are spread out on seven reserves in Saskatchewan and Alberta. These include two, Stoney Park, or Chief Chinniki, and Morley, in Alberta, and Carry the Kettle, Ocean Man, Mosquito-Grizzly Bear’s Head, and Pheasant’s Rump in Saskatchewan. They also live on other reservations through intermarriage with other tribes, such as Cree at White Bear, Saskatchewan. Similar to other Indigenous Peoples of North America, Assiniboine people also live elsewhere, such as in urban areas, but are still linked through sociocultural networks.   My lens of inquiry in this dissertation focuses on Assiniboine people, even though they share reservations with other Indigenous peoples, such as those that I mentioned above. By focusing on Assiniboine connections across several of their reserves, I attempt to illustrate how these dispersed Assiniboine communities share a sense of commonality, kinship ties, and identity. Archival processes link Assiniboine people between communities and their relationships to places, animals, plants, weather, stars, rocks, water, and other forms of nature, despite the geopolitical constructions of reserves in Canada and reservations in the U.S. Rather than using Indigenous nationhood as a categorical concept to discuss this shared collective identity in relation to nation-states, I draw on Daniel Heath Justice’s construct, “peoplehood.” In “Kinship Criticism and the Decolonization Imperative,” Justice states that: Indigenous nationhood is more than simple political independence or the exercise of a distinctive cultural identity; it’s also an understanding of a common social interdependence within the community, the tribal web of kinship rights and responsibilities that link the People, the land, and the cosmos together in an ongoing and dynamic system of mutually affecting relationships.11                                                  11 Daniel Heath Justice, “Kinship Criticism and the Decolonization Imperative,” in Reasoning Together: The Native Critics Collective by Janice Acoose, Craig S. Womack, Daniel Heath Justice, and Christopher B. Teuton. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008), 151. Justice draws on Amanda Cobb’s concept “peopleness” (unpublished manuscript in the collective’s possession, 1986).   8 Justice further defines peoplehood as, “… the relational system that keeps the people in balance with one another, with other peoples and realities, and with the world. Nationhood is the political extension of the social rights and responsibilities of peoplehood.”12 The relations between Assiniboine people, other peoples, other nation-states, and non-human beings expressed through stories, ceremonies, and artwork form the assemblage of archival processes that I examine in this inquiry.   Similar to other Indigenous peoples of the North American Plains, Assiniboine experienced major trauma under American and Canadian colonization in the second half of the nineteenth century. American and Canadian colonization had significant negative consequences for Assiniboine ways of life, such as territorial dispossession and the establishment of reservation systems. In this context of American and Canadian colonization and assimilation, Assiniboine archiving became increasingly important at pivotal moments in Assiniboine history. Waves of epidemics from the mid- to late-nineteenth century reduced Assiniboine numbers by almost 85 percent, from an estimated 42,000 to 7,000.13 Furthering the decimation of Assiniboine cultural knowledge, the establishment of reservations in the 1880s and the assimilation programs in the early twentieth century, such as boarding schools, up to the 1920s in the U.S., and the 1970s in Canada, banned languages, ceremonies, and cultural regalia. Extreme poverty within the confines of reservation boundaries limited the options Assiniboine people had to make a living throughout the twentieth century. These factors, and others, devastated much Assiniboine cultural knowledge and many practices that conveyed that knowledge. Consequently, Assiniboine people engaged in an archiving process to protect their cultural body of knowledge in its various forms. The idea that human beings desire to protect and preserve specific bodies of knowledge seems almost universal, whether imagining a collection of family recipes or photographs, or retelling familiar stories around a campfire. Either expressed in an Indigenous community or a national archive, this urge to preserve historical knowledge, or the anxious emotional state that Jacques Derrida called “archive fever,” appears to be a                                                 12 Justice, “Kinship Criticism” in Reasoning Together, 152. I discuss this term further, especially in writing as an archive, in Chapter 4 of this dissertation. 13 This is a summary estimate drawing from the “Introduction” by Michael Stephen Kennedy, Ed., in The Assiniboines: From the Accounts of the Old Ones Told to First Boy (James Larpenteur Long), (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1961), xlvii.  9 common intention to sustain a community member’s sense of belonging to a certain peoplehood.14  National or state archives, such as the National Archives of the United States of America, located in Washington, D.C., which contains records not only of a “national concern,” but also information about Assiniboine ancestors, serves as an example.  While doing research with a newly formed cohort of tribal research fellows under the umbrella organization of the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums (ATALM) in D.C. in June 2010 I entered the National Archives. This was one of my earliest introductions with conventional archives. One of the first things that struck me was the heavy security. In the evening, after researching in the National Archives, I had a very interesting conversation with an Assiniboine individual, right after I had photographed several records about Assiniboine families of Industrial Surveys conducted at Fort Peck and Fort Belknap in the 1920s, which also included photographs from the period.15 A friend of one of the other Fellows of ATALM asked me if I had seen any records of her ancestor at Fort Belknap, a person named Spirit Boy.16 I affirmed that I had indeed taken some digital photographs of photos and records of this person who had been captured in 1920s. I sent them to her later via an email attachment. She was elated, and even though she grew up far away from Fort Belknap, she was in the process of getting reacquainted with her people.  To me, this archival experience revealed that those records about Assiniboine people found in national or state archives may be important not only to historical researchers but also to their descendants. Furthermore, descendants of Assiniboine people should be informed regarding records about their ancestors when possible, otherwise these photographs, letters, or other records may be forgotten or worse, lost. Yet, storage lockers alone only control limited forms of information for particular audiences. The Office of Indian Affairs, which eventually became the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), held these records to assist in the management of federal obligations with Native                                                 14 Jacques Derrida, Archive Fever: a Freudian Impression (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 91. 15 The Office of Indian Affairs conducted Industrial Surveys on Native American reservations in the United States to assess degrees of “progress.” 16 Archival research conducted in June, 2010. Industrial Survey Records. RG 75. Reports of Industrial Surveys, 1922-1929. Ft. Belknap – Ft. Berthold. Box 10. PI-163 Entry 762, National Archives I, Washington, D.C.  10 Americans within the jurisdiction of the United States. At the same time, reading those records through the eyes of Assiniboine, I found photographs that were very personally meaningful for Assiniboine descendants. The stories that may come from seeing the information contained in those locked archives’ shelves seem to hold more relevant political, cultural, and historical importance than the actual documentation itself. As Michel Trouillot claims: “The storage model assumes not only the past to be remembered but the collective subject that does the remembering.  The problem with this dual assumption is that the constructed past itself is constitutive of the collectivity.” 17 Archives and the holdings – narratives, documents, and objects they house – will likely be interpreted differently by various audiences, whether a government official or an Assiniboine individual looking for information about his or her ancestors.  During my research trip to Poplar, Montana in the summer of 2012, I observed the construction of a new “state of the art” archive in Poplar, which was to be managed by the Fort Peck Community College. This was funded in part by a grant from the National Institute of Libraries and Museums. Robert Four Star conducted a blessing ceremony in August to inaugurate the official opening of this archive. For Assiniboines living across the nine reservations, this was a major accomplishment. The Fort Peck Community College, utilizing the Western archive model of storage lockers, exemplifies a fairly recent relationship of reciprocity between Indigenous peoples and Western archives’ methods and techniques. One of my aims throughout this dissertation is to highlight the historical instances of what I call “reciprocity” found between Assiniboine and non-Assiniboine in terms of methods of archiving – the synergistic working together to help sustain bodies of Assiniboine cultural knowledge and inform non-Assiniboine audiences. This new archive at Fort Peck Community College emerged partly as a result of Native American struggles for greater self-determination in the 1970s and partly through recent Indigenous political assertions: non-Indigenous archivists, anthropologists, historians, and museum curators working together with Indigenous cultural practitioners, knowledge keepers, and Native American archivists on their own terms. The construction of the Fort Peck Community College archive exemplifies recent efforts and accomplishments by other Indigenous peoples on a world scale. This was evidenced by                                                 17 Trouillot, Silencing, 16.   11 my participant observations at the “Pupukahi i’ Holomua: Unite to Move Forward Conference,” in Honolulu, Hawaii held in September 2011, produced by the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums, Western Museums Association, Hawaii Museums Association, and Pacific Islands Museums Association. Native American, First Nations, Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian), Maori, Aboriginal Australian, Fijian, and other Indigenous organizations presented papers and participated in this conference, which had museum, library, and archival management as one of its central themes. This nascent international movement to construct and maintain Indigenous archives shows that Indigenous nations take cultural preservation through conventional archives seriously.  Previous to the construction of the Fort Peck Community College archives, I asked experts on Assiniboine history, such as Dr. David Miller, where locally stored documents, photographs, records and other items pertinent to Assiniboine history were kept. I was told that these records were in “plastic storage boxes sealed with duct tape” that were held in a garage attic across from the Poplar high school.18 Though it would seem that the conservation of these items for posterity is important, some Assiniboine and Sioux that I spoke to had mixed opinions about this archive. While some want as much Assiniboine and Sioux history as possible to be preserved and protected by the college at Fort Peck or their tribal governments, others felt that these documents and other items belonging to their families should stay within their families. Nonetheless, the majority of the people I spoke to about this particular archive at Fort Peck, and other potential archives like this one for other Assiniboine reserves, stated that they felt this was an important way of protecting and preserving Assiniboine history, even though it was insufficient to sustain the vast array of Assiniboine cultural bodies of knowledge.   Both the concept and materiality of archives and the process of archiving, as well as the role of archivist in relation to various audiences, needs to be redefined. This is because the meaning of “culture” and its cultural preservation is complex; these ideas lie at the heart of the power that can shape and preserve historical narratives. In this dissertation I define archiving as a process, both in the experiential sense and in its                                                 18 Cultural objects, specific to both Assiniboine and Sioux, are held separately in the cultural center managed by the Fort Peck Tribes under the direction of Curley Youpee (Sioux). I had a conversation with Curley over the phone during my research, which I need to consider further before I make this discussion public.  12 material sense. I intend to expand the definition of archives – the noun, or the physical objects – as well as what it means to “archive” an object or objects – the verb, or the action of archiving – and what an “archivist” does for particular audiences or communities. In the material sense, the term “archive” as a noun may be used as the storage-locker model, such as rows of boxes of filed documents organized by categories in a basement in the National Archives. I define an “official archive” in the noun form in the conventional Western sense of the word: the boxed storage lockers organized by categories and preserved through temperature control, and fire and water abatement. Throughout this dissertation I examine “official archives” as storage lockers that come with a power to control knowledge, and I seek to understand what official archives have done both to and for Assiniboines as an example of this cultural housing for a particular Indigenous group. In addition, I clarify how archives as storage lockers function in relation to the additional methods of archiving discussed in subsequent chapters, such as oral tradition, ceremony, territoriality, text, and art. By weaving together these other ways of keeping knowledge alive, vis-à-vis the storage-locker model of archiving, my intention is to further clarify scholarly understanding of a nascent Indigenous theory of archiving.   I use the broad term “Western” to distinguish colonial, national, state, or local settler archives from Indigenous-driven archiving. Western, in this sense, includes nations with histories of colonization, imperialism, and nationalism, particularly for my case, America and Canada, but also other European nations, such as Britain, France, and Germany. While I do not wish to draw a false binary distinction between Western versus Indigenous archives or archiving techniques, this dissertation does examine relationships of power between Assiniboine-driven archival processes and Western ones. When I viewed photographs of the various Medicine Lodges of the early- and mid-twentieth century held in the National Museum of the American Indian and in the Newberry Library in Chicago, both prime examples of Western-style archives, I wondered what contemporary cultural practitioners who practice the Medicine Lodge would think of these facilities and how accessible the photos housed in these buildings have been to Assiniboine cultural practitioners. The various perspectives expressed about those photos  13 would potentially reveal interesting and conflicting insights into what is appropriately and inappropriately contained in official archives, whether tribally managed or not.  Material objects, from an Indigenous perspective, a rock or a dance staff or a star-quilt, may also be thought of as an “archive” through their active use via storytelling, ceremony, or other practices. Assiniboine storytellers often refer to or use physical things, places, or artefacts, such as a dance staff, to tell their stories. The stories themselves concerning material objects, such as a specific painting of an Assiniboine, are as important as any material object found in an archive’s repository. When Assiniboine practitioners employ material objects through stories or performances they bring bodies of cultural knowledge alive. These material objects may include living Assiniboine bodies performing cultural actions, ceremonial objects and artefacts, historical sites or places of memory, written histories, photographs, or artwork. Thus seen, material objects are archives, too, in the noun-form of the word “archive,” whereas stories about them should be seen as a way of archiving those objects, in the verb-form of the word “to archive”: both are addressed in this dissertation as important ways of sustaining cultural knowledge from one generation to the next.19  I define “archiving” as a process of preserving, maintaining, and sustaining knowledge. The concept of the action “to archive” is commonly understood by scholars such as Ann Stoler as a means to control, order, regulate, discipline, and organize knowledge in order to maintain power over or to rule subjects or dominated groups.20 Inquiry into what it means to archive as a nation-state or colonial power reveals significant tension, and further, stands in contrast to what archiving represents for Indigenous peoples. Through a focus on the act of “archiving” as meaning to protect and preserve objects and information over time, I emphasize what it means to keep knowledge alive for Assiniboine cultural practitioners. In each chapter of this dissertation I will add to the definition of “archive” to include oral tradition, ceremony, territoriality, text, and art as methods of archiving.                                                  19 Please see an insightful introduction to terminology regarding archives as a process or action to perform and also as things in Diana Taylor’s The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas (Durham: Duke University Press, 2003), 14-15. 20 Ann L. Stoler, Along the Archival Grain: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Common Sense (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009), 18, 48.  14 At the heart of this archival process, the subjectivity of Assiniboine and non-Assiniboine archivists pulses. By the term “subjectivity” I mean the lived experience, embodied emotions and thoughts, described by individuals in various mediums, such as oral histories, ceremonies, written documents, and artwork. An Assiniboine might report an embodied experience from his or her participation in a ceremony at a sacred site, such as the Medicine Lodge. An Assiniboine cultural practitioner, as an archivist, might use a physical object, such as a medicine pipe, to transmit a body of knowledge, such as the giving of a name to a person, the meaning of that name, or its use in a healing ceremony. These representations of subjectivities are expressed through stories found within symbolic systems where Assiniboine ontologies dwell. Assiniboine ontologies, or ways of being Assiniboine, need to be understood in relation to Assiniboine epistemologies, or ways that the Assiniboine people acquire knowledge. For example, an Assiniboine cultural practitioner might physically and verbally refer to the six directions starting from the sky above and moving south to the west, north, east, and to the earth, each direction having a specific color, season, animals, and Grandfathers or Grandmothers. Thus, Assiniboine stories understood within Assiniboine symbolism about historical experiences function as windows into Assiniboine subjectivities. Throughout this dissertation I attempt to give the reader a basic understanding of Assiniboine ways of being and their manners of acquiring knowledge. These ways of being and bodies of knowledge are like the internal architecture that gives shape to Assiniboine concerns about sustaining Assiniboine values and cosmology. Cultural practices, such as the Medicine Lodge, carry those values from one generation to the next.   Distinct Indigenous subjectivities should be understood within Indigenous symbolic systems. One example of an Assiniboine symbolic system is the act of naming: Assiniboine personal tribal names – often several – usually identify a person’s relationships to people, animals, plants, weather patterns, stars, or other forms of nature, such as one of Robert Four Star’s names mentioned above. I draw upon Hayden White as he describes subjectivity as a concept in relation to symbolic systems of societies and the production of history: “The purpose of the canonical representational practices of a given society, then, is to produce a subjectivity that will take this symbolic structure as the sole criterion for assessing the ‘realism’ of any recommendation to act or think one way and  15 not another.”21 In this dissertation, I analyze stories, in oral, written, and visual form, to get a partial view regarding the various subjectivities concerning the act of archiving. For the purposes of this dissertation, then, stories house what I call Assiniboine bodies of cultural knowledge, and therefore should be understood within Assiniboine symbolic systems.  Archives, in whatever material form, shape the kinds of historical narratives that historians write. For Assiniboine across their several reserves and between the multiple and distinct tribes that inhabit those reserves, a uniform set of protocols for producing and archiving Assiniboine histories that is applicable to all reserves and tribes is currently being scrutinized. Officials such as Courley Youpee (not interviewed) the Cultural Center Director for Fort Peck Tribes, and enrolled as a Minicoujou Hunkpapa, is one of a number of Northern Plains tribal curators who are pushing for standardized protocols for producing and archiving Indigenous histories.22 These protocols are currently being hotly debated by both tribal members and by university academics. Are protocols going to be administered by band councils or tribal governments?23 This is just one of many open-ended questions that also involves financial support and professional training as well as vastly different opinions regarding assessing, recording, and preserving historical documents, and more generally speaking, cultural knowledge. This may be why Robert Four Star thinks there should be a central and international Assiniboine archive, which all Assiniboine people could access regardless of individual tribal council jurisdictions.24 The many answers to my last interview questions regarding official, tribally managed archives (cf. Appendix B, “Interview Questions,” #45-47) varied widely. There were those who felt that neither the college nor the tribe would be effective in protecting the documents and artefacts, and therefore those items should remain with families. Others asserted that the current archive being constructed at Fort Peck Community College should be as modern and professionally managed as possible. All seemed to agree, however, that Assiniboines should be                                                 21 See Hayden White The Content of the Form: Narrative Discourse and Historical Representation (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1987), 88. 22 I had a phone interview with Courley Youpee during my summer 2012 research. 23 Note to the reader:  in Canada, First Nations’ governing councils are typically called band councils, where as in the United States, they are typically called tribal governments. 24 Robert Four Star, Interview #3, July 9, 2012, in the home of Larry Smith, Wolf Point, MT.   16 managing their own archives of documents, digital recordings, and artefacts rather than having them housed in large American or Canadian repositories or at other foreign institutions.  Archives are sites that reveal contested power relationships between groups and individuals; these sites determine both controlling authority and methods of preservation. In Archive Stories (2005), Antoinette Burton organized and edited an anthology of informative essays that examine archives as sites of unequal power relationships in regards to claims of “truth” found by evidentiary sources. Some of these essays address Indigenous sovereignty claims against nation states, from British Columbia to New Zealand. In her introduction, Burton states that the essays in her anthology discuss archiving and archives, with the intention of having them raise “… provocative questions about the nature and use of archives and the stories they have to tell, not just about the past, but in and for the future as well.”25 Burton argues that there are multiple ways of examining the “… limits and possibilities of the archive as a site of knowledge production, an arbiter of truth, and a mechanism for shaping the narratives of history,” because political, social, and cultural outcomes for living people and future generations are at stake: what counts as evidentiary truth is embedded in diverse cultural contexts or contested systems of meaning.26 Following Burton’s ideas about archival power, this dissertation examines who is sufficiently qualified to be an archivist for the Assiniboine people.  Indigenous peoples, broadly speaking, have various reasons for maintaining their own histories. For Indigenous peoples, such as the Assiniboine, alternative reasons for telling their histories are apparent in what Assiniboine call Coyote or trickster stories. These stories are usually told to explain what happened before, during, and after the earliest encounters with European and American settlers from a uniquely Assiniboine perspective. For Assiniboine, the point of many of their stories (and historical narratives) is an open-ended sacred mystery called dagu wakan shka shka (what moves-moves sacred). Stories about the past often have spiritual significance to Assiniboine communities, because they contain values about their origins and future possibilities. For                                                 25 Antoinette Burton, Archive Stories: Facts, Fictions, and the Writing of History (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2005), 2. 26 Burton, Archive Stories, 2.  17 example when Assiniboine veterans return from a war, such as the recent war in Iraq, they tell their stories in ceremonies in order to both heal and to promote the importance of culture and life from an Assiniboine perspective. “Bodies of cultural knowledge,” a phrase I use throughout this dissertation, also requires a definition. Bodies of cultural knowledge are conveyed for particular audiences through stories: narratives that emanate from, and inform, Assiniboine communities. What makes stories vehicles for cultural knowledge necessitates an explanation of the concept of “culture” in relation to Assiniboine communities. In the “Introduction: Partial Truths” to Writing Culture (1986), James Clifford argues for multi-vocal and hybrid narratives that reflect on the authorial role of the narrator. Clifford’s approach to writing historical cultural narratives considers “culture” as a relational process in constant flux. Clifford describes the concept of culture as, “an inscription of communicative processes that exist, historically, between subjects in relations of power.”27 Who controls the narrative is important in relation to both the subject of the narrative and the narrative’s intended audience – the communities of the author, as well as the communities that the author’s narrative informs and from which it emerged. This precept may also be applied to rethinking what archiving does for a people in terms of cultural continuity. To consider a more complex Indigenous cultural perspective, rather than thinking of Assiniboine culture as a fixed, bounded, or uniform way of being, the research here centers on multivalent, – to use Clifford’s terms “polyvocal”28 – Assiniboine voices in regards to their perspectives on archiving bodies of cultural knowledge.  In one example discussed in Chapter 2 of this dissertation, I describe an observation of an Assiniboine individual who exchanged a digitally recorded song in return for the gift of an eagle feather bonnet. This event exemplifies the multiple layers of what it means for an Assiniboine person to archive. In this example, the physical archives existed as well as the meaning conveyed by those archives. The archives as objects in this example included the living physical bodies of the person singing the song as well as the listeners, and the physical objects such as the bonnet and the recorder. The meaning                                                 27 Here Clifford is drawing on studies by Dwyer (1977) and Tedlock (1979). James Clifford, “Introduction: Partial Truths,” in James Clifford and George E. Marcus, eds., Writing Culture: the Poetics and Politics of Ethnography: a School of American Research Advanced Seminar. (Berkeley: University of California Press), 1986: 15.  28 Clifford, Writing, 15. Clifford calls these multiple, often contrasting views “polyvocal” narratives.  18 archived by this exchange included the immaterial body of knowledge conveyed by the meaning of the song as well as the affective experiences and memories of the people who did the exchange.  