John C. Ewers Award

The Western History Association announces the John C. Ewers Book Award given annually for the best published book on the North American (including Mexico) Indian Ethnohistory. The award is $500 to the author and a certificate to the publisher. The award is supported by the Ewers family and administered by the Western History Association.  View a list of past recipients.

Publishers may submit more than one title each year. All submissions must have a 2017 publication date. Presses should submit nominations and a copy of the book to each member of the award committee listed below. 

Award Submission (postmark) Deadline: April 15, 2018

The award recipient and editor/publisher will be notified by September 15.


2018 John C. Ewers Award Committee

 John Bowes, Chair
 Eastern Kentucky University
EKU History Department - Keith 308
 521 Lancaster Avenue
 Richmond, KY 40475
 john.bowes@eku.edu
 Rebekah Mergenthal
 Pacific Lutheran University
 Department of History
12180 Park Ave S.
Tacoma, WA 98447
 mergenrm@plu.edu

Paul Kelton
Stony Brook University
Social and Behavioral Sciences Building S-329
Stony Brook, NY 11794
paul.kelton@stonybrook.edu



John Canfield Ewers (1909 – 1997) was an American ethnologist  and museum curator. Known for his studies on the art and history of the American Plains Indians, he was described by the New York Times as one of his country's "foremost interpreters of American Indian culture." He was instrumental in establishing the National Museum of American History and became its Director in 1964. At the time of his death he was Ethnologist Emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution and was the first recipient of the Smithsonian's Exceptional Service Award as well as the Western History Association's Oscar O. Winther Award and the American Alliance of Museum's Distinguished Service Award.

Source: Manuscript National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution. 1999–2006.



Past Recipients

2017 | David A. Chang for The World and All the Things Upon It: Native Hawaiian Geographies of Exploration (University of Minnesota Press, 2016).

2016 | Joshua Reid for The Sea Is My Country: The Maritime World of the Makahs (Yale University Press)

2014 | Kathryn Magee LaBelle for Dispersed but Not Destroyed: A History of the Seventeenth-Century Wendat People (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2013). 

2012Christina Snyder for Slavery in Indian Country: The Changing Face of Captivity in Early America (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010).

2010Pekka Hämäläinen for The Comanche Empire (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008). 

2008Ned Blackhawk for Violence Over the Land: Indians and Empires in the Early American West (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2006). 

2006Philip Deloria for Indians in Unexpected Places (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2006). 

2004Colin G. Calloway for One Vast Winter Count: The Native American West Before Lewis and Clark (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2003). 

2002Martha C. Knack for Boundaries Between: The Southern Paiutes, 1775-1995 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2002). .

2000William N. Fenton for The Great Law and the Longhouse: A Political History of the Iroquois Confederacy (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998).


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