Minnesota Historical Society

Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask

$ 17.95


What have you always wanted to know about Indians? Do you think you should already know the answers—or suspect that your questions may be offensive? In matter-of-fact responses to over 120 questions, both thoughtful and outrageous, modern and historical, Ojibwe scholar and cultural preservationist Anton Treuer gives a frank, funny, and sometimes personal tour of what’s up with Indians, anyway.

  • What is the real story of Thanksgiving?
  • Why are tribal languages important?
  • What do you think of that incident where people died in a sweat lodge?

White/Indian relations are often characterized by guilt and anger. Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians But Were Afraid to Ask cuts through the emotion and builds a foundation for true understanding and positive action. More than one hundred stereotype-debunking questions—thoughtful, awkward, and searching—answered with solid information, humor, and compassion.

Praise for Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask:

“Straightforward, fascinating, funny, and often wise, Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians But Were Afraid to Ask is a wonderful resource for non-Indians and Indians too. (There are plenty of things we want to know about each other.) It is that rare thing—an informational and entertaining read.”
Louise Erdrich

" This book marks Anton Treuer’s shift from an expert on Ojibwe history and language to one of the most powerful tribal voices on most things Indian. Informed, compassionate, funny, and provocative, Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask is a truly needed and compelling read."
Rex Lee Jim, Vice President of Navajo Nation

Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians does more than answer the questions. It raises other questions about civilization and religion. It does what a book should do.”
Basil Johnston, award winning author of The Manitous and many other books on Ojibwe history and culture

“Anton Treuer is a consummate bridge-builder. Patient and pointed in equal measure, Everything You Wanted to Know about Indiansinspires readers to embrace human commonality—and when confronted with issues of social and cultural difference, to engage our better natures.”
Philip J. Deloria, Carroll Smith-Rosenberg Collegiate Professor, University of Michigan, an] author of Indians in Unexpected Places

“President John F. Kennedy said it best in 1960: ‘American Indians remain probably the least understood and most misunderstood Americans of us all.’ I highly recommend this extraordinary book that makes every effort to set the record straight.”
Tim Giago (Oglala Lakota), President, Unity South Dakota Foundation

“I had a profoundly well-educated Princetonian ask me, ‘Where is your tomahawk?’ I had a beautiful woman approach me in the college gymnasium and exclaim, ‘You have the most beautiful red skin.’ I took a friend to see Dances with Wolves and was told, ‘Your people have a beautiful culture.’ . . . I made many lifelong friends at college, and they supported but also challenged me with questions like, ‘Why should Indians have reservations?’ ”


  • By: Anton Treuer
  • Format: Paper, 184pp, 5.5x8.5, 20 b&w photos
  • Publisher: MNHS Press; Borealis Books (May 2012)
  • Product ##: 9780873518611

  • Anton Treuer, author of The Assassination of Hole in the Day and many other books on Ojibwe history and language, received an Ambassador Award in 2011 from Facing Race: We’re All in This Together, an initiative of the St. Paul Foundation. All around Minnesota, Treuer has given scores of public lectures and been asked hundreds of questions—many like the ones in this book.


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