Multiple crises have emerged across the History of Indian-White relationships in North America. Panelists will examine the role of mainstream society's imagination in the rise of those crises and how Indians have fought against and/or reinterpreted the images projected upon them.
Colonists viewed the "New World" as a virgin land and Natives were obstacles to civilization. Violent conflicts occured but by the end of the 19th century, the "Vanishing Indians" were still there and institutions needed to be created to deal with the "Indian problem". Laws have been framed according to the American model of democracy regardless of tribal traditional ways. Crisis of representation emerged: how have tribes reacted? How do Indians deal with political bodies they do not consider as legitimate? While most reservations are poverty stricken, it will be interesting to consider the reasons of such an economic disaster. Even more rarely studied are the answers Native peoples bring to the economic crisis on their reservations. The artistic domain shall not be forgotten. Generations of Native filmmakers have been offering a rich and diverse imaginative world of Indian characters far from the noble savage or the lazy drunkard.