I describe the archiving examined in this dissertation as a process of having the power, ability, and authority to keep bodies of knowledge both maintained and made accessible over time for a community of people who share common cultural values and practices. Jim Shanley, the recently retired president of Fort Peck Community College, was one of the main leaders that supported the construction of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Archive. Even so, he stated that even though literally tons of paper from the tribal government would be stored there, this archive could not preserve everything: “not everything can be saved … ‘X’ number of tons of paper per year will go into that archive.”29 Just as histories cannot be written about everything that happened in a peoples’ past, archives cannot preserve everything or contain all information about all events; just as historians select the documents and evidence they examine for their narratives, documents and artefacts undergo assessment and accession by archivists. Anita Scheetz, the Director of the Fort Peck Community College Library, and who manages the new archive, also stated that there was a lot of controversy about what should or should not be stored in the new tribally managed archive, as well as who should be in charge of it. While it is important for Assiniboine and Sioux to have a state of the art tribally managed archive, however, the power to manage, store, and preserve tribal records and cultural bodies of knowledge will continue to be contested and necessarily remain incomplete for very practical reasons.30  Even so, having a “state of the art” archive, according to Scheetz, is critical for Indigenous peoples, in this case Assiniboine and Sioux at Fort Peck. As Derrida explains the etymology of archiving in the introduction to Archive Fever (1998): … the meaning of “archive” … comes to it from the Greek arkheion: initially a house, a domicile, an address, the residence of the superior magistrates, the archons, those who commanded. The citizens who thus held and signified political power were considered to possess the right to make or to represent law.31                                                  29 Interview with James Shanley, June 19, 2012, at his home in Poplar, Montana. See James Shanley biography in Appendices A.  30 Interview with Anita Scheetz, June 26, 2012, at the Fort Peck Community College Library. See Anita Scheetz biography in Appendices A.  31 Jacque Derrida, Archive Fever: a Freudian Impression (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 2.  19  Derrida claims in his first footnote: “There is no political power without control of the archive, if not of memory. Effective democratization can always be measured by this essential criterion: the participation in and the access to the archive, its constitution, and its interpretation.”32 Derrida discusses the genealogy of how people think about archiving, their mentality as a process, the question of why they choose to archive, and the how they archive, in terms of secured storage lockers in buildings: the institutions of archives and the law. Though this dissertation is not hyper-focused on the political implications of national or state run storage lockers as archives as Derrida laid out, it does follow Derrida’s suggestion to explore the mentality of archiving: I examine alternative methods of why and how Assiniboine have chosen to archive, as well as when and where they have chosen to do so in the past.  Settler societies collected information about Assiniboine in order to organize land dispossession, the fur trade, and national expansion; this was an attempt to understand, assimilate, and dominate Assiniboine (and other Indigenous peoples of the Northern Plains). Underlying this investigation of archiving, I conceive of the first wave of ethnographers and cartographers, and their historical productions, as well as the settler archives and museums that contain Assiniboine objects, as an attempt to capture, comprehend, and manage Assiniboine cultural beliefs and practices in relation to the modern American and Canadian nation states.33 These objects demonstrate how settlers came to know Indigenous people of what is now called the North American Plains through art, maps, journals, photos, but also how they were unable to understand or see what these “signs and symbols” meant for the Assiniboine themselves.  From the mid-nineteenth century to the late-twentieth century American, Canadian, and other Western explorers, artists, fur traders, government agents, ethnographers, and settlers collected, archived, and exhibited Assiniboine artefacts and                                                 32 Derrida, Archive Fever: 4, n. 1. 33 See for example Robert Harry Lowie, 1883-1957. The Assiniboine. Series: Anthropological papers of the American museum of natural history. Vol. IV, pt. I. (New York: The Trustees, 1909). In addition, see the later work of John C. Ewers, Indian life on the Upper Missouri ( Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1968). See also Ned Blackhawk’s ideas regarding “administrative violence” found in Violence over the Land: Indians and Empires in the American West, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2006), and the discursive aspects of mapping Indigenous territories and the social constructions of first generation ethnographers.   20 information. Prior to the nineteenth century, from the first contact with European powers, such as in present-day Peru by the Spanish in the sixteenth century, colonial explorers collected artefacts and information about the Indigenous peoples they colonized. Even a brief review of this history shows many instances of animosity: a historical legacy of extraction, exploitation, and misinformation exercised on Indigenous peoples by colonial regimes, national states, and collectors.34  Historical narratives – the productions of histories – are shaped in part by how archives and bodies of evidence were originally created, accessed, and controlled over time. As asserted in Trouillot’s deconstruction of the historiography regarding the Haitian revolution, Silencing the Past (1995): “Historical narratives are premised on previous understandings, which are themselves premised on the distribution of archival power.”35 Trouillot argues that historians should recognize that the facts “reflect differential control of the means of historical production at the very first engraving that transforms an event into a fact.”36 He goes on to highlight four “crucial moments” in producing a history, from the creation of a source, the placing of that source into an archive – including the construction of that archive – the transmission of that source into narrative form, and the retrospective importance placed on that narrative by a community – “the making of history in the final instance.” 37 Dale White, one of my consultants, informed me that he researched Charles Larpenteur’s (May 8, 1803 – November 15, 1872) journal records in the Fort Union archives in order to get a sense of how his ancestors conducted ceremonies, interacted between bands and with other tribes, and dealt with the new settlers in their territory.38  Throughout this dissertation I show several examples of how Assiniboines have engaged with settler archives to find connections between their own oral histories and written texts and the histories collected by fur traders, photographers,                                                 34 Cite Loretta Fowler’s The Columbia Guide to American Indians of the Great Plains (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003), and Jeffrey Ostler’s The Plains Sioux and U.S. Colonialism from Lewis and Clark to Wounded Knee (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004). 35 Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (Boston: Beacon Press, 1995), 55. 36 Trouillot, Silencing, 49.  37 Trouillot, Silencing, 26.  38 Dale White interview, July 3, 2012, at Wolf Point campus Fort Peck Community College.  21 government agents, and ethnographers housed in national, state, or local archive repositories.39 As I focus on Indigenous intentions to keep their bodies of cultural knowledge alive, in order to archive those bodies in different ways, I draw from the work of scholars who have analyzed settler archival power. Following Trouillot’s critique of the archived past, Ann Stoler, in her Along the Archival Grain (2009), examines the Dutch East Indies colonial archive.40 Stoler reveals colonial Dutch anxieties regarding archiving “facts” versus “fictions” about the Indigenous peoples they colonized, their concerns over the mixing of races, and the suppression of potential insurrections. She discusses the limits of examining archives as mere collections of historical “facts.” Stoler defined “archiving-as-process rather than archives-as-things,” regarding archives as “condensed sites of epistemological and political anxiety.”41 Stoler applies a cultural analysis of archives to show the frailties in colonial knowledge production; for example, officials’ marks written in the margins of documents reveal hesitancy, fragility, and urgency. In sum, Stoler shows the historical uncertainty of colonization found in colonial produced “facts” and “knowledge.” In this dissertation, I address a similar concern over the retention of bodies of cultural knowledge, or archival processes, not regarding colonial methods of control, but as it is specifically found in Assiniboine community contexts. Similar to Stoler, I inspect the “archival grain,” though the woods that I examine are distinctly different from those of Stoler: the woods that I study are not only documents, but also oral stories about sacred sites, ceremonies, and also the material possessions of artworks and ceremonial objects. I discuss Assiniboine cultural practitioners who wished to maintain bodies of cultural knowledge, not for power over another subordinate group, as was the case in the Dutch colonial archives, but for Assiniboine future generations of cultural practitioners. Thus seen, Assiniboine “epistemic anxieties” are distinctly different from colonial concerns over knowledge management because they operate within categories of knowledge that are informed by the unique ways that the Assiniboine look at the world. Many contemporary Assiniboine cultural practitioners would like to see future                                                 39 This includes what may be found on the Internet, a lot of which is pretty amazing to witness. 40 Ann L. Stoler, Along the Archival Grain: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Common Sense (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009), 18, 48. 41 Stoler, Along, 20.  22 Assiniboines practice ancient Assiniboine bodies of wisdom about their relationships to animals, plants, the weather, moon, stars, and other human beings. In order for that to happen, they wish to transmit that knowledge from one generation to the next utilizing a pantheon of Assiniboine categories of knowledge and ways of being.  To better understand Indigenous methods of archiving as distinct from the Western methodologies of organizing and sustaining histories, I draw from postcolonial debates about “subaltern pasts.” According to Dipesh Chakrabarty in Provincializing Europe (2000), subaltern pasts are explained with the terms of a supernatural, non-secular dimension defined by distinct cultural contexts.42 The stories that cultural historians have used to write their narratives often contain different perspectives. Western secular perspectives often contrast with the sacred views of marginalized peoples, or what Chakrabarty calls “subaltern pasts,”43 which are distinct from minority histories. I avoid assimilating Assiniboine sacred views, such as the power of prayer, into the Western linear secular model of thinking. Instead, I describe Assiniboine archival intentions with an emphasis on their own voices, speaking from within their own cultural frameworks, such as the importance of transmitting a song from one practitioner to another.  Chakrabarty defines Western history as a discipline as “History 1,” and subaltern pasts as “History 2.”44 He argues that subaltern pasts are told within distinct cultural meaning systems, such as spiritual beliefs, and those spiritual beliefs cannot be entirely explained by the logic of Western history as a discipline.45 Yet, contemporary cultural historians are trained to follow certain rules maintained by the Western historical discipline. For instance, in order for historical narratives to be understood as more than mere fictions, historians examine the verifiability of bodies of evidence to analyze cultural transformations in societies over time. A cultural historian might study evidence that is informed by spiritual beliefs of a cultural system that contradicts other bodies of                                                 42 Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000). 43 Chakrabarty Provincializing Europe, 106. Chakrabarty describes “subaltern pasts” as, “constructions of historicity that help us see the limits to modes of viewing enshrined in the practices of the discipline of history.” 44 Chakrabarty’s “History 1” (the discipline of Western history) and “History 2” (subaltern pasts) are quite different from Trouillot’s “History 1” (the past) and “History 2” (narratives about the past). For a comparison between the concepts of “History 1” and “History 2” see Trouillot’s Silencing, 29. 45 Chakrabarty, Provincializing, xvii, 101.   23 evidence that he or she analyzes. Therefore, Chakrabarty claims that subaltern pasts show “plural ways of being” in the world that resist the hegemony of modern Western historical consciousness.46 I agree with Chakrabarty regarding how subaltern pasts often resist Western logic concerning what counts as “real” history. Nevertheless, I part ways with Chakrabarty’s assertion about the “mutual incomprehensibility” between subaltern pasts and Western history to instead claim that a historian immersed for several years experientially in particular subaltern communities may be better equipped to interpret and translate the two different systems of meaning. This assumption implies that a “History 3” may exist – a space between History 1 and History 2, where there exists some degree of mutual comprehension between the two very different ways of being, and their respective methodologies of constructing knowledge about the past. Supernatural explanations of how events of the past happened, and why they matter, seriously contrast with contemporary Western secular logic practiced in the discipline of history. My approach to Indigenous pasts as different “historicity(s),” as demonstrated in this dissertation, assumes that different local cultures have different ways of acquiring, creating, and sustaining knowledge about the past.47 Simply put, I resist a flattening of diversity by an over-application of Western logic to explain why Assiniboines acted as they did in the past.  I use Chakrabarty’s idea of History 1 and History 2 to posit Archiving 1 as the Western sense of storage processing, and Archiving 2 as alternative Indigenous methods. Different from Chakrabarty though, I assume that the Assiniboine ways of preserving their perspectives of the past for present and future Assiniboine communities are not incommensurable with Western methods; instead, potential modes of reciprocity exist. Through years of ceremonial participation, the study of Assiniboine history and language, unique Assiniboine methods of archiving are fully examined and discussed in this dissertation. I seek to understand and interpret what the Assiniboine say about settlers’ paintings, maps, collected objects, and texts, as well as the archives that contain them, in order to expose the tension, but also the potential reciprocity with settler historical                                                 46 Chakrabarty, Provincializing, 108. 47 I call these different ways of thinking, experiencing, and writing (or producing) narratives about the past different “historicity(s).”  24 construction and archival concerns. The colonial/settler discourse about Assiniboine history contrasts with how Assiniboines were keeping their knowledge of these events through their own oral traditions, rock drawings, tibi covers,48 and ceremonial activities, such as the Medicine Lodge. Assiniboine cultural practitioners as knowledge-keepers and activists, along with their allies, transformed this antagonistic relationship into one that has supported efforts by Assiniboine communities to keep their bodies of knowledge alive for future generations.  My dissertation addresses the conflicted dynamic between cultural loss and continuity by looking at collections of Assiniboine bodies of cultural knowledge and how Assiniboine cultural practitioners sustained some bodies of cultural knowledge while others were lost. I place emphasis on what Assiniboine say about their historical experience with American and Canadian colonization. I also focus on their particular ways of archiving historical and cultural knowledge: I contrast Assiniboine perspectives of archiving with what settler society has collected and said about Assiniboine culture and history, and then explicate the differences between these recounting. This historical investigation of archiving Assiniboine knowledge illustrates relationships that range from animosity to reciprocity between Assiniboine and settlers regarding what it means to archive Assiniboine knowledge. My work fully acknowledges the existence of multiple audiences, internal and external, for the telling of Assiniboine histories. I use the term reciprocity, rather than auto-ethnography or transculturation, to identify the moments of giving and receiving bodies of knowledge in a two-way direction found between settlers and Assiniboine people.49  These moments of mutual exchange stand in stark contrast to the more violent instances where settlers engaged in extractive archiving of Assiniboine bodies of knowledge without their consent.   Assiniboine have their own ways of understanding their past, sustaining their cultural practices, and archiving their systems of knowledge. From the reservation period in the late nineteenth century to the present, the Assiniboine have produced textual and visual representations of their past and engaged in embodied practices as an Indigenous                                                 48 In Assiniboine the word for lodge or tipi is “tibi”; on the lodge’s hide covers, Assiniboine artists would use pictographs to record important events and personal stories; I discuss this in Chapter 6. 49 See Mary Louise Pratt’s definitions of auto-ethnography and transculturation in “Arts of the Contact Zone,” in David Bartholomae and Tony Petrosky, eds. Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Writers (Boston: Bedford St. Martins, 2005), 517-534.   25 form of archiving cultural knowledge through ceremonial gatherings. These gatherings have occurred in specific places across nine reservations on the North American Plains before, during, and since American and Canadian settlement.   My intention here is to contribute to the field of Indigenous studies and histories by clarifying our understanding of archival processes in both the conventional Western sense and in diverse Indigenous epistemologies. This dissertation examines archives as bodies of cultural knowledge, archiving as an action of preservation, and Assiniboine cultural practitioners as archivists or what I call keepers of cultural knowledge. I intend to reveal more about how archives, ways of archiving, and archivists shape historical narratives and cultural practices for particular audiences in the complex relationships of power found between Assiniboine and non-Assiniboine people.  While Indigenous management of conventional libraries, museums, and archives are integral for cultural sustainability and sovereignty for Assiniboine, and Indigenous Peoples more broadly, the conventional storage model is inadequate as a sole device to preserve cultural knowledge. Throughout this dissertation I examine Assiniboine archiving as a set of interrelated processes. This is an important lens into this period of Assiniboine history because it reveals how some cultural bodies of knowledge were sustained. I seek to understand how the Assiniboine sustained and archived their cultural knowledge from the reservation period at the end of the nineteenth century to the present in order to contribute to a nascent theory of Indigenous archiving.   In each chapter, I apply a three-pronged argument. First, I suggest that the Assiniboine have employed a constellation of Indigenous archival processes that, in particular instances, worked in synchronicity in sustaining a degree of Assiniboine cultural identities, cosmologies, and a sense of peoplehood that has both undergone change and experienced continuity over time. Second, I show that this constellation of archival processes mitigated previous damage caused by the ways of collecting by settlers, including those methods used in the disciplines of anthropology and history, the universities that house them, and colonial museums and national archives. Third, I demonstrate that these ways of archiving show the potential for Indigenous peoples to work with settler archives to support their own cultural preservation and to decolonize  26 settler efforts through reciprocal relations (repatriation, managing or working with exhibitions), such as tribally managed archives and museums.  Methodology  In the summer of 2012, while shopping in Foodland, the local grocery store at Wolf Point, I ran into an old friend from the Medicine Lodge and Bison Camp, Lucy Reddekopp.  She asked me what I was doing there, and I told her my story. That summer I conducted the main body of my research, recording and transcribing oral history interviews. Several individuals have a trusting relationship with me regarding what and how I research, and how I go about writing Assiniboine cultural history. These individuals had given their consent to be interviewed because of their strong interest in keeping Assiniboine cultural knowledge alive for future generations. I was not an unknown newcomer doing research on the Assiniboine. After reading my consent forms and introduction letter, Lucy Reddekopp also agreed to be interviewed; she invited me over to her home at the northern edge of town in Wolf Point for a delicious dinner made from scratch.50 This familiarity, trust, and generosity shown to me by interviewees was essential to my research, and made possible from my involvement in Assiniboine communities since the invitations in 1996.  In addition to my 16 years of experience while immersed in Assiniboine cultural practices as a participant and in my work in education including as a teacher in Native schools, I completed two masters’ theses, one in Education about the Bison Camp project, and another in Humanities about Assiniboine history and self-identity. Over the last five years I have conducted extensive archival research and oral interviews, the main body of research for this current dissertation. I carried out research in Washington, D.C. in June of 2010 under a fellowship from the Tribal Heritage Research Project, as a Fellow and founding member of the Association of Tribal Archives Libraries and Museums, at the National Archives, the National Gallery, and the Smithsonian Institution Archives, including the Cultural Anthropology Archives and the National Museum of the American Indian Archives Center. I also researched Canadian expedition journals and Assiniboine texts at the Newberry Library during my 2010 Summer Institute fellowship at the Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies.                                                  50 Interview with Lucy Reddekopp, June 27, 2012, in her home at Wolf Point, Montana.  27  In order to represent multiple and diverse Assiniboine perspectives on cultural knowledge and practices, history-making, and archival practices, by September of 2012, I had conducted 24 interviews of 22 individuals.51 Two of these interviews were video recorded, while the rest were audio recorded with a digital recorder. I designed 46 questions for my interviews that touched upon the various themes of the chapters (see Appendix B). The individuals who I interviewed came from at least five different reservations as well as others who were living off the reserves. They included eleven men and nine women, and multiple generations ranging in age from their 30s to the 90s. My aim was to emphasize oral history and oral traditions alongside documentary archival research as one aspect of Indigenous ways of archiving historical and cultural knowledge. Almost all of the people that I interviewed stated that the Assiniboine language was the most important cultural practice to preserve and maintain, and should be incorporated in schools as much as possible. In addition, my Assiniboine consultants advocated for literacy in English and other European or foreign languages, which they said should be acquired within their own self-determined educational models. Though language revitalization programs have emerged at Fort Peck and Fort Belknap and on Canadian Assiniboine reserves, Assiniboine as a vibrant language has been in danger of becoming extinct in recent decades. Paradoxically, education and literacy, the tools used to “kill the Indian and save the man” in the nineteenth century,52 became the weapon to protect cultural knowledge for future generations when put in Indigenous hands in the late twentieth century. Assiniboine language programs are currently taught at the tribal colleges and in schools in varying degrees.  Many interviewees also reported that some bodies of cultural knowledge, about specific places or ancestors or ceremonies, were not to be exposed in order to avoid exploitation. In several instances – before, during, or after the interviews I conducted – interviewees would tell me things “off the record.” In this work I have remained true to my word: I do not expose any confidential information without expressed permission.                                                 51 Brief biographies of the interviewees, interview questions, introduction letters and consent forms are included in Appendix (A-C) of this dissertation. 52 Former U.S. military Captain, Richard H. Pratt, founder of Carlisle Indian Boarding School, made this statement in 1892 to assert the intention of assimilation through education. See Richard H. Pratt, “The Advantages of Mingling Indians with Whites,” Americanizing the American Indians: Writings by the Friends of the Indian” 1880-1900, (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1973), 260-271.  28  In addition to digitally recording interviews and taking digital photographs, I also took field notes about my observations of certain cultural practices, such as gathering medicine (plants), of ceremonies that were allowable to be documented, or social gatherings, such as tribal meetings or local powwows. I also recorded daily life routines, such as gathering firewood, mending fence, or socializing in peoples’ homes in my notebooks.    While recording interviews I took notes about the location, time of day, and what the interviewees said; I also had a separate section for my own thoughts regarding each interview, so as to discriminate between what I subjectively observed and what I described objectively.53 This was helpful in distinguishing between inside and outside understandings of symbolic meanings. My interviews often took place in-between participation in activities, such as a Medicine Lodge, or more simple social visits while sitting around a kitchen table in someone’s home. After each day of interviews I summarized my experiences and observations, describing the people, places, and homes I visited.  In the summer of 2012 I conducted the main body of my research and recorded 22 additional interviews. I rented a small, white Ford Fiesta in Billings, Montana. From June 11 to July 11 I covered over 3,000 miles from Wolf Point, Montana at Fort Peck Reservation, and visited five additional reservations, including Carry the Kettle, Pheasant’s Rump and White Bear in Saskatchewan, and Fort Belknap in Montana. Coincidentally, I also visited three Medicine Lodges along the way. On the trips that I took from Wolf Point to Canada and Fort Belknap, Robert Four Star traveled with me as my guide.  As Robert is respected throughout Assiniboine country, he was an essential connection for my research.  He helped me connect to people and often allowed us to find the quickest routes—often on gravel roads—between reservations. Robert was often asked to share songs at reservation ceremonies. In fact, traveling with Robert to conduct research and visit relatives was the highlight of my trip: it was both an honour and a privilege. Traveling between reservations and reserves remains one of my most                                                 53 For participant observation and methods of taking field notes, I relied on the 1995 edition of Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes, Robert M., Emerson, and Rachel L. Fretz, and Linda L. Shaw, eds., (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995). The authors suggest writing in the third person, with careful notes of who is doing what, and who is saying what (55).  29 informative practices and favourite things, just as we often had done with Oliver, Larry Smith, and others when I lived at Wolf Point between 1996 and 1998.  I refer to these trips and the interviews throughout the chapters that follow.  I draw several principles from Maori scholar Linda Tuhiwai Smith’s Decolonizing Methodologies (1999), which informs my research regarding specific Indigenous knowledge tied to sacred or spiritual or religious understanding, in my case, with the Assiniboine. Doing research as both an insider and outsider both complicates and focuses this dissertation. Dealing with sacred matters requires special caution. Smith clarifies that:  Many indigenous researchers have struggled individually to engage with the disconnections that are apparent between the demands of research, on one side, and the realities they encounter amongst their own and other indigenous communities, with whom they share lifelong relationships on the other side. 54  Keeping this in mind, it is still important to address the non-dualistic sense of sacredness found in Indigenous worldviews.   