Written out of History: a Critical Analysis of Political Science and Policy Studies


  • Terry Scott Ketchum Oklahoma Choctaw Nation


One needs to look no further than to the discipline of Political Science and Policy Studies if they wish to see why American Indian Studies and Indigenous Studies has been in a continual struggle for legitimacy in academia, specifically at the university level. Besides the issue of the historical record, notions of democracy—fostered by Political Science—favor rationalism and written documentation as evidence over oral traditions and sacred knowledge; this might explain the cold shoulder that many political scientists give toward the thought of a Native American political theory or ontology having any substantive or moral value. Perhaps, the biggest reason why these disciplines suffers from resistance in higher education is that, in order to justify the dominant and prevailing worldview, there is a need to demonize difference, which serves to perpetuate the foundations of ideology behind our institutions; most notably white supremacy, capitalism, and patriarchy.

Author Biography

Terry Scott Ketchum, Oklahoma Choctaw Nation


Anderson, Terry L. 1995. Sovereign Nations or Reservations? An Economic History of the American Indians. San Francisco: Pacific Research Institution for Public Policy.

Berkhofer, Robert F. 1978. The White Man’s Indian. New York: Random House.

Bieder, Robert E. 1981. “Anthropology and History of the American Indian.” American Quarterly 33(3): 309-326.

Bordewich, Fergus M. 1997. Killing the White Man’s Indian. New York: Anchor Books.

Carson, James Taylor. 2000. “Conquest or Progress!” Ethno history 47:777-790

Cohen, Felix. 1940. Handbook of Federal Indian Affairs. Government Printing Office: Washington D.C.

Connelly, William. 1991. Identity/Difference. Minnesota: University of Minnesota.

Deloria, Vine Jr. and Clifford M. Lytle. 1983. American Indians, American Justice. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Deloria , Vine Jr. 1999. Spirit and Reason: Vine Deloria Jr. Reader. Colorado: Fulcrum Publishing.

De La Torre, Joely. 2004. “In the Trenches.” From Indigenizing the Academy. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

De Tocqueville, Alexis. 2002. Democracy in America. Translated by George Lawrence. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Edmunds, R. David 1995. “Native Americans, New Voices: American Indian History, 1895-1995.” The American Historical Review (June) Vol. 100, (3): 717-740.

Engels, Jeremy. 2005. ““Equipped for Murder”: The Paxton Boys and “the Spirit of

Killing all Indians” in Pennsylvania, 1763-1764.” Rhetoric & Public Affairs (Fall) Vol.8,(3): 355-381.

Freire,Paulo 2007. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum.

Fixico, Donald L. 2003. The American Indian Mind in a Linear World. New York: Routledge.

Giroux, Henry. 2004. Against the New Authoritarianism. New York: Palgrave.

Glendon, Mary Ann. 1991. Rights Talk. New York: Free Press.

Grande, Sandy. 2004. Red Pedagogy. New York: Rowman and Littlefield.

Holm, Tom, J. Diane Pearson, and Ben Chavis. 2003 “People hood: A Model for the Extension of Sovereignty in American Indian Studies.” Wicazo Sa Review 1(3):7-23.

Jaimes, M. Annette et al. 1992. The State of Native America: Genocide, Colonization, and Resistance. Boston: South End Press.

Kalt, Joseph. and Stephen Cornell. 2008. The State of the Native Nations: Harvard Report on Conditions Under U.S. Policies of Self-Determination. New York: Oxford Press.

Kettl, Donald F. 2003. Deficit Politics 2nd Edition. New York: Pearson Education.

Lavine, T.Z. 1984. From Socrates to Sartre: The Philosophic Quest. New York: Bantam Books.

Le Roy, Michael K. and Michael Corbett. 2006. Research Methods in Political Science 6th Edition. United States: Thomson and Wadworth.

Luna. Eileen. M. 1997/1998. “The Impact of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 on Tribal Governments.”American Indian Law Review. Vol. 22 (2): 445-474.

Lyotard, Jean-Francois. 1979. The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Rawls, John. 2005. Political Liberalism. New York: Columbia University Press.

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. 2001 ed. Trans. by Maurice Cranston. Social Contract. New York: Penguin Putnam Press.

Schudson, Michael. 2002. The Good Citizen. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Talbot, Steve. 2006. “Spiritual Genocide: The Denial of American Indian Religious

Freedom, from Conquest to 1934.” Wicazo Sa Review ( Fall) Vol. 21, (2):7-39.

Wallerstein, Immanuel. 1999. The End: As We Know It of the World. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Watson, Blake A. 2006. “John Marshall and Indian Land Rights: A Historical

Rejoinder to the Claim of "Universal Recognition" of the Doctrine of Discovery.” Seton Hall Law Review 36 Seton Hall L. Rev. 481, 27189.

Wilmer, Franke. and Michael E. Melody; Margaret Maier Murdock. 1994. “Why Political Science Ignores Native Americans.” PS: Political Science and Politics. June. Vol. 27 (2): 269-276