The Pequot, a tribe that's all but extinct, run the most profitable casino in the country, and tribal members become millionaires. But guess who's still the poorest group in North America? Vision quest retreats and sweat lodge vacations are offered in the pages of Mother Jones… and that Dances with Wolves -- I'm warning you, don't get me started -- not just the novel but even the shooting script said it was about Comanches and they only changed it because the production manager couldn't find enough buffalo in Oklahoma and they made the Comanches Sioux just like that -- poof -- and everyone in my family liked it anyway!!!!
The Question of Identity in Native American Novels
Unexpectedly, his latest book, Everything You Know About Indians Is Wrong , is a funny and painful collection of essays about a deeply serious subject: the ways in which Indian stereotypes infiltrate culture, damaging Indians and Non-Indians alike. It's lucky for us that Smith, a Comanche born in West Texas, refuses to shut up. His insights on film and art are sharp and startling.
Language and image -- especially photography and film -- often portray stereotyped responses to everything Native American, at home and abroad. For example, in the John Wayne film The Searchers , "The Comanches Wayne's been fighting for two hours are simply a plot device to get to this moment of terrible pain and alienation. Smith illustrates the love-hate relationship between Indians and photography as well as the film industry. With them, we live forever. For Smith, invisibility is the worst curse of all. While Hollywood will doubtless continue to use and misuse Native Americans, Smith is the bearer of good news in the matter of contemporary art.
Lord, a filmmaker, makes films that upend the romanticized and simplified celluloid Indian. It will not turn away from complex issues like debates over identity. Indian identity will clearly be Smith's subject for a long time to come. He cites Palestinian intellectual Edward Said in his closing pages: "In the end, the past possesses us. There are many cases like these. They and the opposing voices, not surprisingly, are invariably in conflict with the first set, the tension between the two playing out in political and other arenas, and erupting at times in open disputes between those who favor indigenous—way actions and those who do not.
They certainly have complicated actions in the face of resource projects large and small. For instance, the huge coal-mining projects roiled Navajo and Hopi politics for years, exacerbating splits between anti-development traditionalists to whom environmentalist outsiders have been drawn and pro-development progressives, and also led to demands for indigenous control over—if not a halt to—the extraction of resources.
The different voices belong to native people, the different actors are native people and this makes generalizing about contemporary Indian positions on land and resources or contemporary Indian voices extremely difficult. Differences of opinion and action exist in almost all arenas. Take, for example, the sharply contested debate over the disposal of waste. Each year, Americans produce over billion pounds of garbage and other forms of trash and waste—including nuclear.
In the late s and early s, waste companies increasingly approached Indian tribes for waste sites and discovered that some tribes responded positively. Several even took the initiative offering their lands to waste-disposal companies for dumps, often over vociferous disapproval. The Campo Band of Mission Indians, concerned about high unemployment, invited San Diego County to use their small reservation for a dump for two decades, despite opposition from non-Indian neighbors livid over potential groundwater pollution. Likewise, over strong objections of neighbors and other Indians, the Oklahoma Tonkawas expressed interest in storing radioactive waste on their reservation.
Environmentalists, neighbors, and tribal members all opposed these and other projects. At times, they have joined forces, as in , when Greenpeace lent monetary support for activists from almost 50 tribes to assemble at the Protecting Mother Earth Conference, to fight against the storage of nuclear waste. The Conference rejected the suggestion from the Council of Energy Resources Tribes , an Indian consortium promoting energy development, that tribes could strike resource deals bringing needed income and preserving tribal control and sovereignty, and resolved instead never to strike deals with polluters and to combat what it called environmental racism.
Landfill and waste storage issues have split Indian communities. Both Mississippi Choctaws and Rosebud Lakotas of South Dakota argued heatedly over landfills favored by tribal councils but opposed by tribal members skeptical of economic benefits and concerned about environmental impact. In the Choctaw case, tribal opponents of a hazardous-waste dump persevered against all odds over their pro-development, highly successful and powerful chief, Phillip Martin.
Many tribes have rebuffed nuclear waste. In the early s, Cherokees helped close a nuclear processing plant in Oklahoma, and the Yankton Sioux formally resolved to ban all waste storage on their reservation in South Dakota. Yakimas protested potential environmental contamination at the federal nuclear weapons plant at Hanford, Washington.
A number of groups have threatened action against nuclear waste transportation and fought companies eyeing new uranium mines; in Idaho, Shoshone-Bannocks halted a truck carrying spent nuclear fuel attempting to cross their reservation lands.
The most visible case involving spent nuclear fuel has concerned the Mescalero Apaches of New Mexico. In the early s, the Mescaleros expressed strong interest in storing nuclear waste from some thirty utility companies on their reservation for up to forty years. This tribe has had a strong pro-development record and successfully built a casino, ski and hotel resort, and artificial lake. Mescalero leaders saw nuclear storage as a way to solve continuing unemployment problems and a housing shortage. However, the issue split the tribe internally, as several votes have made clear.
Holland Braund , contain significant ethnographic information, but privilege the question of lineage over that of social condition.
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The latter provides an especially important window into the racial views of ordinary people. Researchers will find scattered material in the publications of state historical societies and learned societies. Morton, and Ephraim G. A number of other titles provide a sense of expanding ethnographic knowledge. Missionary organizations extended their reach in this era, with the Papers of the America Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions est. Some material was published in monthly issues of Missionary Herald.
See also Reuben Gold Thwaites, ed.
The most influential works on polygenism, the fixity of races, and the primacy of the body over language in determining race and ancestry are those of the American School of Ethnology: Samuel G. Most of these, along with many missionary and learned society publications, are available on Project Gutenberg or Google Books. The personal papers of these particular philologists and ethnologists are tremendous resources for reconstructing not only theories of race but also the networks that produced and disseminated those theories.
Du Ponceau, and Samuel G. The Gallatin and Schoolcraft papers are also available on microfilm. Sensitive readings of nearly all of the above sources will yield indications of the roles that nonwhites played in the production of ideas about race. John Stauffer Warren, History of the Ojibway People Brown, Kathleen M. Find this resource:.
The myths of Native American identity
Chaplin, Joyce E. Cambridge, Mass. Curran, Andrew. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, Dain, Bruce. Davis, David Brion, Alden T. Sweet, Jennifer L. Dowd, Gregory Evans. Harvey, Sean P. Horsman, Reginald.
Jordan, Winthrop D. White over Black: American Attitudes toward the Negro, — Kidd, Colin. Cambridge, U. Morrison, Michael A. Roediger, Daniel K. Richter, Lois E. Ford, James P. Pagden, Anthony. New York: Cambridge University Press, Shoemaker, Nancy. New York: Oxford University Press, Sidbury, James. Spear, Jennifer. Sweet, John Wood. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, Acts of the Apostles, King James Version. James T. See also Robert F. Toronto: Champlain Society, , 2: Noel Salisbury London, , Reuben Gold Thwaites, ed.
Cleveland, — , See also Winthrop D. See also Jennifer L. Jeremiah King James Version. MIller Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, , Edward Long, History of Jamaica , 3 vols.roadarriovepo.gq
Indian Country Today, Nature Transformed, TeacherServe®, National Humanities Center
Long, History of Jamaica , — Long, History of Jamaica , 2: , Albert E. Stone New York: Penguin, , 68— Independent Journal New York , January 24, , p. Ford Jr. Allan Nevins and Milton H. Thomas, eds. Sanford , See also Lois E. Ann Linda Bell, annot. Robert S. See also Daniel K. Carl van Doren and Julian P. Boyd, eds.