Sometimes Indigenous values expressed as “sacred” in their worldviews are incommensurable with Western secular views, while at other times they are mutually reinforced and understood. In either circumstance, the importance of taking Indigenous sensibilities of sacredness seriously stands firm, as is the case with Assiniboine perspectives: wakán means to be sacred and mysterious. As Smith asserts:  The arguments of different indigenous peoples based on spiritual relationships to the universe, to the landscape and to stones, rocks, insects and other things, seen and unseen, have been difficult arguments for Western systems of knowledge to deal with or accept…the different world views and alternative ways of coming to know, and of being, which still endure within the indigenous world. Concepts of spirituality which Christianity attempted to destroy, then to appropriate, and then to claim, are critical sites of resistance for indigenous people.55   Throughout my experiences of becoming an Assiniboine cultural practitioner, before I would learn something new or ask a question to seek advice, elders like Robert Four Star would first ask me, “Do you respect these ways?”  My answer has always been, and shall always be, an affirmative hã (yes).                                                 54 Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples (Dunedin, New Zealand: University of Otago Press, 1999), 5. Smith goes on to say something that could not be closer to the truth: “indigenous research is a humble and humbling activity” (v). 55 Tuhiwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies, 74.  30  For the Indigenous researcher, this idea of “respect” is a central principle, as Smith also highlights in “Ethical Research Protocols,” when she translates the first of seven Maori phrases that inculcate Maori values: “Aroha ki te tangata (a respect for the people).”  Further, Smith states that, “The term ‘respect’ is consistently used by Indigenous peoples to underscore the significance of our relationships and humanity.”56  When analyzed for research purposes, these Indigenous relationships to a sense of sacredness or territory, according to Smith, must be understood from Indigenous-centered worldviews—Maori in her case, and Assiniboine for my work here.  As Smith states: “Although many people would argue that, under the influence of the colonial society, much of this tradition has been eroded, there is still a strong belief held by many Maori people that there is a uniquely ‘Maori’ way of looking at the world and learning.” 57 As is the case for the Maori, Smith’s point holds true for the Assiniboine. There are several words for “respect” in Assiniboine: ahógipa means to have religious respect for ceremony, wakan means sacred, snonya means to know, and wachaga means a way of life, or way of doing things.  One of the ways that this dissertation takes Assiniboine worldviews seriously is by respecting nondisclosure and their own unique protocols. From Smith’s work I have learned that Indigenous research (whether the researcher is Indigenous or not) requires a critical approach to the relationship between Western assumptions, specifically regarding knowledge acquisition, and Indigenous systems of knowledge formation, particularly in terms of who has the authority to determine degrees of validity. As Smith states, “The different ways in which knowledge is perceived by Indigenous and non-Indigenous is complicated further by the intersection with imperial power.” 58 The attention on power over knowledge production, preservation, and maintenance is another principle that I draw from Smith.59 The issue is not just incommensurability, but rather, that dominant Western historical research must both respect and acknowledge the validity of Indigenous world views, often including a sense of sacredness, from Indigenous-centered perspectives.                                                  56 Tuhiwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies, 120. 57 Tuhiwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies, 174. 58 Ibid 59 I am going to expand on the idea of “archival power” using the work of Michel Truillot and Ann Stoler, Jacques Derrida, and others.  31  Assiniboine individuals express perspectives of sacredness that are also dispersed, shared, and dependent on specialists within communities not confined by reservation boundaries. As Smith states for the Maori:  By asserting the validity of Maori knowledge, Maori people have reclaimed greater control over the research which is being carried out in the Maori field. ‘Traditional’ world views provide an historical example of the complexity of Maori beliefs and understandings of the world. They also provide ample examples of Maori efforts to seek knowledge, to organize it and to learn from it. 60  In this dissertation I use this principle to represent Assiniboine-centered perspectives. At the same time, this dissertation acknowledges that different perspectives between insiders and outsiders do exist. And further, different people within Assiniboine communities may not see eye to eye. Tensions between different notions of archiving Indigenous cultural bodies of knowledge are found in the past and will most likely continue into the future.  What follows is a brief narrative outline of the chapters, structure, and organization of my dissertation. In each chapter, I focus on an artefact, object, or event and how that represents a larger discourse. Each section below gives a brief description of what I examine in that chapter, and explains how that chapter supports my central argument.  In Chapter 2, I discuss the stories told about Azana (In The Light), an Assiniboine leader who traveled to Washington in 1831, contrasting Assiniboine oral histories about him with those of non-Native narrative histories, including the journals and paintings by George Catlin.61 Catlin’s painting of Azana is the cover of Robert Berkhofer’s The White Man’s Indian and is still in circulation in textbooks and courses of Native American history.62 The records and paintings about Azana by non-Assiniboines and the oral histories told in the present about Azana by Assiniboines present different stories with divergent importance to Assiniboines and public audiences. Descendants of Azana still                                                 60 Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies, 175. 61 George Catlin, North American Indians; Being Letters And Notes On Their Manners, Customs, And Conditions, Written During Eight Years' Travel Amongst The Wildest Tribes Of Indians In North America (Vol. I Edinburgh: John Grant, 1841), 3. See also George Catlin George Catlin: North American Indians, Peter Matthiessen, ed., (New York: Penguin Books: 2004). I will briefly discuss the importance of Assiniboine-settler encounters since the fur trade: see Arthur J. Ray, Indians in the Fur Trade: Their Role as Trappers, Hunters, and Middlemen in the Lands Southwest of Hudson Bay, 1660-1870 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1974; 1998). 62 Robert F. Berkhofer, Jr., The White Man’s Indian: Images of the American Indian From Columbus To The Present (Toronto: Random House of Canada Ltd., 1979).  32 tell stories orally and in writing (as some interviews have revealed, and as I discuss in Chapter 5 with Fire Bear, who wrote about his ancestor, Azana, in Land of Nakoda in 1942). Catlin’s painting of Azana, and the remembrances of him by Assiniboines, continue to produce historical knowledge about the Assiniboine, by the ways that the Assiniboine communities and the archives and museums of settler society record and promote this historical knowledge sits in contrast with one another. As I first started to unpack and write about Azana’s story, from the oral history to the written and art history about him, the chapters that follow seemed to organically grow and take on a life of their own.  In Chapter 3, I examine how Assiniboine archive, or preserve their cultural knowledge, through the embodied action of ceremonial practices while specifically focusing on the concept of performativity. This chapter focuses on how the Assiniboine Wiotijaka (Medicine Lodge) archives cultural knowledge. I analyze the kinaesthetic qualities of embodiment as a way to sustain memory by performing stories in order to show how ceremonial practices are a vital way of preserving cultural knowledge. I argue that ceremonies are internal performances that keep knowledge alive for Assiniboine people. Bodies in motion have specific meanings within Assiniboine cultural systems such as what direction a practitioner may face in a ceremony. I draw upon the archival theory that pertains to performativity from such scholars as Diana Taylor in her work The Archive and Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas (2003), and Greg Dening in his book Performances (1996).  Even though the creation of reservations, land dispossession, and settlement was devastating for Assiniboine people, in Chapter 4, I explore how cultural knowledge preserved for the Assiniboine is archived in places both on and off reservations. When Assiniboine perform ceremonies, songs, stories, or gather plants, minerals, waters, or animals in specific locations, they bring cultural knowledge to life through embodied actions. For Assiniboine, places are living archives. This chapter explores Sleeping Buffalo and Medicine Rock, two granite boulders on Highway 2 near Malta, Montana, as a place-based archive, focusing on territoriality as a theoretical concept. For archival theory as seen through the lens of territoriality, I draw on scholars such as Keith Basso’s Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language Among The Western Apache (1996),  33 Thomas Thornton’s Being and Place among the Tlingit (2008), and Paul Nadasdy’s Hunters and Bureaucrats: Power, Knowledge, and Aboriginal-State Relations in the Southwest Yukon (2003).  In Chapter 5, I discuss how Assiniboine people have produced textual and visual histories as a way of archiving their cultural knowledge since 1942. This chapter examines the differences between textual historicity from Assiniboine perspectives compared to settler textual historicity, and how literacy informs, and is informed by, other mechanisms of Assiniboine archiving. Assiniboine individuals have used literacy in the form of written historical texts to record histories and cultural knowledge preserved in the other ways of archiving I discuss, such as oral tradition, ceremony, and place-based practices. These historical productions have countered the early- to mid-twentieth century American and Canadian goals of erasing Indigenous cultural knowledge through education and English literacy, as well as the misrepresentations and misappropriations by settler ethnographies and historical narratives. In some instances, these productions have worked in reciprocal relationships with settler archives, museums, libraries, and other institutions. Assiniboine-authored books demonstrate how Assiniboine scholars and cultural leaders have worked with non-Indigenous people and institutions to represent Assiniboine perspectives.  In Chapter 6, I investigate how, for Assiniboine, artwork is a profound way to keep cultural knowledge alive through its distribution and its storytelling locally, nationally, and globally. Some of those mediums of distribution include giveaways or powwows, but are also dispersed through the art-markets, galleries, books, and in museums, such as the National Museum of the American Indian. In this chapter, I will show how Assiniboine artists have archived their cultural knowledge, when they have chosen to present their artwork to other Assiniboine people internally, and also when they have shown the work to the general public. I focus on the concept of cosmopolitanism as a lens into how Assiniboine artists engage in archival work.  In Chapter 7, the Conclusion, I discuss how I imagine the constellation of archival methods to work. In addition, I discuss the significance of this project for Assiniboine peoples, other Indigenous peoples, and scholars of Indigenous studies. Finally, I highlight  34 my hope that this project might serve the interests of Assiniboines, and my wish that it may contribute to a nascent theory of Indigenous archiving.  Assiniboine management of their own archives is vital to their long-term goals of sustaining historical and cultural knowledge for future generations. Assiniboine tribal governments on the nine reserves (including the tribes that share those reserves, such as the Sioux at Fort Peck) will most likely gain significant power over their own historical materials and information by managing their own official archives. At the same time, throughout this dissertation, I argue that the storage-locker model archive is not fully sufficient to sustain the multiple bodies of cultural knowledge integral to being Assiniboine and in engaging in Assiniboine practices. The constellation of Indigenous ways of archiving that I describe throughout this dissertation —oral tradition, ceremony, territory, texts, and art— in relation to official archives-as-storage-lockers, serve particular Assiniboine audiences in different and unique ways, depending on a person’s gender, age, economic and political power, and their geographical location. There are gains and losses to each way of keeping knowledge alive for the Assiniboine people. The relationships between these different ways of archiving reveal moments ranging across a spectrum, from tension to synchronicity. I highlight these uncommon synchronicities, because they bolster one another, whereas alone they are each insufficient to sustain Assiniboine cultural knowledge.  As this dissertation attempts to show, Assiniboine oral tradition often takes place in ceremonies, sometimes about or in specific places, and these events are occasionally recorded in written texts and artwork. In this way, these ways of archiving work together. Despite the tremendous negative impact of poverty, disease, and neglect caused by American and Canadian colonization, Assiniboines resisted the loss of cultural knowledge and practices through several kinds of archiving. These various ways of sustaining knowledge under duress should be considered alternative ways of archiving, such as through oral tradition, ceremonies, conducting ceremonies in specific places, writing histories, and artwork. These ways of archiving were used in various combinations by Assiniboine to keep cultural bodies of knowledge alive for future generations. 35 Chapter 2: Azana (The Light), 1832, and the Present  The Nakonabi are a people that have lived in this region for generations, and live by origin stories that help them relate to the world around them and to their own cultural existence. - Robert Four Star, 2002.63    Indigenous stories of contact recenter familiar stories of discovery, conflict, acculturation, and resistance. The line between myth and history can no longer be drawn along a border between Western and non-Western epistemologies.  - James Clifford.64   As part of my initial induction into Assiniboine societies, when I first moved in 1996 to Wolf Point on the Fort Peck Reservation, I listened to elders tell oral histories about their ancestors. After living there for several months, Robert Four Star told me one of these important histories that provided me with cultural knowledge as to whom the Assiniboine were and how they saw their role in the larger history of North America.65 This story was about an important Assiniboine leader named Azana (In The Light), who journeyed to Washington, D.C. in 1831. He witnessed the rise of American power due to industrialization and returned home to tell his people what he had seen.66 Robert Four Star and I were driving north to a family ceremonial gathering at Carry the Kettle, an Assiniboine reserve in Saskatchewan, when he told me Azana’s story. In the following narrative I am paraphrasing Robert Four Star’s version from memory as he originally conveyed it to me.67                                                 63 In 2002, the traditional chief of the Red Bottom (a band of Assiniboine, self-identified as Nakona or Nakonabi), Robert Four Star, declared this to a gathering of his people. He is a keeper of traditions, such as songs, history, language, and ceremonies. He is also an instructor in Native American studies and the Assiniboine language at Fort Peck Community College.  64 Quoted from Peter Nabokov, A Forest of Time: American Indian Ways of History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 25. 65 For the power, nuances, and differences of “oral traditions,” see Alessandro Portelli’s “What Makes Oral History Different,” in Robert Perks and Alistair Thompson, eds., The Oral History Reader (London: Routledge, 1998).  66 Azana or Azan-zan-na (Ah-jon-na or Ah-jon-jon-na) means ‘In the Light’ or ‘The Light’ in Assiniboine, though there are different names and translations used by various people in my examination.  Robert Four Star told me that the correct name is Azana. As you read through this chapter it will become clear why I chose Azana or Azan-zan-na. 67 There is no way to tell for certain how much of this story he remembered from the oral tradition passed on from his elders or from the history written by his predecessors.  I argue that this is not important, because what they are doing when they tell their stories is being in the world on their own self-determined terms. I will examine the significance of this action elsewhere in this dissertation.  36 In 1831, 27 years after Lewis and Clark’s expedition,68 Azana left Fort Union, in present day North Dakota, and journeyed to Washington, D.C. He met with and received gifts from President Andrew Jackson. Azana was a tribal leader, but not a chief. He was, however, the son of an important Assiniboine chief named Iron Arrow Point. Azana had a reputation for restoring order around the Fort Union Trading Post, and was respected for his good deeds by the fur trader Edwin Thompson Denig, as well as by his Native people.69 As a result of this respect, he was selected by a U.S. military official to be escorted to Washington to see the capital and to meet President Jackson. On his journey to Washington, Azana and company travelled south by a mackinaw boat toward St. Louis, down the winding Missouri River, or as some Indigenous people called it, the Mini-Shoshu (Muddy Water).70 Along the way, Azana made notches on his staff for every settler’s house he saw. After he had marked the full length of his staff along the four sides, he gathered sticks from the shore to continue to keep count. As they approached the city of St. Louis there were so many houses, thousands in fact, that he finally gave up and threw all of his sticks into the river. From St. Louis he travelled by train to D.C. Once there, the Americans showed him around the capital, where he saw their cannons, ships, horse-drawn carts, massive buildings, and streets. He wore his finest Assiniboine buckskin regalia. President Andrew Jackson, the famous “Indian Fighter,” gave him many gifts, including a presidential medallion. After several weeks in the capital he returned home along the same route by which he had come.  When Azana arrived home he told his people about his journey and his encounters with the “White Man.” The things he described to them seemed beyond their belief. In fact, after hearing his stories, some of his people thought he had become a “wakan sija wichasha” (bad medicine-man). Eventually, a few individuals decided that he was just a                                                 68 With the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, the Americans bought a huge tract of land from the French that spanned lands from the Mississippi River west to the Continental divide, and from New Orleans north to present-day Canada.  69 I tell this story as I heard it the first time, so, in addition, I also include both primary and secondary evidence in footnotes that support the oral history. These are primary sources that give contextual history from the non-Assiniboine perspective, and for the purposes of the trading fort at the time on behalf of the American Fur Company. See Edwin Thompson Denig,  The Assiniboine: Forty-Sixth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1928-1929 (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2000). See also Five Indian Tribes of the Upper Missouri, John C. Ewers, ed. (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1961). 70 The mackinaw boat, used in this period of the river based fur trade, was modeled on the Native American canoe and designed with an additional small sail, mast, and removable centerboard in the hull for stability.   37 liar. After several months, a young warrior, who was jealous of Azana, decided to test whether or not Azana was a true medicine man. In the dark of night, the man fired a pistol loaded with a broken panhandle from outside of Azana’s “tibi” (lodge) at his the shadow cast by Azana by the firelight inside while he was smoking his pipe. The panhandle shot through the walls of the tibi into the back of his head, killing him instantly. The tribe buried him inside a tree. According to John C. Ewers, writing in the 1960s, at some point the traders at the fort cut off his head and shipped it to St. Louis, probably for scientific study.71 No one seems to know what happened to his skull after that. When I heard this for the first time, I imagined an adventurous Assiniboine traveller, acquiring knowledge of strangers’ ways, and returning home to tell his people about the marvels he had witnessed. I imagined his experiences while in D.C. Being a tourist there was the opposite experience of tourists visiting Indian Country. When Azana saw the ships with the cannons, the artillery, and the city of Washington itself, possibly – even probably – it was a kind of foreign wonder to him. He was a free agent to take the gifts given to him, and when he came home, he simply told what he had seen; perhaps he bragged about his achievements. He seemed to be an intelligent man who gained foresight when seeing American power firsthand, and then understanding its implications for his people. This oral history told to me by Robert Four Star was unlike the descriptions I would later read in the history texts written about him. He was an Assiniboine ambassador, ethnographer, and dignitary who told his stories about American settlers long before America engulfed Assiniboine lands. A decade after originally hearing the story about Azana from Robert Four Star, I read non-Assiniboine historiography and narratives about Azana and the Assiniboine people. In the course of my research I discovered that non-Assiniboine historians and ethnographers had archived Assiniboine history in quite a different way than the Assiniboine oral tradition. My impressions after hearing this story for the first time contrasted with the non-Assiniboine-produced images of Azana and the historiography about him. These non-Assiniboine images and texts became part of the non-Indigenous archived bodies of                                                 71 John Canfield Ewers, Indian Life on the Upper Missouri ( Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1968), 88.  38 knowledge about Assiniboine history. This non-Assiniboine body of knowledge emphasizes the role of American westward expansion on Indigenous peoples of the Northern Plains, rather than the agency of Azana, and the Assiniboine person. Early non-Indigenous ethnographers, explorers, and artists who collected and fed colonial and national archives with interpretations, images, and information about the Assiniboine people felt they had a moral need to archive based on their assumption that Indigenous peoples’ original cultural knowledge would ultimately not survive. Yet, even today, Indigenous peoples keep stories about their ancestors alive through the oral tradition, as an on-going process. This way contrasts starkly with the non-Indigenous purpose of archiving images and texts as products about Indigenous people and their cultural objects for non-Indigenous audiences, and for posterity. The differences between the two archival aims have implications for how scholars think about Western-style archiving when compared to the oral tradition, which is one Indigenous way of archiving. The non-Assiniboine’s process of collecting, archiving, and historicizing Indigenous knowledge, such as their “facts” about Azana, and Assiniboine history more broadly, portrays a narrative perspective that tends to focus on declination or elevation within larger national, American or Canadian discourse. The Assiniboine (or Indigenous) oral tradition, as one of a number of ways of keeping their bodies of cultural knowledge alive, serves the purpose of sustaining their agency, and their collective community identity alive, from one generation to the next. Non-Indigenous archiving, on the other hand, seems to focus on static products that are preserved and controlled for posterity, so that they can be read and interpreted by individual scholars. In contrast, Indigenous knowledge keeping through the oral tradition seems to focus on the processes between storytellers and audiences in specific community cultural contexts, so that stories take on a less controlled life of their own. Examining the settler form of archiving in contrast with the Indigenous oral tradition gives a more nuanced and broader view of Indigenous histories. I am convinced that beyond categories of race and blood, without bodies of cultural knowledge and the practices that sustain those bodies, the Assiniboine may cease to exist as a distinct people. As confirmed by the majority of my interviewees, this is why it is so important that the Assiniboine language and their historical stories need to be voiced by storytellers and absorbed by their peers and the youth.  39 Indigenous peoples continue to tell their own versions of history through the oral tradition as a way of keeping cultural knowledge alive. Oral tradition depends on a teller, a listener, a context, and a story that merge together in a specific moment of time. Stories require listeners in a locational context, such as in the teller’s home, or out on the land, where the stories first originated, for the story to take on a life of its own.72 When oral history works with either non-Indigenous or Indigenous art or texts, the storyteller maintains a body of cultural knowledge, even more so than using the oral tradition, a piece of art, or a text by itself. A comparison of Western archived knowledge, in the form of historical documents, and Indigenous oral accounts reveals issues of difference in interpretations that are embedded in dissimilar symbolic systems of meaning. The Assiniboine oral tradition, as a shared process of telling and listening in specific locational contexts, informs what the Assiniboine people did to shape history, rather than what was “done to them,” as archived in texts and images produced by non-Assiniboine. While Western historians still privilege the written record and archeological and ethnographic data over Indigenous oral traditions, there remains much to be gained by using all possible available sources. In her essay “Discovery of Gold on the Klondike: Perspectives from Oral Tradition,” (2003), Julie Cruikshank argues: Both [oral and written sources] have to be understood as windows on the way the past is constructed and discussed in different contexts, from the perspectives of actors enmeshed in culturally distinct networks of social relationships. All societies have characteristic narrative structures that help members construct and maintain knowledge of the world. 73    Cruikshank counters the assumption that written documents support “official history” on the one hand, and that the oral tradition is merely an ingredient in “collective memory.”                                                 72 For a similar discussion of stories as taking on a life of their own in a social ecology context, see Eva Marie Garroutte and Kathleen Delores Wescott’s “The Story Is a Living Being: Companionship with Stories in Anishinaabeg Studies,” in Jill Doerfler,  James Sinclair Niigaanwewidam, and Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark, eds., Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World through Stories (East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press; Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2013). 73 Cruikshank’s analysis of a late-nineteenth century Klondike gold rush reveals divergent purposes between Euro-Canadian archival documents and oral tradition practiced by local Indigenous groups, such as the Tagish. Specifically, she emphasizes the agency of Tagish stories maintained about family claims to Skookum Jim. See Julie Cruikshank, “Discovery of Gold in on the Klondike: Perspectives from Oral Tradition,” in Reading Beyond Words: Contexts for Native History, Jennifer S. H. Brown, and Elizabeth Vibert, Editors, (Peterborough, Ont. [u.a.]: Broadview Press, 2003), 438.  40 What is true is that non-Indigenous archival structures that serve the purpose of control over knowledge contrast with Assiniboine oral tradition, as the latter is an archival process that circulates within a living structural system of meaning. My attention to this contrast in archival structures, or purposes, parallels Cruikshank’s comparison of narrative structures between Indigenous oral history and Canadian written history.  