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Indigenous Cultures: Session Four

Here is a link to the slides that were used in Session Four. I did not have time during class to go over every one of them in detail, and I did not display for any length of time the slides that had a large amount of text on them. You may wish to look through them for more detail on some of the subjects of interest to you.

Please feel free to email me or to leave comments or questions here, and I’ll do my best to get back to you with information.

There were a few questions in class that I couldn’t answer on the spot. Some of the answers appear on the slides from Session Five.

The following are comments posted here prior to the session:

Heydays Along the Mohawk Trail by Lauren Stevens in which he proposes (at least) one theory on the origin of the name.

Plan for Session Four

  • Land Acknowledgment
  • Review of the arrival in the Americas and the spread of Algonkian culture
  • Segue into the Haudenosaunee
    • Coda (Chapter 11) in 1491: The Great Law of Peace
    • The work of Lewis Henry Morgan
  • Next Week: The Stockbridge Indians
  • New OLLI course in June on Fridays


  1. The actual content of this course is fascinating and the slides are greatly appreciated–what an effort you have made. Thank you.

    Forgive me, I’m a former Speech professor and am probably more picky than most people. But I wish you could not say “uh/um” so much. And no offense, but please don’t lose the thread of the information by telling personal stories like the wedding in Lima and others. If people want to know, for instance, how you came to visit
    Peru, let them ask when the presentation is over.

    A little bit of linguistics goes a long way, especially when you have to make several stabs at pronunciation. Kudos for the effort (I couldn’t do it). I’m looking forward to the summer sessions.

  2. Thank you for your kind words, and for your feedback. I very much appreciate it.

    I noticed the same thing about myself when I watched the video of the first session — too many annoying “um”s! If you have any suggestions on how I can shake that habit, I’d be grateful. I’ll try to be more self-aware, but it’s obviously an ingrained feature that I can’t just wish away. I’ve done a lot of public speaking (at conferences and the like), and I have been able to convince myself that silence is okay (instead of those verbal tics). I hope I can do a better job on Zoom — it’s quite a different experience.

    I wasn’t sure, in fact, that I’d be able to do this course in the present format, but I figured I’d give it a try. In general, words are very difficult for me. I can’t follow conversations on the telephone, so I don’t use it. Processing words that I hear and concepts that I want to convey requires enormous concentration on my part, and I suspect that the “um”s are a way of stalling for time while my brain does its thing. I’ll try to just pause instead. Maybe I should have someone with a buzzer to remind me I’m umming.

    As to the personal anecdotes, I agree with your assessment, up to a point. Some people tell me they really like it when I mention personal connections. In the example you mention, I had the same reaction once I was finished with the session — I had spent too much time on that story. Not that it wasn’t interesting or relevant, but it chewed up time that I could have used to present more of the information I wanted to convey.

    I’m trying to find a balance, and learn how to present information in concise ways. Your comments are very helpful, and I’d welcome similar observations (or suggestions) from others.

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