How Native Americans Made Basketball Their Own

In the Early 1900s, the Sport Offered a Rare Physical and Mental Refuge From Oppressive ‘Indian Schools’—and the Chance to Develop Distinctive Identities

Nowhere today are people more passionate about basketball than in Native American communities. Why?

The hoops seen outside most homes and gathering places on western reservations speak to basketball’s cultural significance for Native peoples. For them, the sport is more than a pastime. It has become a modern expression of indigenous identity and pride, and a glue that bonds families and tribes more tightly together.

It might seem peculiar that a sport invented by Dr. James Naismith, a white man, has become so dear to Native people, especially since their ancestors …

America’s Hidden History of Conquest and the Meaning of the West | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

America’s Hidden History of Conquest and the Meaning of the West

Historian Patricia Nelson Limerick on How Invaders Came to See Themselves as Victims, Then Romanticized the Native Americans They Displaced

Patricia Nelson Limerick is a leading scholar of the American West, and the faculty director and chair of the board of the Center of the American West at the University …

Why “Real Men” Wear Davy Crockett Caps

Even as White Frontiersmen Battled Native Americans, They Adopted Their Symbols of Masculinity

In recent years, fashion leaders have provoked criticism for incorporating Native American imagery in their designs. In 2011, Urban Outfitters introduced a line of Navajo-themed clothing and accessories that included …

How White Settlers Buried the Truth About the Midwest’s Mysterious Mounds

Pioneers and Early Archeologists Preferred to Credit Distant Civilizations, Not Native Americans, With Building These Monumental Cities

Around 1100 or 1200 A.D., the largest city north of Mexico was Cahokia, sitting in what is now southern Illinois, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. Built around 1050 …

What Calvin Coolidge Didn’t Understand About Native Americans

Though He Was Adopted by the Lakota Nation, He Clung to a Paternalistic Mindset

During the summer of 1927, Calvin Coolidge, 30th president of the United States, was formally adopted into the Lakota nation. The ceremonies took place in Deadwood, South Dakota, with the …