indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
NPR: The history behind the 'Don't be an Indian giver' phrase

Filed Under: Sports
More on: stereotypes
     

Exploring the history behind the "Indian giver" phrase:
The concept of an "Indian gift" or an "Indian giver" traces its roots back to at least the 1700s. In his 1765 , "Thomas Hutchinson defined an Indian gift as a present "for which an equivalent return is expected."

During their legendary journey West in 1804, explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark often encountered Indians over the course of their travels. The picture the pair paints of Indians and their culture was not pretty. Lewis and Clark frequently suspected Indians of either stealing their belongings or plotting to do so. Gifts in particular, as Thomas P. Slaughter points out in his book Exploring Lewis and Clark: Reflections on Men and Wilderness, frequently created problems for the explorers.

Slaughter writes that in one instance, a group of Indians offered Lewis and Clark some roots, which the explorers rejected because they felt that "[the Indians'] expectation for those presents of a few roots is three or four times their real worth." Turning down the gift, however, insulted their hosts and led Lewis and Clark to label the Indians "forward and impertinent, and thievish," in their journals.

But what Lewis and Clark viewed as impertinence may just have been author David Wilton argues in his 2004 book Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends that the concept of an "Indian gift" arose when white settlers :

Get the Story:
The History Behind The Phrase 'Don't Be An Indian Giver' (NPR 9/2)


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...

Latest Headlines:

Connecticut tribes welcome court decision favoring new casino law
Pueblo tribes dispute state's demand for $40M in gaming revenues
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe remains confident of approval of casino
Nooksack Tribe accepting slot tickets while casino remains closed
Key House committee under fire for moving slowly on tribal agenda
Tribes go it alone on climate change as Trump team shifts priorities
Bryan Newland: President Trump's budget threatens tribal treaties
Steve Russell: The GI Bill changed the United States for the better
Harold Monteau: Democrats lack proactive agenda, proactive strategy
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe orders 20 non-citizens to leave reservation
Wilton Rancheria accused of working too closely with city on casino
Witness list for hearing on bill to reform the Indian Health Service
Arne Vainio: What does the princess want to be when she grows up?
Doug George-Kanentiio: 'Spirit Game' brings Iroquois lacrosse to life
Cronkite News: Navajo activist vows fight against racist NFL mascot
Eric Hannel: Addressing the health care crisis among Native Americans
Bill for tribal regalia at graduation ceremonies advances in California
Ramapough Lunaape Nation wins reversal of ruling on prayer camp
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe still waits on casino ruling from Trump team
Another former leader of Winnebago Tribe pleads in gaming theft case
Supreme Court ruling poses hurdle for opponents of racist NFL mascot
Change the Mascot campaign responds to negative Supreme Court ruling
Secretary Zinke set for another hearing on Interior Department budget
Mark Trahant: Republicans write health reform bill behind closed doors
Jeff Grubbe: Agua Caliente Band focuses on protecting our groundwater
Steven Newcomb: Asserting our traditions in the era of Donald Trump
Shasta Dazen: 'Family Spirit' program incorporates our tribal traditions
Secretary Zinke shuffles top Indian Affairs officials at Interior Department
Choctaw Nation travels to Ireland to dedicate 'Kindred Spirits' sculpture
Nooksack Tribe closes doors to casino after being hit with federal order
Muscogee Nation asserts authority at allotment where casino was proposed
Mark Trahant: Dakota Access decision offers a chance to return to respect
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe hails 'victory' in Dakota Access Pipeline case
Nooksack Tribe told to close casino amid leadership and citizenship feud
Kristi Noem: Enough is enough - It's time to fix the Indian Health Service
Second hearing scheduled on bill to reform the Indian Health Service
Trump nominee for appeals court seen as favorable to tribal interests
Terese Mailhot: We don't tell Native women how brilliant they really are
Indian Country cheers as judge orders review of Dakota Access Pipeline
Jacqueline Keeler: Connecting the Dakota Access Pipeline to history
Cronkite News: Tribes win decision in water rights dispute in Arizona
Secretary Zinke rejects complaints about consultation and Bears Ears
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs approves two bills at meeting
Embattled Indian Health Service hospital losing top executive again
Connecticut tribes heap praise on senior Trump administration official
Gabe Galanda: Tribal 'membership' rules strip away at sovereignty
Swinomish Tribe still pursuing lawsuit against oil trains on reservation
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians unveil biking and hiking trail system
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community shares $1.3M in gaming revenues
Tribes lash out at Trump administration for lapses in consultation
Bill John Baker: Cherokee Nation strives for excellence in health care
Cronkite News: Rare meteorite found in Arizona receives Apache name
Terese Mailhot: Another look at the state of criticism of Native 'art'
Tiffany Midge: Rejoice! We are now living in a post-sexist society
University of Washington offers gaming and hospitality program
Seminole Tribe announces new Hard Rock hotel but without casino
>>> more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.