Non-Assiniboine historiography about the tribal leader Azana, and Assiniboine people in general, has enmeshed several assumptions about Indigenous peoples in the mid-nineteenth century that were perpetuated as archived knowledge until the late twentieth century. These assumptions included the Enlightenment era idea of pre-contact Indigenous peoples as “noble,” or “savage,” or “authentic,” and that this “truer” way of being subsequently vanished or was corrupted by European colonial civilizations. Exposed to scrutiny and the prevalent evidence of Indigenous oral histories, these assumptions appear incorrect.  More significant for Assiniboine, though, is that through the power of the oral tradition, Azana, the historical individual, has come to represent Assiniboine continuity. He serves as a means of perpetuating their own interpretation of their role in history. Assiniboine narratives about Azana told from Assiniboine perspectives convey a different story: it stresses a sense of peoplehood.74 Azana’s descendants continue to talk about his significant role in informing Assiniboine communities about imminent American expansion into their territory in the late-nineteenth century. Assiniboine oral tradition, as a way of keeping bodies of cultural knowledge alive for future generations, in other words, as a way of sustaining their history, is quite different from the settlers’ ways of maintaining history. A comparison of the Assiniboine oral tradition, and specifically, the historicity centered on Azana, with non-Assiniboine narratives and paintings used to represent him demonstrates how the Assiniboine oral tradition has differed from non-Assiniboine archived knowledge from 1831 to the present day. This comparison is meant to evaluate differences in non-Assiniboine narrative perspective that have become archived, and hence, “made history” for non-Assiniboine                                                 74 I discuss “peoplehood” as a concept of Indigenous nationhood and identity, borrowed from Daniel Heath Justice’s “Kinship Criticism and the Decolonization Imperative,” in Reasoning Together: The Native Critics Collective by Janice Acoose, Craig S. Womack, Daniel Heath Justice, and Christopher B. Teuton. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008), 151.  41 audiences versus representations by Assiniboine authors for their Assiniboine audiences. Through this comparative examination of Azana, I evaluate the oral tradition as a process: a way of being and archiving for the Assiniboine, rather than being a fixed and static product.75  Oral tradition for the Assiniboine, as for other Indigenous peoples, carries integrity and validity as evidentiary information in contested archival and political arenas. In the early 1990s, anthropologist Triloki Nath Pandey was an expert witness in a Zuni land claims case.76 He asserted that the Zuni oral tradition regarding sacred places and sites located off of reservation land, which had been used for generations of Zuni, were as valid as written documents and could be used as evidence. He argued that each individual Zuni cultural practitioner had been given specialized knowledge. Zuni practitioners bound this knowledge to memory and through its oral repetition, via rigorous discipline in ceremonies about places, petroglyphs and pictographs, and particular plants, animals, minerals, water sources, and so on,  and this knowledge was passed on from one generation to the next. Pandey argued that: There are all kinds of groups in Zuni society, and one of the responsibilities that all these groups had was to have knowledge of their ecology, to have knowledge about themselves, to have knowledge about others, and to preserve that knowledge for the sake of their children, to preserve that knowledge for the sake of their descendants.77  As a result of this case in New Mexico, the Zuni were able to reset some tribal boundaries and protect their sacred places. Thus, similar to the Zuni, the Assiniboine oral tradition also has enabled the protection of integral sacred places. I discuss this more fully in                                                 75 See Antoinette Burton, Archive Stories: Facts, Fictions, and the Writing of History  (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005), 5, 6, 12. In particular, within this volume, see Adele Perry, “The Colonial Archive on Trial: Possession, Dispossession, and History in Delgamuukw v. British Columbia,” where she discusses the Indigenous oral tradition in terms of power relations with the colonial archive over “credible” knowledge: (p. 326). Also, for a discussion of oral history and its relationship with courts and archives, see Bruce Miller, Oral History on Trial: Recognizing Aboriginal Narratives in the Courts (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2011): 68, 69, 70, 132. 76 Pandey was my professor at U.C. Santa Cruz, where I wrote my senior thesis on “The Rising Zuni Generations: Finding the Middle Ground in the Educational Context,” in 1994. Pandey also argues this in his chapter “Zuni Oral Tradition and History” in Zuni and the Courts: A Struggle for Sovereign Land Rights, E. Richard Hart, ed. (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1992). Peter Nabokov cites this land-claims case in his A Forest of Time: American Indian Ways of History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 18. 77 An unknown author quoted Triloki Nath Pandey in Section 2 of Zuni History: Victories in the 1990s (Seattle, WA: The Institute of the North American West, 1991), 10.  42 Chapter 4. For now, Pandey’s description clarifies the oral tradition as a process, rather than as a product. In this light, the oral tradition links an Indigenous community of people to places and other living beings across generations, as it connects the community to their ancestors as well as to future progeny. It also links the community across gender, race, and economic lines. Seeing the oral tradition as a process between people, frames my definition of oral tradition as an Indigenous way of archiving bodies of cultural knowledge. Furthermore, oral stories seem to live on when people tell their stories in particular places and with specific intentions. The oral story about Azana, for example, was originally told to me in locations where Azana once lived, and was recounted to me from one of his people, specifically in order to introduce me to Assiniboine ways of sustaining knowledge and history of this people.   This chapter is organized into three sections. In the first section, I discuss the first non-Indigenous descriptions of Azana in written and painted form, used as examples of products of non-Indigenous archived knowledge. In the second section, I discuss how non-Indigenous scholars, collectors, and archivist used these products to tell histories about the Indigenous peoples who occupied the North American Plains. In the third section, I compare the purposes of Assiniboine oral history to non-Indigenous archived knowledge about Azana to demonstrate that non-Indigenous assumptions about Assiniboine ways of keeping their knowledge alive are largely incorrect. Non-Indigenous descriptions of Azana in the form of written documents or paintings are held in National archives as products of knowledge. While oral traditions differ from conventional Western ways of archiving, it is not always inimical to the storage-locker model of archives mentioned in the Introduction. Instead, as this chapter shows, the Assiniboine oral tradition, such as oral stories about Azana, works to foster community by making use of official archives, such as those in the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.; Assiniboine ceremonies, such as naming ceremonies; important places within Assiniboine territory, such as Fort Union; Assiniboine texts, such as Land of Nakoda; and Assiniboine artwork, such as by the artist Errol Standing, one of Azana’s descendants. Thus, the archived knowledge by non-Assiniboine about Azana is still important to Assiniboine people. Conventional archived knowledge in the form of  43 documents, recordings, and images may reveal how Assiniboine individuals shaped history when evaluated by Assiniboine people.78  A brief description culled from archival products about the historical context before and after Azana’s trip helps to understand how Assiniboine had an active role in responding to and, in turn, shaping the transcontinental networks of power that influenced Assiniboine people. Centuries before the early 1600s, different Indigenous cultures amalgamated to form the Assiniboine. As Eric Wolf claims in Europe and the People Without History (1997), the “. . . multilingual, multiethnic, intermarrying groups of Cree and Assiniboin [sic] that grew up in the far northern Plains of North America in response to the stimulus of the fur trade . . .” were certainly not fixed, uniform, or singular in their cultural or biological constitution.79 By the late-eighteenth century, Assiniboine people transformed in response to a global phenomenon—namely, the fur trade80—along with neighboring tribes and other European nations.81 After 1787, various indigenous tribes and British, French, and American participants actively negotiated over economic and political domination of a broad territory, and competed over the Northern Plains region between the upper Missouri and the Assiniboine Rivers—a major center of trade connecting the continent.82 These territorial negotiations and disputes sometimes became physical battles. That is why Fort Union was an important place of Assiniboine power, and why Azana’s diplomacy was essential to Assiniboine agency.  The Assiniboine first took notice of the Americans in 1804, when Meriwether Lewis and William Clark led their mapping exploration into the territory after the                                                 78 For an informative study that looks at ways of archiving through oral history practiced by an Indigenous community and authored by an anthropologist, see Leslie A. Robertson’s, Standing Up with Ga’axsta’las: Jane Constance Cook and the Politics of Memory, Church, and Custom (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2011), xvi, 12-13, 110, 406.   79 Eric Wolf, Europe and the People Without History (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1997), 17. 80 Colin G. Calloway, The Scratch of a Pen: 1763 and the Transformation of North America (Pivotal Moments in American History) (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), 148. Calloway explains, after 1763, “ . . . Western Crees and Assiniboines migrated west in response to new developments in the fur trade, and Ojibwas moved in behind them.” 81 Loretta Fowler, The Columbia Guide to American Indians of the Great Plains (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003), 17. Fowler affirms that European imperial desires and indigenous groups were already on the move and transforming each other during the period from the sixteenth century through the eighteenth centuries, when the Assiniboine engaged with the French and British, as well as with other Indigenous tribes as intermediaries through trade (see Appendices C, D: Maps). 82 Colin G. Calloway, The Scratch of a Pen: 1763 and the Transformation of North America (Pivotal Moments in American History) (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), 149.   44 Louisiana Purchase in 1803: the Assiniboine saw Lewis and Clark but Lewis and Clark did not see the Assiniboine.83 By 1828, the American Fur Company established what would become Fort Union in order to foster trade with the Assiniboine, Cree, Crow, Ojibway, Blackfeet, and Hidatsa.84 This was desired by the Assiniboine, so that they could access American goods, such as rifles, pans, alcohol, and so on; simultaneously Americans wanted animal hides, such as beaver and buffalo. The American Fur Company engaged in actively competing with the Hudson Bay Company, who had been trade partners with the Assiniboine since its establishment in the area. Consequently, the Assiniboine probably wanted to examine the “wasichu,”85 or the Assiniboine word for the Anglo-Americans that means “takes the fat”: Azana’s journey was an expedition in the reverse direction of Lewis and Clark’s exploratory journey. The American incentive was clearly to compete in the fur trade and to set up forts to support westward American expansion. The Assiniboine neither supported American expansion nor did they engage in all-out war to resist them. Therefore, Azana’s acceptance of the American invitation to travel to Washington was a cultural, economic, military, and political tour for both sides: it was international diplomacy by both parties, one of which held unequal power.86  One of the first non-Assiniboine people to archive knowledge about Azana and the Assiniboine through the forms of the written narrative and paintings was a prolific American artist, collector, and explorer named George Catlin. On his way to Washington in 1831, while at St. Louis, Azana met George Catlin, who, in addition to taking many                                                 83 My source for this information comes from conversations with Robert Four Star, and is also dramatized in the film Chief Rosebud Remembers Lewis & Clark (2004) and In the Land of The Assiniboine (2009) produced by Mary Helend, Valley County Historical Society. Assiniboines already had previous contact with Europeans, such as French and British fur traders since the seventeenth century; see Arthur Ray’s Indians in the Fur Trade: Their Role as Trappers, Hunters, and Middlemen in the Lands Southwest of Hudson Bay, 1660-1870 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1974; 1998). Assiniboine also had origin stories about the coming of the White man, and wrote these oral histories down, which I examine in Chapter 5: Land of Nakoda in the present dissertation.  84 Around the time that Fort Union was established, it was estimated that there were between 33 to 42 bands, and between 28,000 and 42,000 Assiniboine. Yet, by 1843, according to the first U.S. Indian Report (1843) they were only a quarter of that population at best, after they survived severe small pox epidemics probably acquired from Fort Union. See Michael Stephen Kennedy, ed., The Assiniboines: From the Accounts of the Old Ones Told to First Boy (James Larpenteur Long) (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1961), xlvii, 16. 85 The Assiniboine word for the “White man” literally means “he who takes the fat”; White men were called “wasichu,” which means “takes the fat.” Though “White man” is an inaccurate term for Europeans or Americans, it will be used in this dissertation. I do not mean to designate race or to offend either erudition or personal preference. 86 My main source for this information is paraphrased from oral history I learned from Robert Four Star.  45 notes on their meeting, painted his portrait in December of that year.87 Before Catlin encountered Azana for the first time, he carried with him certain underlying assumptions about the fate of Indigenous peoples against the threat of Western expansion. At Catlin and Azana’s first meeting, Catlin described him as beautifully adorned in his traditional regalia, but “. . . as sullen as death . . . ,” thus revealing Catlin’s assumption that Azana could foresee his grim destiny.88 After Azana returned from Washington to St. Louis, Catlin joined him on the steamboat Yellowstone for his return journey up the Missouri to Fort Union.89 Through Catlin’s written memoirs in his journals and paintings of Azana begun during their first encounter, we see how disturbed Catlin was by Azana’s dramatic transformation. After observing Azana’s trips to and from Washington, five years later, between 1837 and 1839, Catlin painted a before and after image of Azana on canvas. One half of the painting shows Azana standing stoically in his traditional buckskin with an eagle feather bonnet and moccasins with the Capitol of Washington behind him. The other half shows him posturing haughtily in front of his village in the upper Missouri River region adorned in a blue U.S. military uniform, beaver top-hat, white gloves, holding an umbrella in one hand and a fan in the other, a cigarette holder in his mouth, and two bottles of alcohol in his back pockets.90  The specific adornments, gifts from President Jackson, such as the blue coat, have never been confirmed in Presidential records.91   George Catlin epitomizes the prototypical Euro-American collector or archivist. Catlin’s representations of Azana were shaped by his perspective as a settler, a proto-ethnographer of sorts, and his sense of a mission to “rescue” Indians from vanishing from                                                 87 See George Catlin’s painting, “Wi-jún-jon, Pigeon’s Egg Head (The Light), A Distinguished Young Warrior,” on the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery website, accessed May 6, 2014, http://americanart.si.edu/collections/search/artwork/?id=4316.  88 George Catlin, Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Conditions of North American Indians, Volume II,  (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1973), 196. 89 Catlin, Letters, 196.  90 See George Catlin’s painting, “Wi-jún-jon, Pigeon’s Egg Head (The Light), Going to and Returning From Washington,” on the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery website, accessed May 6, 2014, http://americanart.si.edu/collections/search/artwork/?id=4317. This painting now resides in the George Catlin Gallery in the National Gallery, Smithsonian Museum, in Washington, D.C. 91  See correct name with John Canfield Ewers, Indian life on the Upper Missouri ( Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1968), 78. Ewers says correct name is The Light and Ah-jon-jon, stating that: “Several of this man’s descendants, elderly Indians living on Fort Peck and Fort Belknap Reservations, Montana, have told me the name refers to something transparent and bright” (p. 78). David R. Miller also told me that he had looked at the Presidential records of Andrew Jackson and was unable to find any records of these specific gifts.  46 America. Catlin’s notes tell the story of how Azana was “selected by Major Sanford, the Indian Agent, to represent his tribe in a delegation which visited Washington city under his charge in the winter of 1832.”92 Before he had joined Azana on his return journey up the Missouri, Catlin admits in his “Letter No. 1” that nothing would stop him from “becoming their historian,” and “snatching from a hasty oblivion what could be saved for the benefit of posterity, and perpetuating it . . . to the memory of a truly lofty and noble race . . . .”93 In another volume he writes:  . . . the Indian and the buffalo—joint and original tenants of the soil . . . have fled to the great plains of the West, and there under an equal doom, they have taken up their last abode, where their race will expire and their bones will bleach together.94   Catlin felt compelled to rescue them. With his rescue mission in mind, and a brush in hand, he painted hundreds of paintings and wrote extensive journals on Indigenous groups and individuals. He travelled across the North and South American continents, from the Northern Plains to the Andes, to build his collection. He even brought some Ojibways and Crees with him on a tour to Europe as a kind of living display of Indigenous specimens. This latter event was the first attempt to start what would later become a “Wild West” show in Europe beginning around the mid-1800s. In all these aspects – as a collector, historian, ethnographer, painter, curator, and exhibitor of Indigenous peoples and their cultural objects – Catlin was similar to a few other European or American explorers/artists/collectors who had encountered Indigenous peoples, such as Karl Bodmer (1809-1893). Bodmer accompanied German explorer Maximilian, Prince of Wied-Neuwied, into the upper Missouri River region during 1832-1834.95                                                  92 George Catlin, Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Conditions of North American Indians, Volume II  (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1973), 195.  93 George Catlin North American Indians; Being Letters And Notes On Their Manners, Customs, And Conditions, Written During Eight Years' Travel Amongst The Wildest Tribes Of Indians In North America, Vol. I (Edinburgh: John Grant, 1841), 3.  94  Quoted in Robert F. Berkhofer Jr.’s, The White Man’s Indian: Images Of The American Indian From Columbus To The Present (Toronto Random House of Canada Ltd. 1979), 89; from George Catlin, North American Indians; Being Letters And Notes On Their Manners, Customs, And Conditions, Written During Eight Years' Travel Amongst The Wildest Tribes Of Indians In North America, Vol. I (Edinburgh: John Grant, 1841), 293. 95 John C., Ewers and Jane Ewers Robinson, Plains Indian Art: The Pioneering Work of John C. Ewers. (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2011), specifically pages 14 and 41.  47 In 1831, Catlin had been in St. Louis for some time already in order to observe Indian chiefs on their ways to meet with American officials in Washington. When he first met Azana, Catlin, who mistakenly translated Azana as Win-Jun-Jon (Pigeon’s Egg Head), described him as “handsome” and “noble” and “unrestrained and unfettered by the disguises of art . . . surely the most beautiful model for the painter.”96 Catlin fit Azana into his preconceived image of the untainted “Red Man.” In his published letters and paintings, Catlin seems to imply that he considered the quillwork and buckskin as signs of an uncorrupted being before Azana’s journey to Washington. When Azana arrived home, Catlin described the sensation he stirred amongst his people as he told them about his adventures in the “Great White Father’s” city. Yet, Catlin’s narrative then shifts to depict Azana as estranged from his people, when he describes that many thought him a “great liar.” Several months after Azana’s return, Catlin wrote the following observation in one of his letters: “He is now in disgrace, and spurned by the leading men of the tribe, and rather to be pitied than envied, for the advantages which one might have supposed would have flown from his fashionable tour . . . .”97 In point of fact, some of Catlin’s assumptions may have been incorrect. Catlin’s version of the story about Azana reveals that he assumed Indigenous peoples would vanish under the development of American expansion. This is likely one of the reasons why he was such an avid painter of Indigenous people, and why he took some of them on tour to Europe: his actions were that of a non-Indigenous archivist.  As mentioned above, Catlin’s bifurcated painting of Azana depicts the stoic “noble savage” before his “corruption” by American civilization, with a full eagle-feather bonnet on the left, and with America’s national capital in the background. After his return, Catlin symbolized his corrupted transformation on the right with Azana adorned with whiskey bottles, fancy clothes, and haughty posture, with a tipi village in the background. Catlin’s journals and published autobiographies reveal that at that time when                                                 96 Quoted in Robert Berkhofer’s, White Man’s Indian, 89; From George Catlin, North American Indians; Being Letters And Notes On Their Manners, Customs, And Conditions, Written During Eight Years' Travel Amongst The Wildest Tribes Of Indians In North America, Vol. I (Edinburgh: John Grant, 1841), 2. 97 George Catlin, North American Indians; Being Letters And Notes, 59.  48 Catlin met Azana, he wanted to impress Euro-American consciousness with an image of indigenous loss.98  Through his art, Catlin was determined to rescue “the looks and customs of the vanishing races of Native man in America from that oblivion to which I plainly saw they were hastening before the approach and certain progress of civilization.”99 Catlin’s now famous painting of Azana’s transformation represented a pernicious myth in the consciousness of dominant society. Catlin’s painting exemplified an inaccurate assumption that Indigenous people were incapable of being aware of nineteenth-century American intentions to settle the North American Plains. Subsequently, Indigenous peoples needed to be historically preserved by non-Indigenous experts before their assimilation. During a research trip to Washington, D.C. in June 2010, in participation with the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums, I visited and photographed Catlin’s famous painting of Azana in the National Gallery. While I was there I observed a docent discussing Azana to a small audience, but her story was flawed, including using the mistaken name of Win-Jun-Jon. She told her attendees that his own people stoned him to death, as if it was a majority of people in his village who thought he was a liar. She was incorrect in both the method and reasons behind the murder of Azana, emphasizing his death as representing the demise and naivety of Indigenous peoples in the grip of American and European colonization. The National Gallery, as a Western archive of Indigenous peoples, in this instance, perpetuated the narrative that Indigenous people required historical preservation before their cultural bodies of knowledge were lost under the yoke of Western expansion. Elizabeth Broun, the Director of the Smithsonian Art Museum, in her preface to the book, George Catlin and his Indian Gallery, positions Catlin as different from some of the previous explorers into Native lands. As Broun points out, he was one of the first explorers who was in search of the “Native pure being,” such as John La Farge, Henry                                                 98 For examples of these claims, see George Catlin, Life Among the Indians By George Catlin (London: Gall and Inglis, n.d.): vi; George Catlin, Rambles among the Indians of the Rocky Mountains and the Andes (London: Gall & Inglis, n.d.): 1; Peter Mattthiessen, “Introduction,” George Catlin: North American Indians (New York: Penguin Books, 2004): cover page; George Catlin, Last Rambles amongst the Indians of the Rocky Mountains and the Andes, by George Catlin (Edinburgh: Gall & Inglis, n.d.), 10. 99  George Catlin, Life Among the Indians By George Catlin (London: Gall and Inglis, n.d.), vi.  49 Adams, Frank Cushing, Paul Gauguin, and Robert Louis Stevenson. Broun asserts two emergent themes from Catlin’s works and travels: “Two ideas—the journey and the mirror—have been fundamental to understanding Catlin through the dual disciplines of history and biography . . . he was seeking the Enlightenment ideal of the ‘natural man’ living in harmony with nature.”100 The mirror that Broun references is the image of the Indigenous person that needed to be archived: what it means to be “the Self,” and to talk about “the Other” as depicted in his paintings, journals, letters, and books. This idea parallels Edward Said’s concept of “Orientalism”: the notion that the “West” constructed images of the “Orient” (i.e., Middle Eastern and Asian countries) to rationalize Western domination. Yet, in our example here, as it concerns Azana, this “Other” required preservation before an assumed disappearance from the historical record.101 Those narratives and pictures also inform the second idea – the journey – which formed a canonical body of archived knowledge in the Western sense. The voices of tribal people alive today, whose ancestors were recorded by artists on canvases and archived in the National Gallery, have gone unrecognized for too long.   Catlin’s painting, and numerous others like it, helped to frame non-Indigenous images of Indigenous people by non-Indigenous artists, which have been created since first contacts between colonizers and Native peoples. These images implicitly and subtley perpetuated the notion that Western civilizations would inevitably overwhelm Indigenous cultures. This notion also conveyed Indigenous peoples as incapable of understanding the threats of Western imperialism—in this case American expansion. Consequently, non-Indigenous explorers like Catlin, pseudo-ethnographers in their own right, assumed that it was their duty to preserve Indigenous cultures and people in collections and museums before they turned to dust. Catlin represents a non-Indigenous “epistemic anxiety” that created a moral need to archive knowledge about Indigenous tribes.102 This archived knowledge is thus contained in the static material forms of paintings, journal records, and other products of documentation. Nonetheless, it is true that Catlin was an important                                                 100  George Gurney and Therese Thau Heyman, eds., George Catlin and his Indian Gallery (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2002), 9.  101 See Edward W. Said, Orientalism, (New York: Vintage Books, 1979). Catlin’s construct of the Indigenous “Other” is used to criticize American colonization, while at the same time, meant to idealize an Indigenous “purity” before the corrosive consequences of American westward expansion.  102 See Ann Stoler, Along the Archival Grain: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Common Sense (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009).   50 archivist of Indigenous peoples, and as such, his paintings, journals, and collections should be readily accessible and duplicated for those specific Indigenous peoples that he collected from. Catlin’s paintings and published texts are important not only for the scholars and enthusiasts of Native American studies but also for the Indigenous people themselves.  