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Burnside: GSTR 410 (Spring 2024)

Step 1: Understand some of the recent chronology of Native America

Not sure where to start? Below is a list of just a few Native American Nations. 

Arapaho Apache Cherokee
Choctaw Navajo Ojibwe
Sioux Oneida Mohawk
Lakota Iroquois Hopi
Omaha Comanche Huron
Blackfeet Pawnee Ponca
Seminole Pontiac Creek
Shawnee Ottowa  



International Indigenous Groups

Step 3: Consider the assignment

GSTR 410-DHumor and resistance: ‘Weapons of the Weak’ Spring 2024

Instructor:  Dr. Burnside; Reference Librarians: Ms. Amanda Peach and Mr. Angel Rivera        


Documented Research Homework:   Due: January 31st_________

Humor of Indigenous Cultures:  Selected Social Facts

Purpose:  This exercise, supported by our library work-session, is designed to provide opportunity to develop these student learning outcomes (SLO):

  • Apply humanistic and scientific concepts and theories to understand complex problems and the functions of humor, when present.
  • Become acquainted with a variety of types of humor evident in various cultures.

Instructions:  Select one Native American tribal nation, or another indigenous group, to research using Hutchins library resources, to discover social facts*.  These can include social conditions of their societies and cultural elements, such as humor, in your selected tribal nations’ experiences.

Write a reflective essay to share your chosen social facts (large or small) and relate uses of humor by members. Use in-text citations with Works Cited list of three sources (minimum); typed, word count = 750-800.  Along with a Peer Review completed form, submit your essay on paper, due January 31st.  In class, your brief oral presentation (four to six minutes) can include visuals, such as power point slides (three to five).

*French sociologist Emile Durkheim developed the concept of social facts to include values, cultural norms, as elements of society that can be measured, often using empirical means, so we can observe and study these facts' influences on individuals and groups thoughts, attitudes and behaviors.

 accessed January 22, 2024. 

Look at this site for tips about which terms to use for various race and ethnic groups:

accessed January 22, 2024.

Rubric for Grading with a rating scale: (Very Good = 20-18; Good = 17-16; Fair = 15-14.

 Insufficient quality = 13-12: Poor = 11-0).

An emphasis will focus on quality of key details about your group (e.g. social facts and folklore), application of concepts, theoretical perspectives and your ideas.  A few points will be detracted if grammar and mechanics interfere with readability, so remember to proofread and use in-text citation (include page numbers, if available) with your Works Cited list.  Use a Peer to Review strategy and submit a completed form or other confirmation of your Review with your work.

_________  Title and introduction announces subject in memorable way.

_________   Selected important points about facts are clearly presented, and explanations show

                     good comprehension.

_________   Concepts provide relevant aspects that clearly support each fact & lead

                      to thoughtful interpretations.

_________   Sentences flow smoothly from one to another & are clearly linked to each

                      other.  The reader can follow the line of reasoning.

_________  Writing mechanics (grammar, punctuation, spelling, citations):  The

                     writing is free or almost free of errors and has proper word count.

__________  Quality and quantity of sources satisfactory; and appropriate citations style (APA, MLA,

            Chicago) for in-text and Works Cited list;


__________  Writing was peer reviewed (e.g. form attached or other evidence).

__________ Grade: _____________________________________________________________

Step 4 :Choose a social fact

Possible Social Fact Topics

pursuit of sovereignty land rights activism climate change activism
artifacts burial mounds commercialization and appropriation
of Indigenous art
kinship language coming-of-age rituals
holidays/traditions food education
folktales/creation stories religion/spirituality attire
music art/crafts social organization

Step 5: Look for 3 Sources

Source Type # 1: ARTICLES 

Ethnic Newswatch is a great place to search because it includes newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journal articles written by the actual Native American tribes you are researching.

Source Type # 2: background information:

We also have an online database of electronic encyclopedias, called Gale Virtual Reference, which you can search, as well as an anthropology database.

We have print encyclopedias, listed below, which you can find in the Reference Area on the main floor of Hutchins. 

Source Type # 3: BOOKS

We have many print books, including children's books, related to Native American culture: