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Ideas for Reports and Papers

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. There are hundreds of Native American tribes on the North American continent (such as Navajo, Cherokee, Chippewa, Pueblo, etc.), yet one complaint many Native Americans have is that mainstream American culture does not recognize the tremendous diversity of cultures among these tribes. Find out more about the history, traditions, and contemporary conditions of one particular Native American tribe. In what ways is it different from or similar to that of other tribes?

2. In addition to fiction, Silko and other writers of the 1970s Native American literary renaissance wrote collections of poetry. Pick one Native American writer and read several of her or his poems. In what ways do they address similar or different concerns from those addressed in Silko's fiction? In what ways does the poetic form communicate ideas differently from the fictional prose form?

3. Learn more about contemporary Native American visual art forms, such as drawing, painting, jewelry-making, and other crafts. In what ways do these visual forms grapple with similar concerns about the role of tradition in contemporary Native American culture? To what extent are the forms, process, and use of this art different from or similar to that of traditional Native American culture? What role does art play in contemporary Native American culture?