The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven Glossary


Alcoholics Anonymous, a very popular program dedicated to helping its members overcome alcoholism


The Bureau of Indian Affairs - the branch of the US government that administers all Native American matters, including reservation policy, healthcare, and more.


Slang for delirium tremens, an effect of alcohol withdrawal. Better known as the 'shakes,' delirium tremens encompasses a number of symptoms, including nightmares, sweating, and hallucinations as well as physical shaking.


A speech or text praising someone who has recently died


Traditional Native American dancing, often performed at special occasions. The actual choreography varies by tribe. Many traditional dances have changed over time, and some routines have been developed relatively recently.


A racial slur, usually applied to Asians and Asian-Americans

HUD house

A house sold by the US government's Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These homes have been seized by the government after the previous owner was foreclosed upon, and thus are available cheaply.


Surprised or skeptical

Indian Health Service

A division of the US government's Department of Health and Human Services, founded in 1955. It provides healthcare to American Indians, often at low cost. Historically, it was often the only option available to Native Americans living on reservations. It has a controversial history because of its involvement in the forced sterilization of Native American women.


The inability to fall or stay asleep


A special gathering practiced by some North American Indian tribes. Powwows often feature music, food, and dancing.


A type of flying dinosaur


An area of land given to a Native American tribe where they are allowed to govern themselves. Indian reservations can be found throughout the United States and vary widely in size and population.


An echo

ribbon shirt

A garment often associated with Native Americans. Ribbon shirts are adapted from European shirts and are decorated with ribbons. Although the design did originate among Native American tribes, it is frequently sold by non-Native vendors and in this context, is considered to be an example of cultural appropriation.


A traditional Native American sport. Its rules vary by tribe and by geographical region; in some areas it resembles baseball and in others it is more like lacrosse. It is often associated with Central American tribes.


A traditional guessing game popular among some Native American tribes


Solemnly and quietly enduring hardship


A conical tent traditionally used by some Native American tribes

Tribal Council

Many Native American reservations are administered by Tribal Councils. These are groups of tribe members, usually elected, who lead the reservation. Their exact responsibilities vary by tribe, but sometimes include interacting with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, managing funds, and organizing events.