Many scholars of Native American studies have missed the opportunity to attend to Native interpretations of historical products about their people held in archives, such as Catlin’s paintings. Nonetheless, scholars and students of Native American studies and history have used Catlin’s paintings of Azana in tours, history texts, and courses to represent settler tropes about Indigenous peoples, including the concept of the assumed inevitability of these peoples’ assimilation. Consequently, the reproduction and use of Catlin’s image of Azana exemplifies how scholars of Indigenous histories have framed products of Western archived knowledge in their own narratives. Too often, these narratives have neglected the contemporary voices of Indigenous peoples.103   Unfortunately, almost all of the works of non-Assiniboine historiography about Azana portray him as a victim of American civilization that required historical preservation. This further emphasizes the idea of Indigenous loss, victimization, and cultural degradation. While middle- to late-nineteenth century American expansion into the Northern Plains territories devastated Indigenous communities, much of the historiography about this period overemphasizes Indigenous destruction; it loses sight of the ways that Indigenous peoples have kept their bodies of cultural knowledge alive through the tradition of oral history. In the introduction to Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2009), Dee Brown claimed that, “Although the Indians who lived through this doom period of their civilization have vanished from the earth, millions of their words are preserved in official records”; and further that, “Out of all these sources of almost forgotten oral history, I have tried to fashion a narrative of the conquest of the American West as the victims experienced it, using their own words whenever possible.”104 While                                                 103 See cover image of Robert F. Berkhofer, Jr., The White Man’s Indian: Images of the American Indian From Columbus to the Present (Toronto Random House of Canada Ltd., 1978). See also Steven Conn, History’s Shadow: Native Americans and Historical Consciousness in the Nineteenth Century (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004). 104 Dee Brown, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (The Illustrated Edition): An Indian History of the American West (New York: Sterling Publishing Co., 2009), xiv.  51 the traumas inflicted upon Indigenous peoples of the North American Plains and elsewhere by American westward expansion and colonization is incontrovertible, this kind of discourse obscures the actions that Indigenous actors have taken to sustain their bodies of cultural knowledge under duress.   Written in the 1960s, John C. Ewers’s chapter “When the Light Shone in Washington” in his book Indian Life on the Upper Missouri describes Azana’s trip to the American capital with a similar interpretation as Catlin’s. Ewers does not question Catlin’s version of the story. Instead, he implies that Azana represented the “Red man” duped by American power and taken as a fool by his own people.105 Ewers claims that before Azana’s trip, “Indians who roamed the plains of the Upper Missouri Valley had little reason to be awed by the size or the power of the United States,” since only a few American traders entered that Indian territory to compete in the fur trade.106 He also posits that John Jacob Astor’s American Fur Company had economic and diplomatic intentions to compete with Great Britain’s Hudson Bay Company for the hide trade in the borderland Assiniboine region. Ewers wrote his narrative history with the purpose of informing non-Indigenous audiences and, as such, it reiterates the trope of American corruption of Indigenous peoples. Even though Ewers had carried out direct fieldwork in Indigenous communities in Montana during his extensive career, including, in particular, with the Assiniboine, he entirely neglected Assiniboine voices about Azana.   Ewers repeated the assumptions about Indigenous naïveté that Catlin deployed. Ewers wrote that the “Washington Indian” delegates would “be touched by The Great White Father’s interest in and liberality toward his red-skinned children. Surely, these Indians would return home with enthusiastic reports of the power and the kindness of Americans.”107 Ewers’s description of Catlin’s portrait representation of Azana before he went to Washington, which is different from the bifurcated one (see Appendix E) as “a savage Apollo,” is even more romanticized and racialized than Catlin’s painting:  Catlin’s portrait emphasized the mongoloid features of this proud, handsome man—his large broad face, prominent cheek-bones and nose; his firm lips, strong jaw, and straight,                                                 105 John Canfield Ewers, Indian life on the Upper Missouri (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1968), 75-90. 106 Ewers Indian life, 75. 107 Ibid., 76.   52 shining black hair. His powerful body was clothed in a shirt of finely dressed mountain-goat skin . . . .108  In his chapter, Ewers includes a description by the traveller Alexander Phillip Maximillian, a German Prince, who saw Azana at Fort Union in 1833: “He was a handsome man, in a fine dress; he wore a beautifully embroidered black leather shirt, a new scarlet blanket, and a great medal round his neck.”109 Maximilian also noted that Azana was called “General Jackson,” because of his presidential medallion. For Ewers, along with the settler and explorer documents he examined, the concern seems to be about preserving histories of Indigenous peoples through archival products that fix individuals such as Azana into a timeless frame.  Ewers noted that after Azana’s death, his body was placed in a tree near Fort Union, and upon request from doctors in St. Louis, his “head was cut off, placed in a sack with several other Indian crania, and sent downriver to the civilization that had been the cause of his undoing.”110 Though this seems morbid to us today, this was a time when Euro-American scientists were constructing racial inferiority theories based on cranial diagnostics.   Ewers highlights some observations from Edwin Thompson Denig, who was married to Azana’s sister, Little Woman. Denig was charged with the tasks of bookkeeping and management of fur trading activities at Fort Union for twenty years from 1837 to 1857. Denig claimed one of Azana’s fellow travelling Cree companions, Broken Arm, as the real “liar” about American power. It is ironic that Azana was interpreted as the “liar,” but Denig, who witnessed the aftermath, described Broken Arm as “ . . . a scheming, mean beggarly Indian and on his return proved himself unworthy the attention bestowed upon him.” Azana, on the other hand, was “a man of truth and would not bear contradiction.”111 Furthermore, Denig reported: “The Cree now written of named Eyes on Each Side [Broken Arm], fearing a similar end, or at least profiting by experience, told all lies, represented the Americans as but a handful of people far inferior                                                 108 Ewers, Indian life, 79.  109 Ewers, Indian life, 86; quoted from Alexander Phillip Maximilian (Prince of Wied-Neuwied). Travels in the Interior of North America. Vols. XXII-XIV in Thwaites’ Early Western Travels, q.v. 110 Ibid., 88.  111 Edwin Thompson Denig, Five Indian Tribes of the Upper Missouri. John C. Ewers, ed., (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1961), 114.  53 in every respect to his own.”112 Ewers’s examination of Azana’s experience is disappointing. He concluded with an exclamation that Azana “…  was bad medicine. The Light had to be extinguished!”113 Ewers perpetuated Catlin’s assumptions, fixed in narrative and painted form, emphasizing an Indigenous demise, and thus repeating a product of non-Indigenous archived knowledge.   Ewers assumed incorrectly: Azana’s murder was neither inevitable nor was it caused by American civilization. By his description, the reader is left with the impression that Azana was yet again the victim: he perpetuates the myth that Indigenous leaders such as Azana were mere pawns of American imperial power.114 We can see that as late as the 1950s and 1960s, when Ewers wrote this article, non-Indigenous scholars often directed their examinations towards how colonization and forced assimilation had destroyed much of Indigenous peoples’ bodies of knowledge and their ways of life.  Products of history about Indigenous peoples archived in collections in the forms of paintings, texts, and objects, such as we have with Catlin’s painting, reveal non-Indigenous assumptions that lack an understanding of Indigenous agency through the oral tradition. Through analysis of the images that early explorers and settlers created, Robert Berkhofer reveals several non-Indigenous tropes that assumed that the Indigenous people they encountered were incapable of sustaining their bodies of cultural knowledge. And interestingly, Catlin’s painting of Azana’s transformation is the cover image to Robert Berkhofer’s pivotal book on American Indian history, The White Man’s Indian (1979). It is there, on the cover, for a reason.115 Berkhofer’s core argument examines the genealogy of histories and images representing Natives as, “an ideal or theoretical history that pointed out the normal, that is natural, development of humankind’s behavior in contradistinction to what really happened … the image of the good and bad Indian came to demonstrate what the life of man was like in the original state of nature.”116 To show that indigenes functioned as the mirror image of European predecessors, Berkhofer quotes a late-eighteenth century Edinburgh University professor, Adam Ferguson, who                                                 112 Denig, Five Indian Tribes, 114.  113 Denig, Five Indian Tribes, 90.  114 My greatest argument with Ewers is that, despite his extensive research, he gives no account of James Larpenteur Long’s Land of Nakoda, which I examine in depth in Chapter 5. 115 Robert F. Berkhofer, Jr., The White Man’s Indian: Images Of The American Indian From Columbus To The Present, (Toronto: Random House of Canada, Ltd., 1979). 116 Berkhofer, Jr., The White Man’s Indian, 47.   54 “wrote in 1767: ‘It is in their [the Indians’] present condition that we are to behold, as in mirror, the features of our own progenitors.”117 Berkhofer points out the tendency by eighteenth-century Enlightenment philosophers, such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, to manufacture the image of the “noble savage” in order to idealize humanity’s past. Consequently, these images were used to justify the colonization of Indigenous peoples: this was a double-edged sword—a longing for an idyllic past and yet a scorning of it at the same time.  Berkhofer chose Catlin’s painting of Azana for the cover of his book because it represents the most stereotypical image of the assumed total annihilation of the “pure” Indigenous person who would inevitably be corrupted by American civilization. Berkhofer describes this painting as symbolizing the noble, dignified Native on the one side, and the travesty of encroaching American civilization on the other side. He states:  In the “before” [Washington, D.C.] picture, Catlin depicted the Assiniboin [sic] chief in all his romantic glory and noble bearing, untainted in clothing or psyche by White civilization . . . . The colonel’s uniform, the umbrella, the fan, the cigarette, and the clownish, foppish strut in the “after” picture all reveal in Catlin’s opinion how civilization corrupted the natural nobility and manners of the Indian.118  Berkhofer uses Catlin’s painting of Azana to criticize the assumption that Indigenous peoples had no history until that history could be written about or painted, and then archived by non-Indigenous scholars and collectors. Subsequently, following this assumption, if settlers, explorers, ethnographers, collectors, and artists failed to properly archive Indigenous cultural phenomenon, this history might surely be lost. Berkhofer correctly deconstructs the non-Indigenous images and narratives about Indigenous peoples, because these images furthered assumptions that subsequently obscured the actions of Indigenous historical actors that demonstrated agency. Nevertheless, investigations into what might be found in oral traditions that have been maintained by Indigenous peoples about their histories and represented by these kinds of archival products calls for further attention.                                                 117 Berkhofer, Jr., The White Man’s Indian, 47. Adam Ferguson is quoted from John W. Burrow, Evolution and Society: A Study in Victorian Social Theory (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1966), 12. 118 Berkhofer, Jr., The White Man’s Indian, description of Plate 6, following page 138, and discussed on page 86.  55 It was not until the twenty-first century that a slight change in focus from the previous historiographical approach to Catlin’s painting of Azana took place. A non-Indigenous scholar of North American Indigenous history, Colin G. Calloway, briefly acknowledged the interpretation of Azana’s legacy by Azana’s progeny. Calloway states: It seemed [emphasis added] as if Catlin’s assessment of the impact of contact with “civilization” was accurate. Ah-jon-jon119 passed into recorded history as a victim and as something of a fool. But Ah-jon-jon’s present-day descendants remember a different man and a more complex personality, and Catlin’s assumption that outward forms of cultural borrowing represent cultural suicide was too simple.120  Even though this passage is from an undergraduate textbook, First Peoples: A Documentary Survey of American Indian History (2008), Calloway could have gone further to represent those Assiniboine voices.  He could have inserted a few quotations or statements from Indigenous peoples that were descendants of the historical actors described in his textbook. I spoke to Calloway about this passage in his textbook at the 2011 Western History Association conference in Oakland, California. He said he learned this from an Assiniboine student at the University of Wyoming, who claimed she was a descendant of Azana. The oral tradition regarding Azana, as spoken by the Assiniboine, remains strong. With some exceptions, Indigenous oral traditions, as a way of sustaining their bodies of cultural knowledge about their histories, have thus far been under-acknowledged by scholars. Alongside settler documents and artwork about Indigenous pasts, however, Indigenous oral traditions practiced within Indigenous communities keep Native knowledge alive through storytelling and shared cultural activities. Assiniboine people both resisted and adapted to cultural domination since their first encounters with European empires through their original cultural practices, primarily through the process of the oral tradition. Descendants of Azana, and the many other                                                 119 Galloway uses John C. Ewers’s translation and name of this man as Ah-jon-jon. I use the name Azana, as told to me by Robert Four Star. William Standing’s use of Azan-zan-na, in James Long’s, Land of Nakoda: the story of the Assiniboine Indians, from the tales of the old ones told to First Boy (James L. Long), with drawings by Fire Bear (William Standing), under direction of the Writers' program of the Works projects administration in the state of Montana (Helena, MT: State Pub. Co., 1942), will be discussed in Chapter 5 of this dissertation. 120 Colin G. Calloway, First People: A Documentary Survey of American Indian History (Boston: New Bedford; New York: St. Martin's Press, 2008), 282.   56 Indians painted by Catlin, are alive today. Though their ancient bodies of cultural knowledge have transformed over time, largely because of the pressures of colonization and national expansion, that knowledge is still living by constantly adapting cultural values and practices, such as the oral tradition, along with other contemporary choices, such as controlling their own conventional archives. That is also why the archives that people like Catlin made and protected are reinterpreted, reclaimed, and often held in high esteem, not just by scholars and museum-goers but also by Native people that belong to a particular lineage, that is, by their ancestors. Broun confirms cultural survival:  The 2000 U.S. Census brought news of another fundamental shift. Many of the rural Midwestern counties Catlin travelled have now lost so much population that they are again classified as “wilderness,” with fewer residents per square mile than they had in 1860. And in a curious reversal of history, the numbers of both Native Americans and buffalo are increasing in many of these same counties where once they were “vanishing.”121  The Assiniboine, and Indigenous peoples of North America in general, have sustained their communities for millennia by adapting cultural practices to ongoing transformations brought on by American and Canadian expansion. Specifically through oral traditions, they have brought their pasts to life through storytelling as with the directed purpose of continuing cultural knowledge: Assiniboine storytellers, such as Robert Four Star, are knowledge keepers—archivists—for their Assiniboine audiences.122   In addition to learning about important Assiniboine historical individuals from storytellers, such as Robert Four Star, I asked several questions of my interviewees focused on what they knew about Azana.123 These questions were meant to ascertain how they had learned about him and whether or not they were related to him in some fashion. These questions then led to discussions about what they knew of other well-known Assiniboine leaders and events in Assiniboine history, and whether they felt such knowledge was important for present and future generations to learn. Most tellingly, I asked what they thought about the differences between reading about Assiniboine history from an outside perspective and hearing (or reading) about that same history directly from an Assiniboine. The answers to these questions revealed some common themes.                                                 121 George Gurney and Therese Thau Heyman, eds., George Catlin and his Indian Gallery (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2002), 10.  122 I call this a way of archiving, as it is an indigenous form of keeping knowledge alive.  123 See Interview Questions in the Appendices B.   57 Though there is no one singular Assiniboine perspective, my interviewees who did know Azana’s story carry a very different interpretation of the events than the standardized non-Assiniboine representation. Only a few of my interviewees stated they were either descended from or related to Azana. And not all the Assiniboine with whom I spoke have heard stories or are familiar with either the oral or written stories about him. Yet, all my interviewees stated strongly that the oral tradition of storytelling about Assiniboine history, and learning that history directly from an Assiniboine is essential to their continuation as a people. What was most interesting to me was that when I raised Azana’s name, people who knew his story would tell their own stories about how they were related to him or discuss his historical importance to the Assiniboine. In the summer of 2010, around a Sweat Lodge, just a day before the Medicine Lodge, I had a conversation with a man named Kenny Ryan about a paper I had written on Azana. Kenny is an enrolled Assiniboine leader and a former tribal chairman at Fort Peck. Kenny told me that he was a descendent of Azana. He also told me that he had visited the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. sometime after he retired from a position working for the National Congress of American Indians. Before he headed home to Fort Peck, he stood in front of Catlin’s paintings of Azana along with some of his Indigenous colleagues and friends. There, in front of the portrait, he stated “I am going home,” thus making him and Azana linked in a national diplomatic experience.124 In this example, Kenny Ryan, the storyteller, wove oral tradition with non-Indigenous art in the context of the National Gallery while directing his vision to his homeland. His story about this event demonstrates the act of sustaining bodies of cultural knowledge: it utilized more than the oral tradition, more than Catlin’s painting, or more than a text written about Azana alone. The Assiniboine stories about Azana serve the purpose of keeping bodies of knowledge alive; these, in turn, inform an Assiniboine sense of peoplehood from one generation to the next.                                                 124 It is interesting to compare what Kenny Ryan told me about his experience viewing the Catlin painting of Azana in the National Gallery, as he is one of Azana’s descendants as well as was a political representative of American Indians working in D.C., with what I observed and heard from the docent in 2010 at the National Gallery (page 14 above).  58 After that conversation with Kenny, I sent him the paper I had written about Azana upon his request. Two years later, after I arrived in Billings, Montana to conduct the majority of my interviews, I received a phone call. The call was from Cleo Hamilton, one of Kenny’s relatives. She stated that Kenny had given my paper to her. She corrected me about a statement I had made in the paper regarding one of Azana’s descendants, William Standing, an Assiniboine artist who lived in the first half of the twentieth century.125 I had mistakenly written that he was part Kiowa, citing a website by the Meadowlark Gallery in Billings, which holds some of Standing’s artwork. Cleo asserted that William Standing was a full-blooded Assiniboine, and one of her relatives. Wanting to know more, I interviewed Cleo at her home in Poplar, Montana on July 2, 2012.126 Cleo claimed she was a descendant of Azana. She learned about him, and Assiniboine history, from listening to stories from her elders, especially her grandfather, Bernerd Standing, brother to William Standing, and her mother, Gladys Jackson, who passed away in her 90s in September 2011. Her great-grandfather, Stephen Standing, Bernerd’s father, was a well-known and powerful medicine man and Medicine Lodge leader, who only spoke Assiniboine. Stephen had married Patty Standing, who was descended from Azana. Cleo had travelled a lot with her parents, visiting many elders and relatives. She told me, “I would sit there and listen and remember things.” By listening to these oral historians, she learned that “… by going to Washington and seeing the New World … ,” Azana had brought important knowledge back to his people about American power, even though some of his own people were afraid or jealous of him after his return. When I asked Cleo why she felt learning this history was important, she said: “It gives you pride, really, in your tribe to know that important members in your tribe accomplished something,” such as visiting the President of the United States in the new national capital. She compared the Assiniboine pride in their knowledge about Azana to a similar pride by the Apache in their knowledge of Geronimo. When I asked Cleo about the difference between hearing – or reading – Azana’s story from an Assiniboine or from a non-Assiniboine historian, she said, “I think it’s more accurate when you hear it from                                                 125 I spoke with Kenny Ryan and gave him my consent forms in 2010. I was unable to confirm a formal interview with him in 2012. I still need permission to write about these conversations. 126 Cleo Hamilton Interview, July 2, 2012, in her home in Poplar, MT.  See Cleo Hamilton, Interview Bios, in the Appendices A.  59 an Assiniboine or an Indian, because the non-Indian is more slanted toward whatever their perspective is … sometimes you pick up these inaccuracies as you read through it.” Cleo asserted that it was essential to Assiniboine cultural survival that youth and adults visit and listen to their relatives and elders tell stories about their history and language. Her claim about these conversational practices was one of the most striking parts of our conversation, standing out in my mind even today. As Cleo sadly emphasized, in contemporary life so many people are too busy to sit and listen to stories. In contrast, other Assiniboine people with whom I spoke first heard about Azana from non-Assiniboine sources. Jim Shanley said he first heard about him from seeing the Catlin paintings in D.C., while doing political work for the Fort Peck Community College, and from reading a play about Azana in the 1980s.127 When I asked him why learning about Assiniboine history was important, Jim stated that, “supposedly, you know, the more you know about what has occurred in the past, the better prepared you are for what is going to happen in the future … although our politics right now certainly doesn’t indicate that … .” When I asked Jim his opinion about reading Assiniboine history from non-Assiniboine perspectives versus hearing it from Assiniboine themselves, he stated, “I don’t think there is much difference … people want to perpetuate these fairy tales,” referring to an idealized past, and further that, “… there are pros and cons on both sides … .” According to him, these included personal stories that are colored by their own personal background, whereas documents also have obvious weaknesses, “… tinted by the perspectives of the viewer …  [so] you are never going to get anything perfect either way.” Jim also stated that people of our generation are not “digital natives,” implying that the younger generations will probably learn about their history through digital sources. My interview with Jim confirmed that diverse Assiniboine perspectives exist about perpetuating their own cultural and historical knowledge, and that multiple ways of keeping that knowledge alive should be utilized. He also explained his opinion clearly, stating that historical narratives, and the ways in which they are maintained over time, will always be imperfect and incomplete.                                                 127 Jim Shanley Interview, June 19, 2012, in his home in Poplar, MT. See Jim Shanley, Interview Bios, in the Appendices A.  60 For some of my interviewees, the personal stories about Azana were vital to how they see themselves in terms of identity, and for their progeny. Dale White, who is the son of Judy Four Star and step-son of Robert Four Star, is a younger Assiniboine cultural practitioner. He told me about the ceremonial naming of his son, Azana, and how his son told him about Azana visiting him in a dream and telling him about his trip to D.C.128 For Dale’s family, the nineteenth-century Azana is much more than an interesting historical actor; his story carries sacred import for his family and for an imagined Assiniboine future.  The oral histories told about Azana by Assiniboine people themselves continue to live on through their telling. They carry the purpose of perpetuating a sense of Assiniboine identity and their role in shaping their social, cultural, political, and economic existences. Intricate archival grains found within the weaving process of the oral tradition reveal an Assiniboine archival concern similar to the “epistemic anxiety” of Dutch colonial control over Indigenous populations in Indonesia as examined in Ann Stoler’s work.129 Parallel to Stoler’s examination of Dutch colonists’ fears regarding an Indigenous insurrection found in the margins of archival products, many Assiniboine people are concerned that stories will be maintained and told to youth in the vital process of oral tradition. Assiniboine archival concerns about their own cultural knowledge preservation are found within the oral history process of storytellers telling stories to live audiences in particular contexts of time, such around a kitchen table with visitors who have gathered from afar for the annual Medicine Lodge. The stories that storytellers tell require living audiences in contexts that support Assiniboine communities in order to take on lives of their own. I heard through the Assiniboine grapevine that full copies of Catlin’s paintings of Azana currently hang on the chamber walls of the Tribal Executive Council at Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Headquarters. To Assiniboine people, these images represent an Assiniboine leader, an ancestor to Assiniboine people living today. They also speak about Azana as an example of a dignified man who told the truth, thus emphasizing his agency.                                                 128 Dale White Interview, July 3, 2012, FPCC, Wolf Point, MT. See Dale White, Interview Bios, Appendices A. 129 See Ann Stoler, Along the Archival Grain: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Common Sense (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009).  61 From an Assiniboine perspective, such as Robert Four Star’s, Azana’s report about his trip to Washington D.C. in 1831 remained within Assiniboine social circles through the use of oral histories. Consequently, Assiniboine leaders of the late-nineteenth century probably had some idea of America’s intention to expand into their lands. For contemporary Assiniboine people, Azana was an Assiniboine ambassador. Though American and Canadian colonization in the late-nineteenth century decimated Assiniboine ways of life, Assiniboine agency never vanished. The oral history about Azana supports and fosters the memory that the U.S. looked to the Assiniboine as allies, rather than as enemies, and that the Assiniboine wanted American products, such as iron skillets and guns, rather than the wish to become “American” or to lose their own cultural knowledge and ways of being.  