The Peoplehood Model

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, United States, Americas Pages: 3 (1604 words) Published: October 28, 2014

The USA and the Peoplehood Model
The United States is made up of an enormously wide variety of diverse groups of people, each one acquiring its own distinct characteristics. In the spring of 2003, Tom Holm, Diane Pearson, and Ben Chavis refined Cherokee anthropologist Robert K. Thomas’ Peoplehood Model. These scholars introduced Thomas’ model in their scholarly journal titled “Peoplehood: A Model for Extension of Sovereignty in American Indian Studies. This dynamic idea was created by Thomas to categorize the identity of indigenous people. Within this model includes: sacred history, language, ceremonial cycle, and territory. Although we as people who live in the United States currently share a common territory, some ceremonial cycles, and for the most part, the same language, we do not particularly fit the peoplehood model and its entirety. In the United States there are more than 150 ethnic groups that have been physically recorded. However, this number is only an estimate of what the exact number could be because it is exceptionally challenging to pinpoint an exact number in a melting pot country such as the United States. Within each one of these ethnic groups are people who have their own sacred history, where they originate, and what their beliefs are. As a human being, we must take into consideration that not everyone is going to have the same outlook or opinion as we do. For example, even though the land we live on in America unites us as a people, it does not symbolize the same meaning to each of us. My home could easily be a foreign sight to someone who lives in New York. This is just one example of why the United States does not fit each criteria of the peoplehood model. The peoplehood model is made up of four different distinct criteria including: sacred history, language, ceremonial cycle, and territory. The first of these four principles (not in particular order because one does not have more value than the other) is sacred history. The...

We Shall Remain. Dir. Chris Eyre. Perf. Benjamin Bratt. The American Experience, 2009. Web. 9 Sept. 2014. <>.
Holm, Tom, Diane J. Pearson, and Ben Chavis. "Peoplehood: A Model for the Extension of Sovereignty in American Indian Studies." Books & Journals 18.1 (2003): 7-24. Web. 9 Sept. 2014. <http;//>.
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