Donald A. Grinde, Jr.


Donald Grinde.

Donald A. Grinde, Jr.


Donald A. Grinde, Jr.


Fields of Interest

Native American Studies; Haudenosaunee/Iroquois history; Native American thought; U.S. Indian Policy since 1871; Environmental Studies and Native Americans; American Indian activism in the U.S.


  • PhD, American History, University of Delaware
  • MA, American History, University of Delaware
  • BA (Magna Cum Laude), History, Georgia Southern University


Don Grinde’s research and teaching focuses on Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) history, U.S. Indian policy since 1871, Native American thought, and environmental history. Grinde is Co-Principal Investigator for a $3.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation that promotes Ecological Restoration and trains graduate students and faculty to collaborate through interdisciplinary conversation on solving environmental problems in Western New York. He also received (Summer 2009) a $5,000 collaborative pilot grant from the Mellon and the Luce Foundations to initiate a study of the 16th and 17th century ecological history of the Susquehanna River (Prof. Grinde’s portion of the Susquehanna study was from north of the New York state line to the source of the Susquehanna River at Lake Otsego). In addition, he has authored several books including the Encyclopedia of Native American Biography (Da Capo), Apocalypse of Chiokoyhikoy, Chief of the Iroquois (Presses de l’Universite Laval), and The Iroquois and the Founding of the American Nation (Indian Historian Press). A Japanese translation of his book Exemplar of Liberty (co-authored with Bruce Johansen, University of California Press) was published in 2006.

Current Research

Professor Grinde is working on The Mission Indian Federation, 1920-1970 as well as a study of the Ecological history of the Upper Susquehanna River Valley.  He is also working on a book with essays and resources with other prominent Native American Scholars to revise the K-12 and tribal college curriculums so that they can be more sensitive in all disciplines to Native American ideas and values. He is also pursuing collaborative work with ecological scholars on the ecology the Susquehanna River valley and with ecological scholars on Native American ecological perspective (National Science Foundation grant).

Selected Publications


  • The Mission Indian Federation, 1920-1970 (book manuscript in progress)
  • Exemplar of Liberty:  Native America and the Evolution of Democracy.  Co-authored with Bruce Johansen.  Japanese translation published by Misuzu Shobo, Tokyo, Japan, 2006.
  • Editor and Author, A Political History of Native Americans. Washington: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2002. Awarded “Outstanding Academic Title, 2003” by Choice Magazine
  • Debating Democracy:  Native American Legacy of Freedom.  Co-authored with Bruce Johansen and Barbara Mann, Foreword by Vine Deloria, Jr.  Santa Fe:  Clearlight Publishers, 1998.
  • Co-author and Editor, Encyclopedia of Native American Biography.  New York:  Henry Holt, 1997 (Hardcover edition).  New York:  Da Capo Press, 1998 (Paperback edition).
  • Author and Editor, Apocalypse de Chiokoyhikoy, Chef des Iroquois… in French and English with Robert Griffin, translator. Quebec City:  Laval University Press, 1997.
  • Ecocide of Native America, co-authored with Bruce Johansen.  Introduction by Howard Zinn.  Santa Fe:  Clearlight Publishers, 1995.  Paperback edition, 1998.
  • Native America:  Portrait of the Peoples. Co-authored with Duane Champagne, ed. Foreword by Dennis Banks. Washington, DC:  Visible Ink Press, 1994.
  • The Unheard Voices:  American Indian Responses to the Columbian Quincentenary. Co-authored and co-edited with Carole Gentry. Los Angeles:  University of California Press and UCLA American Indian Studies Center, 1994.
  • Exiles in the Land of the Free:  Democracy, the Iroquois Nation and the U.S. Constitution.  Co-authored with Oren Lyons, John Mohawk, et al.  Santa Fe:  Clearlight Publishers, 1992.
  • Exemplar of Liberty:  Native America and the Evolution of American Democracy (University of California Press and UCLA American Indian Studies, 1991) co-authored with Bruce Johansen. Foreword by Vine Deloria, Jr. This book is the eleventh best-selling nonfiction book in the United States published by a small press. 275,000 copies sold plus over 3,000 copies sold in the Japanese edition (see above).  It remains in print as a paperback in the English edition and is also available online at
  • The Iroquois and the Founding of the American Nation.  San Francisco:  Indian Historian Press, 1977.
Articles and Book Chapters
  • Professor Grinde is the author of over 75 articles, chapters, children stories and reviews.  Representative examples include:
  • “Taking the Indian out of the Indian:  U.S. Policies of Ethnocide through Education,” Wicazo zu Review, Vol. 19, 2 (Fall 2004)
  • “Native Americans and the Declaration of Independence,” in Scott Gerber, ed., A Political History of the Declaration of Independence (Washington:  Congressional Quarterly Press, 2002)
  • Coauthor, “Thomas Jefferson as a Scholar of the American Indian,” in James Gilreath, ed., Thomas Jefferson and the Education of a Citizen (Charlottesville:  University Press of Virginia, 1999)
  • “Ways to Make America Better, #191” in Carol Mackler, ed., 250 Ways to Make America Better (New York:  Random House, 1999)  Invited by John F. Kennedy, Jr. to contribute essay; other essayists included Senator John McCain, Michael Moore, Sean “Puffy” Combs, Wilma Mankiller, Cornel West, Ice T, William F. Buckley, Andrea Dworkin, Martina Navratilovova, Barbara Ehrenreich, Patricia J. Williams, etc.
  • Coauthor in Jose Barriero, ed., Indian Roots of American Democracy. Ithaca, New York:  Cornell University Press, 1992.
  • “Teaching American Indian history:  A Native American Voice,” American Historical Association Perspectives, September 1994.
  • “The Reburial of American Indian Remains and Funerary Objects,” Northeast Indian Quarterly, VII, 2 (Summer 1991) — reprinted in an anthology by Montana State University Press.
  • Published Testimony “On the Iroquois Roots of American Government,” Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs, Iroquois Confederacy of Nations, 100th Congress, 1st session, 1987, Senate hearing 100-610, pp. 7-33.  Senator Daniel Inouye, Chairman, Senator John McCain, Vice Chairman.
  • Donald Grinde and Quintard Taylor, “Native American and Black Interaction in the American Southeast during the Colonial Period,” Hampton Institute Journal of Ethnic Studies, IX, 1 (May 1981)
  • “A Historical Sketch of the Erie Indians,” Journal of Erie Studies, II, 2 Fall, 1973 — translated into Polish and reprinted in Tawacin, Pismo Przyaciol Indian, Vol. 35, No. 3 (July 1996)
  • “The Cherokee Creation Story,” Weewish Tree (American Indian children’s magazine),IV, 4, 1975
Motion Picture and TV Projects
  • Historical and Script Consultant with Jamie Redford for documentary entitled  “Native American Influences on American Society,” 2010-
  • Historical and Script Consultant to WNED Public Television, “Iroquois Influence on American government,” 1998-2000

