American Indian Identity and Resistance
Richard A. Grounds, George E. Tinker, and David E. Wilkins, eds.
Choice Outstanding Title
Despite significant strides over the past quarter century, Native peoples of North America face an uncertain future due to their unstable political, legal, and economic positions. Views of their predicament, however, continue to be dominated by non-Indian writers. In response, a dozen Native American writers here reclaim their rightful role as influential "voices" in the debates about Native communities at the dawn of a new millennium.
“Re-centers, re-values, and re-claims knowledge about Indigenous peoples from writers who fail to comprehend that Natives long have had sophisticated intellectual disciplines rooted in the oral traditions and stories of our peoples and in the wisdom of our elders and ancestors. Native Voices also offers important critical reflections on federal Indian law, non-Native desires for self-discovery and fulfillment, and academic prowess.”
—Journal of American Ethnic History
“An important anthology. . . . Both Native and non-Native scholars will learn from this book . . . It is a valuable source of Native perspectives for use in college courses.”
—Journal of American HistorySee all reviews...
“This volume should be required reading for upper division undergraduate as well as graduate level Native American Studies courses. It will also prove highly useful to a broad variety of scholars and educated lay people interested in Native American Studies.”
—Great Plains Quarterly
“This book should have a label on the cover warning readers that the contents are powerful; readers are liable to ponder the ideas long after the page has been turned, the chapter finished, and the book read. . . . The chapters cover a wide variety of topics: law, religion, anthropology, science, political science, and philosophy. Remarkably, it is the blending of these topics that propels the work to such a high level of accomplishment. Highly recommended.”
“A critical and Indian-centered contribution to Native American studies in particular and postcolonial studies in general, and a turning point in the same way that Deloria’s Custer Died for Your Sins and Behind the Trail of Broken Treaties were turning points in this field. There will be no going back to familiar ways of doing business in Native American studies after the publication of this book.”
—Thomas Biolsi, author of Deadliest Enemies: Law and the Making of Race Relations on and off Rosebud Reservation
“Inclusive and wide-ranging in scope, this important volume succeeds like no previous work in defining and describing the new Indian scholarship that has evolved since the 1960s. . . . An ideal book for Indian studies classes at the undergraduate level.”
—Donald Lee Fixico, author of The Urban Indian Experience in AmericaSee fewer reviews...
These scholars examine crucial issues of politics, law, and religion in the context of ongoing Native American resistance to the dominant culture. They particularly show how the writings of Vine Deloria, Jr., have shaped and challenged American Indian scholarship in these areas since the 1960s. Ranging across a wide array of relevant topics, they provide key insights into Deloria's thought, while introducing some of the critical issues still confronting Native nations today.
Collectively, these essays take up four important themes: indigenous societies as the embodiment of cultures of resistance, legal resistance to western oppression against indigenous nations, contemporary Native religious practices, and Native intellectual challenges to academia. Individual chapters address indigenous perspectives on topics usually treated (and often misunderstood) by non-Indians, such as the role of women in Indian society, the importance of sacred sites to American Indian religious identity, and the relationship of native language to indigenous autonomy. A closing essay by Deloria—in vintage form—brings the book full circle and reminds Native Americans of their responsibilities and obligations to one another—and to past and future generations.
Ranging from insights into Native American astronomy to critiques of federal Indian law, this book strongly argues for the renewed cultivation of a Native American Studies that is much more Indian-centered. Without the revival of that perspective, such curricula are doomed to languish as academic ephemera—missed opportunities for building a better and deeper understanding of Indian peoples and their most pressing concerns and aspirations.