The historical implications of Azana’s story depict first contacts between “the Self” and “the Other,” and between the “indigene” and the “settler.” As John Lutz writes:  Comparing indigenous and explorer accounts of the same meetings brings the collision of fundamentally different systems of thought into sharp relief. Europeans and indigenous people had (and in some cases, still have) incommensurable beliefs about what motivated behaviour, about fate, about trade, about reality.130  There is no one uniform story about events or individuals in Assiniboine history. Instead, many multi-sided stories and perspectives reveal different representations about them. Listening to oral histories about Azana by Assiniboine storytellers, and then comparing that storytelling process to reading archived products, such as written narratives and images of the man, reveal complex multi-angled perspectives of Assiniboine history. Therefore, locating this historical analysis on the retelling of Azana’s story focuses on his actions within the historical context of American westward expansion in which he was an active participant.  Azana’s story represents an important moment in the larger canon of Assiniboine oral history. Indigenous people that utilized oral traditions from one generation to the next to record the past predated colonial encounters. After contact, the process was also transformed by those encounters. It is clear that the Indigenous oral tradition survives                                                 130 John Sutton Lutz, ed., Myth & Memory: Stories of Indigenous-European Contact (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2007), 2.  62 today, so those transformations, though impossible to measure in quantifiable data, were clearly not destroyed.  Azana’s trip to Washington gave the Assiniboine historical knowledge of American people and material culture long before other tribes in the Northern Plains. His diplomatic trip was also significant because a number of important treaties were made with Indigenous tribes on the Northern Plains from about 1851 to the end of the nineteenth century.131 After the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851, Goose, an Assiniboine chief, was sent to Washington for similar purposes as Azana.132 My theory, based on conversations with Robert Four Star, is that Azana’s report about the Americans was knowledge that was kept active and alive through the tribe’s oral tradition, and this is one of the reasons that they did not have to engage in war against the U.S. For instance, the Assiniboine chief White Dog rejected Sitting Bull’s request that they join the Sioux in the wars against America in the 1870s.133 Despite the fact that the Sioux had tenfold the number of treaties with Americans than the Assiniboine, the Assiniboine had more prior knowledge of American power in terms of numbers and technology than the Sioux: Azana’s accounts were remembered. Within the historical context of this period, the Assiniboine’s interpretation of Azana’s importance remains very strong. Assiniboine oral histories about Azana, when compared to non-Assiniboine written texts about him, show different purposes in maintaining those histories, whether for Indigenous peoplehood or community identity, in the case of the former, or national identity, in the case of the latter.134 Indigenous oral traditions tend to focus on processes, morality, and cultural continuity as an Indigenous way of historicizing and maintaining                                                 131 Stan Hoig, White Man’s Paper Trail: Grand Councils and Treaty Making on the Central Plains (Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado, 2006), 186, 190. Hoig provides a timeline of the various treaties. 132 Stan Hoig, White Man’s Paper Trail: Grand Councils and Treaty Making on the Central Plains (Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado, 2006), 94.  133 I heard this from Robert Four Star, and he also wrote about this in an article entitled, “History of the Assiniboine People from the Oral Tradition,” The Montana Professor 13, no. 1 (Winter 2003).  <http://mtprof.msun.edu/Win2003/r4star.html>  Acquired December 9, 2009. 134 Other scholars of Indigenous histories have compared non-Indigenous and Indigenous narratives about specific historical Indigenous individuals and derived similar conclusions. See Patricia A. McCormack’s “The Many Faces of Thanadelthur,” and Julie Cruikshank’s “Discovery of Gold in on the Klondike:  Perspectives from Oral Tradition” in Reading Beyond Words: Contexts for Native History, Jennifer S. H. Brown, and Elizabeth Vibert, Editors, (Peterborough, Ont. [u.a.]: Broadview Press, 2003), 329-364, 435-458. McCormack examines the differences in Euro-Canadian historical interpretations found in archival documents about Thanadelthur to Aboriginal, specifically Chipewyan, oral tradition.  63 their own interpretations about Indigenous agency in their own histories. Different storytellers, for example, whether Indigenous or Western, tell histories for their own particular audiences, who themselves inhabit distinct cultural contexts. Parallel to this relationship, Indigenous oral storytellers keep cultural knowledge alive for different purposes versus the work of non-Indigenous archivists of archival products. Assiniboine storytellers, such as Robert Four Star, told stories about Azana that represented him as an ambassador rather than as a pawn of the American empire. In a very different representation, Catlin’s paintings about Azana’s journey to and from D.C. emphasized his demise under American encroachment. In a similar way, other Euro-American representations found in primary and secondary archival literature lost sight of examples of Indigenous peoples’ agency to shape American and Canadian expansion. 135 Again, this stands in contrast to Assiniboine oral histories, which tend to focus on their own actions in shaping the events of the past to inform mores, and neither focus on their heroic acts nor on their foibles. Instead, Assiniboine storytellers often encourage their audiences to put these mores into practice in the present.136   Azana’s story, as described in non-Assiniboine texts and artwork for non-Assiniboine audiences, focuses on the historical individual both separated from his community and engulfed by a larger American narrative of Indigenous loss. On the other hand, Assiniboine stories told about Azana concentrate on the perpetuation of a sense of peoplehood: a historical awareness of how the Assiniboine see themselves in relation to larger American, Canadian, and world contexts.  In order to better understand Indigenous peoples as agents of their own histories, it is important to acknowledge the recent wave of Indigenous scholarship in the last twenty years or so. Peter Nabokov has called this scholarship the “new generation of                                                 135 McCormack claims that Euro-Canadian historical documents about Thanadelthur in the early-eighteenth century tended to focus on events of “first contact,” as a base point for subsequent “post-contact transformations” in a linear chronology. See Patricia A. McCormack, “The Many Faces of Thanadelthur,” in Reading Beyond Words: Contexts for Native History, Jennifer S. H. Brown, and Elizabeth Vibert, Editors, (Peterborough, Ont. [u.a.]: Broadview Press, 2003), 331. 136 McCormack discusses this contrast in Indigenous oral traditions versus Western historiography. McCormack argues that Chipewyan oral historians—storytellers—in contrast, tended to focus “ … their own historical stories … on other social and moral issues … They have seen their histories as continuous, largely uninterrupted by European agendas, at least until the advent of colonial control,” as read in Patricia A. McCormack,  “The Many Faces of Thanadelthur” in Reading Beyond Words: Contexts for Native History, Jennifer S. H. Brown, and Elizabeth Vibert, Editors, (Peterborough, Ont. [u.a.]: Broadview Press, 2003), 331.  64 Native historians” that emerged in the 1990s.137 These historians of Indigenous cultures, comprised of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars, have posited ways of unearthing and discussing Indigenous history that serve both Indigenous peoples and the world of academia. In addition, new theoretical assumptions about carrying out Indigenous history may also inform archival theory as it relates to Indigenous peoples.   These newer scholars have intervened in the last decade to support a rethinking of historiographical theory for Indigenous peoples. Some of these discussions show the potential to inform a nascent Indigenous theory of archiving. Choctaw scholar Devon Abbott Mihesuah offers several critical insights regarding the purpose of Indigenous history for Indigenous communities. Mihesuah claims that historians (whether Native or not) will be more responsible if they deploy an interdisciplinary methodology that includes indigenous “voices and perspectives.” She also states that it is important that these scholars “are concerned about  . . . tribes and communities.”138 Drawing attention to those historians who care about Indigenous communities, she writes that “. . . there is a great deal of difference between historians who are concerned about present-day realities Natives face and historians—both non-Native and Native—who . . . have no concern for the people they write about.”139  Mihesuah asserts that historians should be actively aware of how their work affects Indigenous peoples and communities.140 Indigenous histories as archived knowledge inform the present about how Indigenous peoples survived colonization, assimilation, and administrative violence. Furthermore, they may contain possible ways of perpetuating that knowledge for future Indigenous generations. Mihesuah declares: . . . historians of the Indigenous past have a responsibility to examine critically the effects of their historical narratives on the well-being of Natives and to also examine their stories’ influence on the retention and maintenance of the colonial power structure.141                                                  137 Peter Nabokov,  A Forest of Time: American Indian Ways of History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 25. 138 Devon Mihesuah, “Should American Indian History Remain a Field of Study?” in Indigenizing the Academy: Transforming Scholarship and Empowering Communities, Devon Mihesuah and Angela Cavender Wilson, eds. (Lincoln, NB and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2004), 156. 139 Mihesuah, “Should American Indian History Remain a Field of Study?”, 143.  140 Ibid., 144. 141 Ibid., 157.  65 Distinct Indigenous communities, places, and collective pasts help shape Indigenous identity. In particular, the ways these communities maintain their bodies of cultural knowledge through archival practices, such as the oral tradition, form an infrastructure to support a sense of peoplehood. Mihesuah posits that, “[f]or Indigenous people, knowledge of the past is crucial for their identity growth and development, pride, problem-solving strategies, and cultural survival.”142 Thus, Indigenous history should examine Indigenous connections to culturally distinct communities, long-term belonging to lands, and unique epistemologies.143 Indigenous oral traditions serve the purpose of sustaining the peoples’ histories, thus keeping those histories very much alive.  Mihesuah’s insights suggest that history-as-narrative constructs contesting interpretations of “truth,” which applies to history in the form of archived knowledge. Therefore, Indigenous oral traditions should be respected as evidentiary sources – as archival knowledge – just as relevant as non-indigenous written histories.144 To add to this, oral tradition helps Indigenous peoples archive cultural knowledge in a way that is unique and profound in and of itself, as a living process rather than as a static product fixed on a cold storage shelf. Oral tradition requires both a teller (or tellers) and a listener (or listeners) in a specific cultural context.145 Indigenous forms of telling history through the oral tradition should not be relegated to legend. Scholars of Indigenous studies have turned an important corner to affirm that research about Indigenous peoples living today should take the Indigenous interests seriously, and respect their ways of protecting their bodies of cultural knowledge. This ethical framework of doing Indigenous research supports a nascent Indigenous theory of archiving, as well. Scholars of archival theory and Indigenous studies should listen to Indigenous people concerning their bodies of cultural knowledge found in the oral tradition. Peter Nabokov describes indigenous historiography that serves the interests of contemporary Indigenous peoples, discussing the multiple ways that                                                 142 Mihesuah, “Should American Indian History Remain a Field of Study?”, 146. 143 For decolonization as a different process for Indigenous peoples as opposed to other minority groups, see Ronald Niezen, The Origins Of Indigenism: Human Rights And The Politics Of Identity (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2003), 9. 144 Mihesuah, “Should American Indian History Remain a Field of Study?”, 147-150. 145 In addition to the importance of context, audience, and the role of the storyteller, the stories are often repeated several times over the course of a person’s life.  66 Indigenous peoples may be served through ethical historian methodologies.146 Nabokov avoids romantic or essentialist interpretations that turn Indigenous people into either “benighted savages” or “nature poets.”147 He states, “In dispersed journal articles and the occasional anthology . . . in more recent years there has appeared an encouraging trickle of specific, often localized studies on American Indian historicity.”148 He quotes Raymond D. Fogelson to define Indigenous historicity: “native writing of native history from a native perspective.’”149 This idea applies to Indigenous archiving of Indigenous history through oral tradition, seen here as a process shaped by the perspectives of storytellers and their audiences in specific cultural contexts and time frames. Histories about Indigenous peoples should take into account the multiple perspectives from the Indigenous narrators that tell their histories in relation to the histories archived about them by non-Indigenous writers, artists, and collectors. Conjointly, the inside and outside boundaries between “the Self” and “the Other,” the settler and the Indigenous, are sometimes blurry; the false binary category of Indigenous and settler most often loses sight of how human beings influence each other culturally, thus transforming cultural practices over time.  I retold Azana’s story in this chapter in order to demonstrate the vast differences between Assiniboine people telling their own history in their own voices and an outside written history about them; I also did this to highlight the importance of Indigenous peoples’ agency in controlling the discourse about their people. The discourse about Azana’s journey in its shifting form, and what it meant for the Assiniboine people, is still largely unknown to non-Assiniboine people.150 In short, Azana’s story and his legacy for the Assiniboine have never been analyzed to inform the larger debate about Indigenous people controlling their own archival processes.                                                 146 Peter Nabokov, A Forest of Time: American Indian Ways of History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 26.  My own work as an Indigenous historian began with a freshman class, “Native American Folklore,” taught by Peter Nabokov in 1988.   147 Nabokov, A Forest of Time, 10.  148 Ibid., 25. 149 Ibid., 21. 150 If Assiniboine perspectives on this history are not part of standard Montana or U.S. history school curricula, I certainly think they should be. I cannot speak to how many Assiniboine are familiar with this story.  67 Indigenous archivists serve their own communities’ interests by continuing to tell stories about their ancestors’ experiences during the period of Western expansion and colonization. Indigenous cultural practitioners also preserve their cultural knowledge through performing oral histories. Indigenous cultural practices, such as oral histories, have created complex intersections between the individuals and the collective constructions of Assiniboine identity that sit in contrast to outside cultural representations, such as George Catlin’s paintings, or histories about them, such as John Ewers’s “When the Light Shown in Washington.” Assiniboine have gained more control over their ongoing cultural transformations through their own archival processes.151  What is important about Assiniboine preservation of cultural knowledge is that it emerges from people knowledgeable and experienced in Assiniboine cultural practices, such as language, ceremonies, and important sacred sites. While there is no singular Assiniboine perspective about how to maintain their cultural practices and history, Assiniboine perspectives about the importance of the oral tradition stand strong. In order for the Assiniboine to preserve their cultural knowledge, there must be knowledge there for them to preserve; people like Azana and Robert Four Star have kept cultural knowledge alive under duress. In this work, they were neither insular nor so diffused that they lost cultural distinctness found in their structural cosmology of the world. Through an analysis of Azana, some of his descendants, and interviews with contemporary Assiniboine people, this examination has clarified the different archival purposes found between settlers’ narratives and images about Assiniboine history with Assiniboine peoples’ own oral histories. These stories about Azana from within the community, when contrasted with those narratives from without, describe encounters between “the Self” and “the Other,” the indigene and the settler, the writer/artist/historian and her subject. Settler images of Azana represented what became stereotypes about Indigenous peoples facing American imperialism on the Northern Plains. Up until the 1970s, non-Indigenous historians assumed that Assiniboine or Indigenous peoples were                                                 151 For example, they produced a recent video about the Lewis and Clark expedition using Assiniboine actors, artwork, and language; they continue to manage the tribally controlled Fort Peck Community College and Fort Belknap Community College; they led one of the first efforts for a tribally managed Wellness Center at Fort Peck; and the Fort Peck Community College recently published their own book, For example, see David Miller, Dennis Smith, Joseph R. McGeshick, James Shanley, and Caleb Shields, The History of the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, Montana, 1800-2000 (Helena, MT: Montana Historical Society Press, 2008).  68 unable to speak for themselves. Thus, it is important to see that Assiniboine narratives about Azana highlight the agency of Assiniboine people in shaping history.    Oral tradition for the Assiniboine people continues to be a vital way of not only maintaining their own cultural continuity but also informing how they see their role in the world. With other ways of keeping their histories alive, such as ceremony, territorial knowledge, writing histories, and artwork, the oral tradition shines bright in the constellation of Assiniboine knowledge keepers. Standing alone, the oral tradition, like the others just mentioned, has certain limits. Oral histories vary within communities and change over time. By definition, the oral tradition requires a living audience of listeners, people who will remember the stories, and who in turn will tell others within a dynamic cultural context—one that is constantly shaping and being shaped by the power to archive knowledge over time. As Assiniboine strengthen their oral traditions for their own people, they exercise self-determination in the present and for their future. Assiniboine narratives told in oral histories, songs, visual representations, or performed in rituals, such as naming ceremonies, are functions of an Assiniboine way of archiving cultural knowledge while at the same time, keeping it alive. The Assiniboine have been telling their own version of history long before their encounters with westward expansionist settlers, whether through rock art, buffalo hides, or oral history, and ever since, in spoken word, written texts, dance, song, pictures, and art. These cultural practices are indicative of what I call an Indigenous archiving process. For Assiniboine knowledge keepers, the oral tradition is essential to the Medicine Lodge, which I discuss in Chapter 3, and vital to Assiniboine ways of sustaining their own cultural system and their own worldview.  Similar to a medicine bag that holds different ceremonial objects that are specifically meaningful for the cultural practitioner, after hearing and contemplating Azana’s story in various forms over several years, I realized that the other ways of keeping knowledge alive were significant parts of his story for Assiniboine people. In order to see their individual uniqueness, I discuss these other ways of keeping knowledge alive in subsequent chapters, such as ceremony, sacred sites, written texts, and artwork.  In the concluding Chapter 7, I reaffirm that these ways of keeping knowledge alive work together rather than separately. 69 Chapter 3: Wiotijaka (Medicine Lodge), 1880-2012 For any people to make genesis accounts, turning points, and even key figures in their collective past convincingly part of their present, they usually do more than talk together … people often feel the need to move together.  – Peter Nabokov152  What I have learned comes from the [Medicine] Lodge, from the Sweat Lodge, to have a good heart.  – Armand McArthur (Assiniboine Medicine Lodge Leader)153    Like entering through a temple’s doorway, the first Assiniboine Medicine Lodge that I experienced, in the summer of 1996, introduced me to Assiniboine cosmology. It was through this first Medicine Lodge that I began to learn what it meant to be Assiniboine. Since that introduction, I have continued to attend Assiniboine Medicine Lodges almost every year. No ceremony I have seen before or since matches the intensity of the sacrifice, beauty, and power of an Assiniboine Medicine Lodge.  Jeff Cummins, an enrolled member in the Assiniboine of Fort Peck, fellow alumnus of UCSC, and a member of the Student Alliance of North American Indians, invited me to drive with him to my first Medicine Lodge in June 1996.154 Once we arrived at Fort Peck, we were invited to a purification ceremony, which was a sweat lodge for all of the dancers and families. This sweat lodge was big enough for about 20 relatively large men, and sat at in a location called Chicken Hill, in a small forest on the northern bank of the winding Missouri River (Mini Shoshe or Muddy Water). I was struck by the sense of humor and friendly manner that most of the cultural practitioners showed, even to a stranger like me.     The next day, I attended a procession that started at the Medicine Lodge’s leader’s house, Larry Wetsit (He-Wets-The Arrow), in Wolf Point. This caravan of cars and trucks stopped four times to smoke the sacred pipe in a circle in the wild grasses during the journey. The caravan moved first west and then north of a tiny town called Aswego, on a gravel road to the site where the Lodge had been held for the last few decades. Upon                                                 152 Peter Nabokov, Forest of Time: American Indian Ways of History (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 173. 153 Armand McArthur Interview, June 28, 2012, at his home, Pheasant Rump Reserve, Saskatchewan. 154 Jeff was also a good friend of mine. We had both attended a sweat lodge in the San Jose, California foothills run by a Blackfeet cultural adviser, Gary Middle Rider, which was meant mostly for veterans.  70 entering this site, older lodge poles, skeletons of sacred structures, lay scattered on a flattened circular hill surrounded by wheat fields and fences, a site which held a broad view that looks south to the Missouri River bottom. From this vantage point, situated near Highway 2 and the railroad tracks that connect east and west, all other signs of civilization disappear; only the sage-green rolling hills exist, along with the azure sky with its exploding cumulus cotton clouds above. For the Assiniboine, facing south marks a beginning place in the immemorial past, felt in the present, and looking towards an uncertain future.  There was a third traveling companion with us named Jacob Manatowa-Bailey, and he, Jeff, and I were all asked to help out in various ways with the Medicine Lodge over the next three days. Jeff, being a veteran, was invited into the very important Ogichidabi (Warrior Society). Jacob was asked to keep the fire lit through the night. I helped Oliver Archdale, a Medicine Man, gather sage and other plants, and I also assisted the dancers. We would each witness two lodges (teepees) put together to form what locals call in English “God’s House.” It was within this structure that everyone gathered to hear stories from veterans and sing sacred songs late into that Thursday’s star-filled night. Then, first thing on Friday morning, beginning after sunrise, the warriors gathered everyone around a tall and straight cottonwood, the sacred center-pole, which they had “stalked” like prey just as the sun was rising. The dancers who had begun their fast were to help construct what looked like a great cottonwood roundhouse, or nest: a green wall of cottonwood branches on the outside; a roof of large poles adorned with broad cotton cloth four yards in length in four colors, red, blue, white, and yellow; and a doorway facing south, meant for inviting the spirits. Here the dancers and singers would pray for the next two nights and three days. In a way, the whole of Assiniboine cosmology is represented by the Medicine Lodge. For Assiniboine cultural practitioners, within those walls of the cottonwood, beats the center of the universe: the four directions, the sacred earth, the water, the fire, the sky and heavens, and all the animals, plants, and people.    Several years later, after participating in Assiniboine cultural practices, living within various Assiniboine communities, and while working on this dissertation, I realized that ceremony is one way that Indigenous peoples keep embodied cultural knowledge in circulation. Assiniboine ritual practices and ceremonies, such as the  71 Medicine Lodge, serve as functions of preservation, and must be understood within the Assiniboine systems of meaning. The purpose of this chapter, then, is to explore ceremony as an Indigenous method of archiving. For Assiniboine cultural practitioners, the Medicine Lodge is one of their most important ceremonies; it is a renewal of life through collective prayer, and the movement of bodies through space, in the acts of dancing, singing, and fasting. Medicine Lodges draw the Assiniboine together annually from June through July on several of the nine reserves throughout Montana, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.  This chapter has five parts. In the first, I explicate my argument and define the Medicine Lodge as a way of archiving through embodied action. In part two, I show how this embodied action operates within the symbolic meanings, functions, and structures of the Medicine Lodge. In part three, I give a brief chronology of historical descriptions of Medicine Lodges by settlers and ethnographers. In part four, I describe U.S. and Canadian policies that disciplined Assiniboine bodies, primarily through boarding schools and the suppression of ceremonies. Finally, in the fifth part, I discuss how embodied ceremonial practice, as a way of keeping Indigenous knowledge alive, relates to conventional Western notions of what an archive means and represents. Subsequently, embodied ceremonial practice, as seen through the Medicine Lodge, differs from the other ways of archiving mainly because it requires living human bodies moving together in a shared purpose of cultural preservation.  Conventional Western notions of archives, though important as mechanisms to preserve information, are insufficient in keeping knowledge alive for Indigenous communities. Some bodies of sacred knowledge cannot be preserved in these Western ways; an attempt to do so would often be “off limits,” or taboo, from the perspective of certain Indigenous authorities. Nonetheless, it seems to me that almost all peoples, from secular nation-states to Indigenous communities, utilize ceremonies and ritualized performances to instil a sense of shared meaning kinaesthetically, so that ideas can be maintained over time.155 In this larger sense, ceremonies may thus be seen as mechanisms                                                 155 For a discussion of secular ritualized “tradition,” see Eric Hobsbawm, The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge, UK: Canto, 1983); Benedict Anderson Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism  (London: Verso, 1983); and a more recent work by Mark Phillips, Mark Salber, and Gordon Schochet, Questions of Tradition (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004).  72 for people who see themselves as a community-group with a shared system of meaning. Ceremonies help them to sustain bodies of knowledge over time on their own terms, such as a university graduation or the inauguration of an American president by a member of the clergy. I believe that scholars in Western academies have undervalued ceremonial practices as ways of archiving. With this chapter, I intend to show that ceremonies are an alternative way of keeping knowledge alive.  This chapter does not reveal personal, sacred, secret, or private information. It also does not give instructions on how to conduct Assiniboine ceremonies. In this sense, being informed by Assiniboine perspectives, but writing for a scholarly audience, I traverse an invisible line between the surface and the interior of Assiniboine cosmologies. By listening to the Assiniboine voices in the interviews that I recorded as they expressed their own subjectivity, and by examining archival documents, it is my conclusion that the Medicine Lodge can be seen as a vehicle of sustaining a sense of self and peoplehood, one which helps define what it means to be Assiniboine.  