Courses Taught

  • Haudenosaunee/Iroquois history before 1815
  • Haudenosaunee/Iroquois history since 1815
  • Native American Thought
  • U.S. Indian Policy since 1871
  • Native American Ecology
  • American Indian history (various chronological slices)

Awards and Grants

  • Co-Principal Investigator with Salish-Kootena Tribal College for $4 million grant from Kellogg Foundation Research Project for Native American Curriculum Improvement, 2010-2013
  • Part of $20,000 research grant with Bucknell University, Marcellus Shale Project in New York and Pennsylvania ($5,000 send grant to do Upper Susquehanna River Ecology), Summer 2009
  • Co-PI, Western New York Stream Restoration, ERIE IGERT grant from National Science Foundation, 2007-2012 ($3.2 million)
  • Rockefeller Faculty Fellowship, 1994-1995 (declined)
  • Summer Research Grant, Rockefeller Archives, Summer 1990
  • Rupert Costo Professor of American Indian History, Endowed Chair, UC, Riverside, 1989-1991
  • Eugene Crawford Memorial Fellow (Funded by Americans for Indian Opportunity), 1987-1988
  • Summer Research Grant, Meredith Slobod Fund, Summer 1987
  • Summer Research Grant, Meredith Slobod Fund, Summer 1986
  • Faculty Seed Grant, UCLA American Indian Studies Center, 1978-1979
  • Grant-in-aid scholar, Eleutherian Mills Historical Library, 1970-1971

Professional, Consulting and Service Activities

  • Editorial Board, American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 1990-
  • Test Consultant, ACT (American College Testing), Iowa City, Iowa, 1994-
  • Academic Reviewer of Grant applications, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1994-
  • Academic Reviewer, Ford Foundation Postdoctoral fellowship committee, 1999-2004
  • One of six historians appointed to an academic advisory board for the planning of the 200th anniversary of the Library of Congress, 1999-2000
  • Member, American Studies Association Graduate Committee, 2007-2009
  • Chair, American Historical Association Standing Committee on Minority History, 2007-2009
  • Member, Council of American Studies Chairs, American Studies Association, 2004-2006
  • Founding Member, National Association of American Indian Professors, 1990
  • Consultant on American Indian history Curriculum Project, New York State Department of Education, 1988-1991
  • Visiting Scientist, National Museum of Natural history, Smithsonian Institution, Summer 1986
  • Charter Member, American Indian Historian’s Association, 1984-
  • Member, Standing Resolutions Committee, National Indian Education Association, 1982-1984
  • Board member, American Indian Historical Society, 1976-1983
  • Historic Preservation consultant, U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Summer 1974
  • Member, American Indian Movement