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- What theories do you have about how humans came to the Americas? Are you familiar with the book Chariots of the Gods? Have you heard other theories about how other non-Native American peoples came to the Americas and what influence they had? Why would aboriginal people be upset by these theories?
- Much of the discussion about the impact or influence of Europeans, Asians, or possible extraterrestrials on Native American societies focuses on the building of monumental architecture like that found among the Incas in Peru, the Mayas and Aztecs in Mexico and Central America, the pueblos in the southwestern United States, and mounds in the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys. Yet monumental architecture is found everywhere around the world. Why do you think the idea that indigenous Americans did not build monumental architecture persists?
- The Human Genome Project is attempting to gather DNA from people across the world to “map” genetic differences and similarities. Despite the scientific importance of DNA research, most indigenous Americans are opposed to being part of such a study. Why do you think this is so?
- What is genocide? In what context have you heard this word before? The application of the word genocide to the experiences of the indigenous peoples of the Americas after European contact is controversial. Why do you think this is so?
- Many families have members who are involved in genealogical research. What do you know about the origins and history of your family? Why do you think genealogical research is important to some people? Why would genealogical research be difficult for people of Native American ancestry?