In the noun form of the term “archive,” I define the Medicine Lodge as a physical and temporal organization of objects that carries meaning for Assiniboine people as seen from their own experiential perspectives, and also see that Medicine Lodge practitioners are the keepers, or “archivists,” of this knowledge. In the infinitive verb “to archive,” I define the Medicine Lodge as a way of preserving knowledge over time through embodied actions, such as dancing, singing, and praying. I define wakan (sacred) ritual practices for Assiniboine people as embodied actions that instil shared meaning through lived experience.   For clarity, my use of the term “embodiment” that is inherent in this ceremony is drawn from Diana Taylor’s definition of “performance,” found in her study of political contestation in the Americas, The Archive and the Repertoire (2003). Taylor argues that “… we learn and transmit knowledge through embodied action, through cultural agency, and by making choices. Performance for me, functions as an episteme, a way of knowing, not simply an object of analysis.”156 Thus, for Taylor, historical agents deploy                                                 156 Diana Taylor, The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003), xvi. Also, for a discussion on the idea of “embodiment,” see Brenda M. Farnell, Do you see what I mean?: Plains Indian Sign Talk and the Embodiment of Action (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1995; Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2009); and George Lakoff and  73 performativity in a “repertoire” that questions the power to claim legitimate knowledge solely in Western archival terms. As Taylor states, “If performance did not transmit knowledge, only the literate and powerful could claim social memory and identity,”157 and further that “[b]y taking performance seriously as a system of learning, storing, and transmitting knowledge, performance studies allows us to expand what we understand by ‘knowledge.’” 158 Adding to Taylor’s claims, I use the concept of embodiment and performativity through ceremonial activity as an additional, or alternative, way of keeping bodies of cultural knowledge alive for Indigenous peoples.  My previous work in experiential education also informs my use of the terms embodiment and performativity. Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) scholar Dr. Manulani Aluli Meyers calls the experiential education that is utilized in Native Hawaiian schools “embodied knowing.”159 Meyers distinguishes “knowledge” from “knowing” through kinaesthetic experience, thus transforming the word “knowledge” as a noun into a verb form, “knowing,” through action. Native Hawaiians have a saying, “maka hana ka ike,” which may be translated as, “the learning is in the doing.” I experienced this Kanaka Maoli value, amongst many others, while teaching at a Native Hawaiian charter school, the Hakipu’u Learning Center, in its founding school year of 2001-2002. The Kanaka Maoli ohana (family) that directed and founded this school emphasized learning through engaging in cultural activities, such as weaving with plants, working in the kalo (taro) fields or lo’i (fish ponds), and learning the native language, chants, and origin stories. 160   Participating in these cultural activities at Hakipu’u had a direct influence on my work with the Assiniboine at Wamakasha Oeti (Bison Camp), which I founded and directed from 2002 to 2005, with the guidance of a local community committee at Fort Peck. Families at Bison Camp engaged in a variety of embodied cultural activities. Embodied knowledge through ceremony for the Kanaka Maoli, as for the Assiniboine, is essential for understanding their sense of peoplehood and well-being, through the acts of                                                                                                                                             Mark Johnson, Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and Its Challenge to Western Thought (New York: Basic Books, 1999). Also, for experiential and Indigenous epistemologies and ontology, see Manulani Aluli Meyer, Ho’olu: Our Time of Becoming (Honolulu, HI: ʻAi Pōhaku Press, 2003).  157 Taylor, The Archive and the Repertoire, xvii. 158 Ibid., 16. 159 Meyer, Ho’oulu: Our Time of Becoming.  160 This is thoroughly discussed in my master’s education thesis. See Josh Horowitz, “Wamakashka Oeti” (master’s thesis, Dominican University of California, 2003).   74 performing their sacred values with their physical bodies. Ceremonies, such as Hula Kahiko (ancient hula) for Kanaka Maoli, and the Medicine Lodge for Assiniboine, exemplify how embodied knowledge through dance, song, drumming, and the use of specific plants, animals, colors, and so on transmits meaning between members of a collective group.  The Medicine Lodge is performed as a life-sustaining practice for Assiniboine communities, as well as for the broader world. As Peter Nabokov argues in A Forest of Time (2002), there are several aspects to Indigenous ceremonies that require examination in order to respect them as “ritualized history.” 161 Nabokov correctly claims that rituals enable Indigenous peoples to renew their cultural values, remember where they came from, and resist the corrosive effects of colonization, settlement, and national assimilation.   Understanding ceremonies as a way of keeping knowledge alive requires some degree of immersion in the symbolic system of a particular community. In his chapter “Renewing, Remembering, and Resisting,” Nabokov provides a personal anecdote of first encountering a Crow adoption ceremony in 1962 along the “banks of the Little Bighorn River,” in which he “had no clue what was going on.”162 Over 20 years later, in the 1980s, after several years of dissertation research and forging relationships with Crow people, Nabokov was momentarily “conscripted” into that same ceremony, through an act of reciprocity, where he both gave and received simultaneously. This time around he not only understood the ceremony’s meaning, but was actively transformed by it.163 As Nabokov states, “No one should observe ‘outside’ this symbolically created world or fail to ratify its power; bystanding was not an option.”164 Nabokov reminds us that a deeper degree of understanding a people’s cosmology, the very cultural context in which ceremonies take place, is accomplished only through experiential participation. In my                                                 161 Nabokov, Forest of Time, 172. 162 Ibid., 172.  163 Ibid., 176. I should clarify that Nabakov was not adopted here, but called into part of the ceremony aftermath with a specific name of a Crow ancestor that he had studied and written about. As a researcher of Indigenous studies, this is important to acknowledge: that understanding the internal meanings as a partial participant, after years of building trust, is different from interpreting cultural aspects from the outside and as a bystander. Also, as an aside, Nabokov was my professor of Native American Folklore my freshman year in 1988 at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in the same year he submitted his dissertation at U.C. Berkeley. 164 Ibid., 176.  75 own examination, I have some degree of understanding the internal cosmology as taught to me by Assiniboine knowledge-keepers and gained over the course of 16 years of participation in Assiniboine ceremonies, though my understanding is still only partial.165 Of course, each participant of a particular ceremony will have their own unique interpretation of it as it is individually experienced, but this will still be within a shared field of symbolic meanings.   Ceremonies for Indigenous communities, as for whole nation-states,166 are mechanisms that link collective pasts to the present through embodied action, so that future generations have a path to follow. According to Nabokov, in this way, “They commit bodies, gestures, voices, and stagecraft to dramatized and/or danced enactments or tableaus of the sacred histories that either originally chartered or, more commonly reconsolidated their ancestral communities.”167   Indigenous ceremonies, as Nabokov points out, not only help to sustain identities and histories, but also work to resist erosion by assimilation:  … many Indian religious pageants or ritual cycles of central sacramental significance to their tribe’s identity do seem to fit the Native requirements for ‘doing history’—honoring and preserving their self-conceived pasts by representing them through symbolic regalia and routinized … expressive behaviors.168   I would add further that Indigenous peoples use their ceremonies, such as the Medicine Lodge, not only to protect and sustain their remembered pasts but also to foster a greater healing for the world. When embodied action expresses a collective past in the present in order to sustain it for a future existence, the noun “archive” becomes the active verb                                                 165 I was both honored and privileged to have been adopted, accepted, and acculturated into the Medicine Lodge society after I had lived there for a year, and after my first invitation to the Fort Peck Medicine Lodge in 1996. The same standards of doing Indigenous research, so eloquently asserted by Linda Tuhiwai Smith in her work Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples, (Dunedin: University of Otago Press, 1999), apply to me as well: both then and now, I strived to meet the standards of both my Assiniboine community and my UBC academic community. 166 See Benedict R. Anderson’s, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, (London: Verso, 2006), and E. J Hobsbawm and T. O. Ranger’s The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), as well as James Clifford’s “Traditional Futures,” in Questions of Tradition Mark Phillips and Gordon Schochet Eds, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004).  167 Nabokov, 173. This is a similar idea to Meyer’s “knowing.” 168 Ibid., 177.  76 “archiving,” specifically through performativity. 169  As may be the case for other Indigenous peoples, Assiniboine ceremonies help to sustain what it means to be Assiniboine. Without the Medicine Lodge and other important ceremonial practices, the Assiniboine might cease to exist as a distinct people. Assiniboine ceremonial practices require individuals to apprentice under snonkwaya whichasha (“knowledge-keepers”).  In this chapter, through descriptions given by Assiniboine people about the Medicine Lodge and my own participation since 1996, I intend to examine how Indigenous ceremonies serve as methods of keeping knowledge alive, but also show that they are ongoing and contested processes that change over time, rather than remaining fixed.170 In this sense, Indigenous ceremonial practices, as ways of archiving, are shared spaces of meaning through experiential ritual, such as painting a color onto a person’s body to signify a season, a cardinal direction, or a set of values. These practices are kinaesthetic, embodied, and experiential, meaning that the practitioner uses their whole being in the ritual: body, mind, and spirit all work together, as they move through space and time. These rituals may include burning sage or sweet grass and greeting the dawn, or filling a sacred pipe in a specific manner with plants that have been gathered and cured in precise ways. They also may include dancing, drumming, or singing particular songs that have been passed on from one person to another as gifts that are as valuable as physical objects or currency.  The Medicine Lodge is perhaps the most important ceremony for Assiniboine people, who gather together from distant locations for a common purpose. As Dennis Smith, an enrolled Assiniboine historian and professor at University of Nebraska states,                                                 169 For an example of this, see Nabokov’s discussion of the “Pueblo Tricentennial Run of 1980,” in Forest of Time, 191. 170 After living at Fort Peck and teaching in Poplar Schools, and through MY adoption by Robert Four Star, I began dancing in the Medicine Lodge in 1997 (along with Jeff for the following four years). I completed the four-year commitment in 2000, and return almost every summer to support the Medicine Lodge society. I have also assisted Medicine Lodge singers, such as Robert Four Star, on several other reserves, such as Fort Belknap and Blackfeet reservations in Montana, and Stoney reserves in Morley, Alberta. My description of the Medicine Lodge largely comes from experience and participant observation. It also includes information that my interviewees shared with me, and have given me their permission to relay. Also, several Assiniboine-produced texts, which are examined in greater detail in Chapter 5 of this dissertation, also provide descriptions of Medicine Lodges. My intent is to give the reader a sense of the structure, meaning, and history of the Medicine Lodge as central to Assiniboine identity and culture. It is not to give a “how to” explanation of the events that transpire, or to expose sacred (and often secret) personal information.   77 “Vital to Assiniboine sacred life is the Medicine Lodge, or sun dance, a collective annual ceremony usually held in June.”171 The majority of other Assiniboine ceremonies are directly related to the Medicine Lodge, as well. Assiniboine and their invited friends from other tribes and nations gather together, such that the Medicine Lodge functions like the hub of a wheel, with many spokes that connect to other communities.172 Ceremonies act as centers of gravity that pull in distant relations—people who share the same cultural practices. Other ceremonies besides the Medicine Lodge also exemplify Assiniboine ways of keeping cultural knowledge alive. Some examples include the Inibi (Sweat Lodges), Wahichiyabi (spirit callings), naming and adoption ceremonies, wakan í (vision quests or “sitting on the hill”), and daily-life activities, such as pipe ceremonies, gathering medicines, hunting, singing, and the interpretations of dreams. All Assiniboine ceremonies and sacred beliefs revolve around the idea of wakan. As Dennis Smith states, for Assiniboine who are also traditional cultural practitioners, wakan is: … applied to anything which is sacred, mysterious, and incomprehensible to man. All things in the physical world—including plants, animals, waters, rocks, and celestial bodies—are considered living beings, each possessed with spirits, and manifestations of wakan. Although not personified, the creator is known as Wakan Tanga (sacred, mysterious, incomprehensible, large, big).173  Robert Four Star instructed me that the Creator also goes by the names Dagu Wakan Shka-Shka, which literally translates as “What Sacred Moves Moves,” and Wagondowa Makoche Gaka, which in English means “Above Earth Maker”.  Not coincidently, the idea of movement, shka, or “to move,” is also central to Assiniboine cosmology, as well as how knowledge is transmitted through bodies in motion. I observed in ceremonies, for example, that Assiniboine cultural practitioners pray facing first south, and then move their bodies in the directions of west, north, east,                                                 171 See Dennis Smith, “Fort Peck Assiniboines to 1800,” in The History of the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, Montana, 1800-2000, by David Miller, Dennis Smith, Joseph R. McGeshick, James Shanley, and Caleb Shields (Helena, MT: Montana Historical Society Press, 2008), 22. Dennis Smith is an enrolled member of the Fort Peck Assiniboine, and a professor of history at the University of Nebraska. 172 This idea of a “hub” that connects Indigenous peoples is a concept I borrow from Renya Ramirez’s examination of urban Indigenous communities in her Native Hubs: Culture, Community, and Belonging in Silicon Valley and Beyond  (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007).  173 See Dennis Smith, “Fort Peck Assiniboines to 1800,” 22.  78 and then returning south. This observation was informed by a study of embodiment, as found in Assiniboine (Plains Indian Sign) language, drawn from Brenda Farnell’s Do You See What I Mean? Plains Indian Sign Talk and the Embodiment of Action (2009).174 Similar to other Assiniboine oral histories, these narratives are fragments and angles of an Assiniboine vision about embodied actions. Further, drawing on Farnell’s examination, Raymond Gibb affirms: The Assiniboine philosophy of ‘being-in-the-world’ makes body movement fundamental as a way of knowing . . . physical being is essential to the attainment of power. For example, prayer is a highly embodied activity where bodily suffering in the hot steam of a sweat lodge and from fasting and periods of isolation provides a significant pathway to seeking and giving power.175  This exemplifies that Assiniboine cultural practitioners have both precise and complex ways of positioning their bodies spatially in relation to the cardinal directions when conducting ceremonies. Actions may also include putting their hands on trees or rocks, standing or sitting, not laying down to rest during a ceremony with one’s back facing the ground, facing south when singing certain songs, or turning to face the four directions while praying, taking a medicinal plant, or smoking the sacred pipe, called a Chanuba Wakan.  Out of the 20 people who I interviewed for this work, only four do not currently attend Assiniboine Medicine Lodges for personal reasons of their own. Nevertheless, everyone I interviewed respects Assiniboine ceremonies, especially the ways they were conducted by their ancestors. Due to the fact that the Medicine Lodge was my first induction into the greater Assiniboine community, the majority of my contacts, consultants, and friends do participate in the Medicine Lodge, and in Assiniboine ceremonies in general.  Some of my interviewees reported that they learned about certain ceremonies from their elders, who took them to observances as children, such as Robert Four Star’s                                                 174 For an excellent analysis of Assiniboine embodied actions in relation to territory, see Farnell, Do you see what I mean?, 5. Gil Horn, currently in his 90s and a resident of Fort Belknap, was also one of my interviewees. Robert Four Star told me that Gil Horn (one of his elders) was a prisoner of war in a Japanese military camp in the Philippines during World War II. While a prisoner, he engaged in Plains Sign Talk with a fellow Cree prisoner across cages. A Japanese guard said that he would teach them Japanese if they taught him PST. 175 Raymond W. Gibbs, Jr., Embodiment and Cognitive Science, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 169.  79 mother, Evelyn Archdale.176 Others stated that they learned ceremonial practices later in life, from leaders such as Robert Four Star. Lucy Reddekopp, an Assiniboine resident of Wolf Point, told me that she was inspired to learn more about what it means to be Assiniboine after reading books, such as John Neihardt’s Black Elk Speaks (1932).177 Lucy said that once the youth, or any person, has a desire to know more about their culture, ceremonies are key: “once the kids, people, start having sweats … I think that’s where they need to start … you know … to have some good elder to teach them … because you don’t learn unless you have a mentor … . We all have to have a mentor of some sort.”178 Lucy described a powerful and personal transformation after living a life submerged in the unhealthy effects of alcohol and the shame of not knowing about her culture. After she had a dream in which one of her ancestors visited her, Robert Four Star interpreted that dream for her; this process then inspired her to participate in the Medicine Lodge. Though she currently practices Christianity, she stated that she sees “little difference” between Assiniboine religion, symbolized in her words as the “pipe and the Eagle feather,” and Christianity, “the cross and the church.” From her perspective, her name expresses this commonality: her Assiniboine name, Amba Wakan Wiya (Sacred Day Woman) was given to her by Oliver Archdale. Oliver explained to her that this name conveys a deeper meaning, because Sunday is sacred, as it is the last day of the Medicine Lodge and because it is also the Christian day of Sabbath.   Similar to Jesus for Christianity, Assiniboine believe that a spirit, Mitugashi Honksheetugapa (Grandfather First Boy), the deity of the South, first introduced the Medicine Lodge ceremony to them centuries ago. Robert Four Star told me that the Medicine Lodge was brought to the Northern Plains to bring rain after a long period of drought. From Assiniboine peoples’ perspectives, the central tenet of the Medicine Lodge is to renew life for all living beings. In Assiniboine language, the Medicine Lodge is called both Wiotijaka, which literally translates as “to make the dwelling of cloth,” and Tibi Tanga, which stands for “Big Lodge,” where the “ti” in “tibi” means “living” and the                                                 176 Robert Four Star Interview #1 (Video),  June 12, 2009, in his home two miles West of Wolf Point, MT. See Robert Four Star, Interview Bios, Appendices A. 177 Lucy Reddekopp Interview, July 3, 2012, in her home, Wolf Point, Montana. See Lucy Reddekopp Interview Bio in Appendix A. Black Elk and John Gneisenau Neihardt, Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Ogalala Sioux (New York: W. Morrow & Company, 1932). 178 Lucy Reddekopp Interview, July 3, 2012, in her home, Wolf Point, Montana.   80 “bi” means “beings” or “many.”179 Oliver Archdale told me that Wiotijaka means “to make the old-time religion.” He told me this after he had received instructions from his “Grandfather” spirits who visited him in a dream. They spoke to him in Assiniboine and told him to give me the name of Wiotijaka Numbe, which he translated as the Maker of the Old Time Religion Two Times. This was in the late fall of 1998, after I had visited the Medicine Lodge site. He told me that the Grandfathers gave me this name because I came from a different people, Seneca or Jewish, and because I also danced in the Medicine Lodge and was adopted as a son by Robert Four Star.   Though there is no one singular Assiniboine perspective on the Medicine Lodge or on Assiniboine ceremonies, Assiniboine people share a common understanding regarding their unique cosmology. This cosmology includes a variable set of beliefs in a spirit world, ancestor spirits, and sentient beings found in nature, such as animals, plants, and weather patterns.180 Medicine Lodges deeply engage with local ecology, as the waxchinja (cottonwood tree), pezhi xoda (sage), pezhiskuya wachãga (sweetgrass), wamakashka (bison), wamni (eagle), and other plants and animals from the location plays a central role in the ceremony. All the elements are also considered as sentient beings, including the sun, moon, stars, Makoche Wakan (Sacred Earth), rain, hail, snow, thunder and lightning, and with mini (water) as the most important essence of life. Through the supplication of the dancer’s prayers and suffering, the Wagiya Itacha (Chief Thunderbirds) cause the rain to fall from the clouds.  Assiniboine see themselves as both distinct from and similar to other Indigenous peoples in terms of cultural beliefs, values, and practices.181 In one instance, I heard some Assiniboine say that they are very similar to Dakota or Lakota. At another moment, however, I heard the same people say they are quite different from the Dakota or Lakota;                                                 179 I learned this from Robert Four Star in his language class, and from the Assiniboine-language book written by Kenny Ryan. On different reserves, Assiniboine have different words for the Medicine Lodge. 180 Many Assiniboine people believe that plants, such as sage, and weather, such as storm clouds are sentient beings that should be respected and acknowledged as such. 181 In this description of the Medicine Lodge, I intend to represent the structural framework that orients Assiniboine values, practices, and understandings from their own perspectives, as reported to me in interviews, through my participant observation, and through Assiniboine-produced texts. For more on this, see the methodology section in the Introduction to this dissertation. As I state there, and reiterate here, I will not reveal sacred, personal, and secret information, nor will I over-apply a foreign theoretical set of assumptions onto Nakona ways of being and the manners in which they preserve cultural knowledge.  81 that though both might use the sacred pipe and have similar ceremonies, they have different colors for the four directions, deities, and separate purposes for their ceremonies.   In an interview with Robert Four Star after my first Medicine Lodge, he told me the ceremony’s main purpose. Robert said that “we bring our prayer cloth and they [the dancers and leaders] pray for us; we bring our songs and come from different areas and they appreciate that, just like we completed today.”182 He also said that the original Medicine Lodges conducted in the old ways brought rain: that they were literally rain-dances. The main idea in the contemporary Assiniboine world is that prayers for sustaining life requires sacrifice through suffering, fasting, dancing, clothing (which in ancient times were hides), and the songs and drumming that go along with them.   Through the seasons, there are three Medicine Lodge singings, held after the first full moon of the fall equinox in September, the winter solstice in December, and the spring equinox in March. At these singings, they smoke the sacred pipe and sing Medicine Lodge songs, which have been passed down over several generations and that speak to all of the relations described above, such as the animals and plants. They share a feast of mostly hand-gathered foods, such as June berry soup and dry meat soup with hominy, which are made by specific cooks and passed out by selected helpers (called the cooking society) in a precise manner. Most importantly, at these singings, a family often sponsors the Big Lodge for the following June. They gather for the same purposes during the December winter solstice following the first full moon, and in the spring equinox when they gather the components required for the wótowa (sacred bundle). The bundle contains 68 braids of sweet grass, coloured cotton cloth, and the prayers of the families that sponsor the Big Lodge that takes place after the first full moon, around the summer solstice. Between March and June, the family is responsible of taking care of the bundle like it is a living being. Time, space, geography, and meaning are all intertwined for Assiniboine people. Ceremonies “give you direction in life; they give you your own identity; the ceremony was given to the Indian people; I believe that once the ceremonies start coming back to                                                 182 Robert Four Star Interview #2 (Video), May 30, 2010, at his office on the campus of the Fort Peck Community College, Wolf Point, Montana.  82 the people, the Indian people will find themselves – eh?” Mike Lonechild stated in my interview with him.183 Mike Lonechild said further that “the old people said, we have a way; this is our way; that in order to find ourselves we are going to have to find who we really are,” and to find that way ceremonies were given by the Creator carried on by the old people. 184 Each season corresponds to a geographical direction, a Grandfather or Grandmother deity, animals, and a colour. Summer is associated with south (widógah); the colour red (shã); My Grandfather First Boy (Mitugashi Honkshee Tugapa); and the values of health, happiness, and love. The land in the south is called maštá makóce (the hot land). Fall is associated with west (wiyóhpeya); and the colour blue (inde); My Grandfather Thunderbird (Mitugashi Wagiya Itacha); all of the chief animals such as Chief Buffalo, Wolf, and Eagle; and the values of strength, endurance, and humility. Winter is associated with the north (wazíyam); the colour white (ska); My Grandfather with the Long White Hair (Mitugashi Pahaskaska); all of the white animals, such as the White Bear (Matóska); and the values of purity and wisdom. Spring is associated with the east (wiyohabam); the colour yellow (zí); My Grandmother Following Day Woman (Mikushi Amba Heeyaiessa); all of the ancestors living on the other side of the Great River in the Sky (Wánagi Ochangu, which means the Milky Way, and which is translates specifically as Spirit Road); and the values of gratitude and respect. The Medicine Lodge is thus designed and organized according to these directions, seasons, colours, and deities.   The structure of the Medicine Lodge corresponds with the spiritual framework of wichatacha (the human body), the Makoche Wakan (Sacred Earth), and the universe, which is symbolically represented by a circular dwelling. On the first day, which is usually a Thursday, and before the Medicine Lodge begins, the Medicine Lodge society and all of the dancers who have committed to dance migrate from the Lodge leader’s house and stop four times to smoke the pipe on the way to the Lodge site. For the Medicine Lodge that I attend, this is traditionally north of Aswego.185 As I experienced                                                 183 Mike Lonechild Interview, June 28, 2012, in the home of Francis and Yvonne Lonechild, White Bear Reserve, Saskatchewan. Mike Lonechild is Cree-Assiniboine and a participant in several Medicine Lodges. See Mike Lonechild, Interview-Bios in Appendices A.  184 Mike Lonechild Interview, June 28, 2012, in the home of Francis and Yvonne Lonechild.  185 In the “old days,” meaning pre-twentieth century, the Medicine Lodge took 12 days from beginning to end: four days to prepare; four days to travel to the site of the Lodge; and four days of dancing, fasting,  83 the first time, this is more than a twenty-mile journey accomplished by a caravan of cars and trucks driving across the reservation. Once at the site, a specific center is chosen, and two large lodges, tibis, are put together, which symbolize the Creator’s House. A painting of rainbows and the Wamakashka Itacha (Chief Buffalo) adorns one tibi, and a painting of Wagiya Itacha (Chief Thunderbird) is on the second tibi. That evening, veterans selected to join the Ogichada (Warrior Society) share stories from their experiences of war in order to turn participants’ minds toward why they are there and the importance of life. From my observations and participation, this sharing by the Ogichida and their integral role in the whole Medicine Lodge is a powerful way of healing old psychological wounds. After this, singers sing Lodge songs well past midnight, usually under a canopy of bright stars.    At sunrise the next morning, the Ogichada search for the Chawanka (Sacred Tree of Life), which is a waxchinja (cottonwood tree), found south of Aswego along the Missouri River’s forested banks. Once the Ogichida select the Chawanka, they go back to the campgrounds of the Lodge site and gather all of the people. From there they lead the people back to take the life of that the selected tree through a ceremony which involves smoking the chanuba wakan. The tree is then chopped down with axes. Once the tree falls, everyone rushes in and takes pieces of Chawanka’s body, meaning woodchips and small branches of leaves, for medicine that will protect and sustain life in their homes in the coming year.  Once the sacred tree has given its life so that the people may live fully, they bring it back to the campsite and place it in the center of a large circle, where the sacred bundle had  been placed. Representations of the rainbow, Thunderbird, blue lightning, and the red path are carved and painted onto the tree by a designated and respected Assiniboine artist. I interviewed Nathan Beaudry, a Cree artist, who has been the carver of the sacred center pole since the 1990s, when he was asked by Kenny Ryan to participate. He grew up and lived in Wolf Point, Fort Peck, and is a valued member of the Assiniboine community there. Nathan Beaudry stated that painting and carving the sacred center pole                                                                                                                                             singing, praying.  In contemporary life, with work and school schedules, the Lodge has been shortened to four days total, so that people gather, begin their fast, and prepare on Thursday; build the Lodge on Friday; and dance from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, at which time there is a grand feast to break the fasting.  84 was the most humbling sacred honour in his life.186   Surrounding the center tree are 16 tall posts. Four beams cross from the outer posts to the center tree from the four cardinal directions, and on these are yards of cloth in the four colours; each represents a direction, as discussed above. On the outer side, cottonwood branches with the leaves are placed for cover. On the inner side, shorter branches are positioned to create a stall for the dancers. Men dance in the west and women dance in the east. In the north, the Lodge leaders have an altar, a fire pit. In the northeast, the singers drum with small hand drums while sitting on a untanned bison hide. The doorway for people and spirits to enter and leave the Lodge faces south. As people enter, they move clockwise around the tree. The top of the Sacred Tree is considered the Thunderbird’s nest, or the center of the universe. Prayer cloths in many colours are tied around the tree.   Once the Lodge is built, the dancers enter with their gear and ceremonial regalia. The dancers represent baby Thunderbirds in a great Thunderbird nest. They dance, fast, and pray from sunrise to midnight until Sunday afternoon through any type of weather, with brief breaks between the sessions. On Sunday morning, before noon, there are usually several special ceremonies, such as healing, adoption, and naming ceremonies. Many of the male dancers choose to pierce the flesh of their chests with small wooden pegs that are attached to the top of the tree or to their backs to drag bison skulls around the perimeter of the Lodge; when this is complete, the dancers are like baby Thunderbirds, ready to leave the nest. After all the rituals are complete, usually by the late afternoon, there is a big feast and lots of giveaways.187  Four days later, the Lodge society buries the prayer cloths and the Medicine Bundle.  All the components that go into the ceremony are passed onto apprentices and relatives through participation and the oral tradition. The seasonal ceremonies connected with the Medicine Lodge, and the annual Medicine Lodge itself, generate historical consciousness through embodied oral tradition, songs, dancing, and ritual practice.                                                 186 Nathan Beaudry, Sr., Interview, June 26, 2012, at his home, Wolf Point, Montana. See Nathan Beaudry, Sr., Interview Bios, Appendices A. I discuss Nathan and his artwork in more detail in Chapter 6 of this dissertation.  187 “Giveaways” are common throughout Indigenous North American Plains communities, where individuals and their families mark important transitions, such as graduations, weddings, death of relatives, by distributing gifts to the community (including visitors and other guests).   85 Medicine Lodges literally emerge within those four days and submerge into the landscape over the course of the following year: people gather and construct them, the prayer cloths that were tied to the center pole are buried afterwards, and the skeleton limbs and branches are left to decay naturally. Meanwhile, the embodied knowledge that was experienced by participants lives on. The Assiniboine Medicine Lodge societies across the Northern Plains today have their own genealogy, histories of change, adaptation, and continuity, created from the reservation period to the very present.   In an interview with Jeff Cummins, he shared some of his experiences as a Vietnam veteran that he incorporated into the Ogichida (Warrior Society) in 1996. During this interview, Jeff experienced an emotional pull when discussing that initiation and return to his Assiniboine community: this was a significant honour that turned his personal life in a new direction, one toward his cultural roots. Jeff stated that he had operated radar to target incoming missiles during the war and experienced major stress and anxiety in this position, which eventually led to an honourable discharge, but many years of feeling “lost.” From early childhood, and into his late thirties, he was mostly disconnected from his Assiniboine culture and community. Jeff told the story about how Joe Miller, also a veteran of Vietnam, who had been a paratrooper during the war, and who was the Itacha (Chief) of the Ogichida Society and the current Hunga (Head Chief) of the Wadopana (Canoe Paddlers), had asked Jeff to join the Ogichida. This was a major turning point for Jeff, who was healed by, but was also able to give back to his Assiniboine culture through the ceremony. Jeff’s induction into this society resulted in his receiving the Assiniboine name of Makbia Ogichidae (Sky Warrior). He stated:  I was selected to help take the tree … I was very anxious … because I had never participated in that kind of ceremony … As a Vietnam vet I had never shared any of the experiences … my sense of confusion … or the feelings generated from the war … no one had ever offered to help me with that … and as a result of that it was a beginning … still makes me emotional … it was an answer—one of many answers that I was seeking—to questions sometimes I didn’t even know … how to present.188  Since that first introduction into the Ogichida, Jeff said, “I have been able to help ensure that the Medicine Lodge, along with the other veterans … through the request of the                                                 188 Jeff Cummins, Interview, June 12, 2012, in his home, Billings, Montana. See Jeff Cummins, Interview Bios in Appendices A.  86 Lodge and Joe Miller, to ensure that this culture—this practice—is continued.” 189  When I asked how the Medicine Lodge helps him to remember, Jeff said:  … that’s pretty much … a touchstone of Assiniboine—what it means—the practice … being there and interacting is the culture … so for me doing that was kind of like taking me from Western society and putting me in Assiniboine life engaged … [it] further solidified my dream of being Assiniboine.190   After that first Medicine Lodge in 1996, Jeff committed to four years of dancing, and he continues to participate in the Ogichida Society to the present day. In Jeff’s words, participation in the Medicine Lodge has given him: The luxury of experiencing repeated telling of stories, singing of songs, practices of interactions with other Assiniboine people, protocol… [and] … has allowed me to bring my other sisters and brothers, siblings [of five], back to the Lodge … we have all received our Indian [Assiniboine] names, which makes me eternally happy because when I do pass I will be able to join my ancestors.191   Jeff’s stories about the Medicine Lodge reveal the importance of embodied ceremonies: they are a form of keeping knowledge alive.   To summarize some of the ideas behind the Medicine Lodge, people from different reserves, and many living away from reserves, gather together to offer their prayers and songs, share medicine and stories specific to their home locations, receive Assiniboine names, and visit relatives and friends. Each Medicine Lodge has its own set of unique societies, leaders, members, songs, and ways of conducting the ceremony. Singers, dancers, and participants will often also travel to other Lodges to share songs, medicines, and to help out during the event. Each person has their own story regarding how they became familiar with the Medicine Lodge: their subjective experience is between only them and the spiritual forces of the Medicine Lodge.  The Assiniboine Medicine Lodges in the U.S. and Canada from the time of the earliest written colonial records in the mid-nineteenth century to the present have altered in outward appearance, or in the number of days, or in the location, or with particular protocols. At the same time, they have remained consistent in purpose. They use belief systems according to the oral tradition, despite their attempted suppression by                                                 189  Jeff Cummins Interview, June 12, 2012, in his home, Billings, Montana.  190  Ibid. 191  Ibid.  87 government agents, residential and boarding schools, or missionaries. The embodiment inherent in ceremonial activities is the main way that Assiniboine have kept bodies of knowledge alive. No amount of artwork, texts, oral stories, photographs, or recordings can replace embodied action as a way of preserving knowledge. Even so, it is important to understand the history of the individual texts, pictures, photographs, and descriptions of Medicine Lodges in order to evaluate the consistencies, variations, and omissions as they relate to the Medicine Lodge ceremonies. The first published document and illustrations by Assiniboine hands that describe the Medicine Lodge are found in James Larpenteur Long’s Land of the Nakoda (1942).192 Long based the part about the Medicine Lodge on oral histories given to him by Standing Rattle, who was 79 years old at the time, and who was a Medicine Man, Medicine Lodge Leader, and a descendent of Azana.193  In a brief five pages, James Long describes the Medicine Lodge and then relays the recorded oral history by Standing Rattle, writing:  In the old days the annual Medicine Lodge dance was a religious ceremony. It was the important event of the year—much as Christmas is to the white man except for the significance …. Today this ceremony is erroneously called ‘Sun Dance’ according to Standing, seventy-nine-year-old Medicine Man who still leads the dance each year.194   Standing Rattle also gave some interesting details not mentioned elsewhere: “It is told that very long ago sacrifices were made to the Double Faced Being, a war god…In later years all prayers and offerings were made to Thunder Bird, the God of Rain.”195 Further along in his narrative, Long describes something that was no longer occurring as it had once been done: “Occasionally relatives who had been ill for a long time, were taken to                                                 192 See the 2004 edition of James Larpenteur Long, Land of Nakoda: the story of the Assiniboine Indians, from the tales of the old ones told to First Boy (James L. Long) (Helena, MT: Riverbend Pub. in cooperation with the Montana Historical Society Press, 2004), 169-174; a brief biograph on Standing Rattle can be found on page 222. I think it is interesting that a person’s first name can become the last name of his progeny. In the 1961 edition of The Assiniboine, which was edited by Kennedy, this information is found on pages 150-172. In addition, see other Assiniboine texts that describe the Medicine Lodge by Dan Kennedy (Carry the Kettle), John Snow (Stoney), and Tatanga Mani (Stoney). I discuss this in more detail below, as well as in Chapter 4. 193 He was also the father of the illustrator William Standing, also known as Fire Bear, (who I discussed in more detail in Chapter 5). One of my interviewees, Cleo Hamilton, claimed Standing Rattle was her great-grandfather. Some of my interviewees reported that they do not attend the current Medicine Lodge because the leaders do not conduct the ceremony in the way that the older generations did. 194 James Long’s Land of Nakoda (2004), 169. 195 Ibid., 171.  88 the dance and the headman was asked to treat them. Usual treatment was to make water flow by magic from the Medicine Pole into a container…,” a curative treatment for the sick, and “… one of the rare sights at a Medicine Lodge Dance. Only a Lodge Leader who had been given the power performed this act.”196 This phenomenon is occasionally referred to as an older, or a truer, sign of the real power of the Medicine Lodge, which has been lost.  Outsiders have also had many opinions about the Medicine Lodge. Fur traders at Fort Union produced the earliest written records about Medicine Lodges in the 1830s. The French fur trader Charles Larpenteur, who worked under Edwin Thompson Denig at Fort Union from the 1830s until his death in 1872, described the Medicine Lodge from an outsider’s perspective. In his edited journals, Forty Years a Fur Trader, Larpenteur states that: “The medicine lodge, which takes place once a year, in June, is conducted with the view to show how strong are Indians’ hearts, and to beg the Great Spirit to have mercy upon the tribe.”197 Larpenteur recorded what he calls the three forms of torture: three days and nights of fasting and dancing, “jumping up and down” with “crow” or “pelican” bone whistles, “… looking straight up to the center post of the lodge,” chests pierced with ropes tied to the center pole, and the dragging of buffalo skulls by skewers in their back shoulders. Larpenteur describes that when the “services” begin, the dancers, “are painted in all colors, looking like so many devils—men and women alike; the former are naked down to the waists, but the latter are dressed.”198 Larpenteur wrongly and offensively described dancers as “devils” and their bodily practices of fasting, vigorous dancing, and piercing as types of “torture,” and eagle-bone whistles as “pelican bones.” Even so, minus these offensive untruths, the Medicine Lodge as it is practiced today appears to remain largely true to this description, though the ceremony has been shortened.199  Denig, Larpenteur’s boss at Fort Union, also wrote about Assiniboine ceremonies. Denig was assigned by the American Fur Company to run Fort Union from about 1837 to the late 1850s. In response to Henry Rowe Schoolcraft’s questions, he wrote in the 1850s                                                 196 Long, Land of Nakoda (2004), 172-173. 197 Charles Larpenteur, Forty Years a Fur Trader on the Upper Missouri: The Personal Narrative of Charles Larpenteur, 1833-1872 (Lincoln, NE; London: University of Nebraska Press, 1989), 331-333. See also a description of Azanzana on page 343 of this book.  198 Larpenteur, Forty Years, 332. 199 James Larpenteur Long, the author of Land of Nakoda was Charles Larpenteur’s descendent, because Larpenteur’s wife was Assiniboine.  89 in his collection of information about Natives of North America. His descriptions were later compiled and edited in the “Forty-sixth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution 1928-1929.”200 Denig writes that, “All these Indians [of the Upper-Missouri] believe in a Great Power, the First Cause of Creation, though they do not attempt to embody this idea, and call it by name Wah-con-tun-ga or Great Mystery.” 201 Regarding the Medicine Lodge, Denig mentions that the sun, thought to be a body of fire or the eye of the Creator, was “worshipped as the greatest visible symbol of the Great Mystery … . On some occasions councils are opened with fire struck from flint, such as peace-making between two nations, ceremonies in the medicine lodge, and feasts to the dead ... .” 202 Though his descriptions barely scratch the surface of Assiniboine ritual practices, when they are compared to contemporary Medicine Lodges, they do show, much as Larpenteur’s texts do, that present Assiniboine cultural practitioners have sustained the basic functions of the Medicine Lodge.  About half a century after Denig, in 1909, a student of Franz Boas, a man named Robert Lowie, wrote an extensive ethnography about the Assiniboine that touches on both the loss of ceremonial participation because of missionary influences, as well as what had continued. Lowie had studied the mythology, language, history, and material culture of the Stoney Assiniboine in Morley, Alberta in 1907, and the Assiniboine of Fort Belknap in Montana in 1908. According to Lowie’s introduction regarding the Stoney, “Though very much of the ancient life had become completely effaced under the influence of missionary teaching, I was able to collect a reasonably large body of mythological material.”203 As a result, Lowie states he was advised to do further ethnology of Assiniboine at Fort Belknap, “in order to enlarge the inadequate conception of Assiniboine ethnology obtained from their Canadian kinsmen.” 204 Lowie’s descriptions of the Medicine Lodge at Fort Belknap reveal a consistent pattern as well. Lowie writes that the Medicine Lodge is the,                                                 200 Edwin Thompson Denig, The Assiniboine: Forty-Sixth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1928-1929, ed. J. N. B. Hewitt (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2000), ix. 201 Denig, The Assiniboine, 486. 202 Ibid. 203 Robert Harry Lowie, The Assiniboine. Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History, vol. IV, pt. I. (New York : The Trustees, 1909), 5. 204 Lowie, The Assiniboine, 5.  90 Sun-Dance (Wótijax; Stoney: Wahí amba wagitjíbi). The sun-dance and the horse-dance are regarded as the two most sacred ceremonies of the Assiniboine. While, however, the horse-dance is the property of a society, the annual erection of the sun-dance lodge is the work of a single man possessing special qualifications. Within recent years, several men have tried to put up a sun-dance lodge without having the prerequisite supernatural experiences, and have failed in each case … . At one of these attempts … a storm rose after the formation of the camp circle and blew down many of the lodges; and on the next morning, the wife of the builder died unexpectedly. At present, there is only one Assiniboine capable of conducting the ceremony … who had inherited them in the direct male line through six generations of ancestors and had himself claimed a peculiar relationship to the thunder-bird… .205   Further, Lowie describes that because that lodge leader had died recently, a qualified Cree was invited instead to lead the annual ceremony. Also, Lowie states, “At present [1908], the sun-dance is combined with the Fourth of July festivities sanctioned by the government.” 206 He notes that there was no “torture” (meaning piercings) at Fort Belknap, though at Morley his informants did mention this past practice.  Lowie also relies on previous writings from the early-nineteenth century about the Medicine Lodge, such as those by Father Pierre-Jean De Smet. Lowie assesses, “De Smet’s account of an Assiniboine sun-dance is of interest, principally as illustrating the composite character of the ceremony. Throughout the year, he relates, the Assiniboine look forward with eagerness to the time for erecting the medicine-lodge, which seems to have been the earliest part of spring.” 207 Overall, Lowie describes some differences between how the ceremony was conducted during De Smet’s day when compared to his own observations and according to his informants. In earlier times, the ceremony was conducted over a 10 day period, rather than the present four. Nevertheless, the similarity in purpose, intent, and meaning, which together are the shared experience of the Medicine Lodge, show the continuity, though the form, timing, and material objects have changed slightly.208  Between 1899 and 1908, Sumner W. Matteson took some of the earliest                                                 205 Lowie, The Assiniboine, 58.  206 Ibid. 207 Lowie, The Assiniboine, 61. Lowie cites De Smet, pp. 937-939. See Father De Smet, Life, Letters, and Travels of Father Pierre-Jean De Smet, S. J., 1801-1873 Hiram Martin Chittenden and Alfred Talbot Richardson eds. (New York: F.P. Harper, 1905). 208 The most interesting piece to Lowie’s collection is his photographs of masked Fools Dancers, including one dancer using a staff adorned with dewclaws from a deer.  91 photographs of the Medicine Lodges at Fort Belknap. Matteson, born in 1867, left the family banking business and roamed the Indigenous southwest, from Mexico to the Northern Plains, often by bicycle. He gained permission to take photographs of Assiniboine Medicine Lodges between 1898 and 1910. Matteson took several photos of sacred functions, such as the “Fools Dance.” Assiniboine call the Fool Dance a Contrary Society, a witgogagka, or a dance “to make crazy or reversed.” Using a mask and cloaking one’s body, and thus their identity, participants temporarily embody the witgogo “contrary spirit.” In this way, they bring humour, healing, and go against standard tradition. For example, they move in reverse to the sun’s direction, and enter the Medicine Lodge backwards.  One photograph taken by Matteson in 1906 outside a Medicine Lodge under construction at Fort Belknap shows four Assiniboine on horseback wearing traditional porcupine quilted buckskin shirts, their hair in braids, who stare unsmiling at the camera. One of them, in a black cowboy hat, holds an American flag upside down. The image description states: “During building Medicine Lodge Flag reversed without hostile intent.”209 While it is impossible to accurately say if this is a form of a distress signal or a protest against American suppression of ceremonies, it is difficult to be unmoved by this image.210 There are many other photos labeled “taken in 1899” in the Paul Warner collection, housed in the National Museum of the American Indian Photo Collection. This collection also includes photographs of the Horse Dance that used to be practiced during the Medicine Lodge, but is no longer.  These older records that describe the Medicine Lodge from the mid-nineteenth century to early-twentieth century show that Assiniboine had managed to maintain their ceremonies fairly intact. Assiniboine Medicine Lodges persist today, even though American and Canadian expansion dominated the daily life of Indigenous peoples in the Northern Plains for the last two centuries.  Medicine Lodges helped Assiniboine people to counter American and Canadian historical domination. In many ways, Canadian government policies towards Assiniboine                                                 209 This is from a CD document that the NMAI sent to me for research purposes in June 2010. 210  Sumner W. Matteson, Jr. photographs, negatives, and other material, circa 1890-1915, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution (negative, slide or catalog number). Photo Lot 89-8, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution; National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Museum Support Center, Suitland, Maryland: P21391.  92 ceremonies, and Indigenous religious practices more broadly, paralleled U.S. policies from the late-nineteenth century into the late-twentieth century.211 At the same time, there were some significant differences in each government’s policies, as well as how particular Assiniboine people in the U.S. and Canada responded.  In this era, American assimilation policies failed to destroy Assiniboine cultural life. Embodied actions performed in ceremonies helped Assiniboine communities sustain their bodies of knowledge under duress. In her 1987 ethnographic study of the Gros Ventre (also known as Atsina), of the Fort Belknap Reservation, Loretta Fowler shows how the Assiniboine Medicine Lodge persisted throughout the twentieth century.212 As Fowler demonstrates as it regards Gros Ventre cultural change, during the transition into the twentieth century, “… occasionally a Gros Ventre man would participate in the Assiniboines’ Sun Dance, which had been held fairly regularly, if sometimes surreptitiously, since reservation settlement.”213 Referring to a photograph taken by Matteson of a giveaway ceremony held at the Assiniboine Medicine Lodge at Fort Belknap in July 1906, Fowler claims that: At this time Agent William Logan [who served the Office of Indian Affairs at the Fort Belknap agency between 1902 and 1910] tolerated, sometimes even encouraged, Indian ceremonies. The Sun Dance or Medicine Lodge (“without the torture features”) was held July 6-9 under The Male’s direction during the week-long Fourth of July celebration.214                                                  211 U.S. and Canadian policies towards Assiniboine and other Indigenous tribes of the North American Plains were both different and similar in complicated ways. For an important discussion and comparison of the countries’ policies during the late-nineteenth century, see Joseph Manzione, “I Am Looking to the North for My Life”: Sitting Bull 1876-1881 (Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah Press, 1991). 212 The Assiniboine share the Fort Belknap reservation with the Grose Ventre. 213 See Loretta Fowler, Shared symbols, contested meanings: Gros Ventre culture and history, 1778-1984 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1987), 76. Fowler continues, stating that, “Hand games were held, but when the owners died, one by one, they did not transfer their bundles” (p. 76). Fowler examines Gros Ventre cultural (and tribal) identity in relation to the Assiniboine of Fort Belknap reservation from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries.  214 Fowler, Shared Symbols, Photo description No. 5 on page 76. As mentioned in a footnote above, the photographs by Sumner W. Matteson are held in the National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. I have researched these photographs in June 2010. Matteson explored the southwest and northern plains of Indian Country by bicycle from one community to another, taking photographs of sacred Native events and places from Mesa Verde National Park to Blackfeet Reservation in Montana. Citations: Photo Lot 89-8, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian Museum Support Center, Suitland, Maryland: OPPS NEG T26516, accessed June 7, 2010. Photo Lot 89-8 is also available online; accessed February 4, 2012, http://sirismm.si.edu/naa/89-8/T26516.jpg. Information on Sumner W. Matteson found on the internet; accessed February 4, 2012, http://siris-archives.si.edu.  93 Agent Logan’s tolerance towards Indian ceremonies certainly helped Assiniboine at Fort Belknap maintain this very important cultural practice. Though focused on Gros Ventre people, Fowler’s work shows Assiniboine accommodation and resilience in sustaining their Medicine Lodge throughout the twentieth century.215 Even so, the forced assimilation inherent in residential and boarding schools, both on and off the reservations, attempted to confine and discipline Assiniboine and other Indigenous bodies, and were specific attempts to destroy ceremonial knowledge.   Through these schools, government officials believed that Indigenous peoples would cease their spiritual practices and become American and Christian.216 As Loretta Fowler points out in The Columbia Guide to American Indians of the Great Plains (2003), many non-reservation schools were modeled after the Carlisle Industrial Training School, established by Lt. Richard Pratt in Pennsylvania in 1879, and which ran until 1918. 217 She writes that Pratt “… believed that a military regime would instill the discipline necessary to the assimilation process.” 218  This regime included military uniforms, platoons, marching, and having to work while attached to a ball and chain. Catholic or Protestant missionaries often ran the schools on the reservations with the general intention of eradicating Indigenous worldviews.219    Due to extreme poverty, orphans, as well as other children, were often sent off the reservation to distant boarding school