Rethinking how the representation of indigenous needs and interests works in local, national, and international politics, and reconfiguring the problematic relationship between indigeneity and dominant sovereignty, means more than Native peoples’ being inserted, or even inserting themselves, into existing political structures and institutions—however crucial and challenging that feat continues to be. At the very least, it must also mean rethinking sovereignty in collaboration with indigenous peoples and not for them.
That reaction to Indians’ pursuit of wealth has a lot to teach us, not only about common conceptions of Indians but also about dilemmas inherent in Indian/non-Indian relations and in America’s economy because of that economy’s foundation in lands and resources appropriated from indigenous peoples.
We are honored and delighted to share the news of some of our most recent award-winning books. Hope you’ll join us in congratulating these fine authors. And you may want to consider using some of these books in your classroom or kitchen. Click the cover images or book titles to go to the book page …
I was back in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the lowland agro-industrial capital of Bolivia for the months of July and August 2012 in order to understand a new political conflict that had exploded between the government of Evo Morales and lowland Indigenous groups in 2011.
Along with the growth of tribal bureaucracies, this turn toward tribal capitalism has given Indians new reasons to articulate, ponder, and debate some of the basic principles that guide or should guide their economic affairs—to consider in particular whether economic aims and relations in Indian communities do or should differ from those that predominate in the United States.
In this second of two interviews, Fabricant discusses the ways in which indigeneity has been mobilized as well as some of the causes of the widespread disillusionment with the nation’s first Indigenous president, Evo Morales.
November is American Indian Heritage Month. Here are some of UNC Press’ recent books on American Indian culture, traditions, history, and modern society.
One of the most vivid memories of my experience in the museum world—and one that has shaped both my understanding of collaboration and the significance of objects to Indigenous communities—took place in 1995 at the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS). As an exhibit researcher working on Families, an exhibition funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities focusing on Minnesota families that opened at MHS in 1995, one of my responsibilities was to locate a Native American family to be featured in the exhibition.
Announcing our last four sale subjects, all at 50% off, with free shipping for orders over $75 for the next two weeks.
Mobility is a central trope in the book because it informed my thinking about indigeneity and movement building in Bolivia. I realized that in order to effectively capture the Landless Peasant Movement’s ( Movimiento Sin Tierra/MST) organizational strategies, I would have to be in constant motion. I traveled with MST activists on the back of agricultural trucks for nearly 20 hours from the city to their communities, lived in two MST agro-ecological communities, traversed regional spaces, as well as national and international spaces of organizing. The life of an organizer is in constant motion and, as an ethnographer, I too had to be constantly traveling.
Vann Bighorse, the director of the Osage Cultural Center, expressed the opinion that Congress could take a lesson from the Osage In-lon-shka dances. He had explained that during the dances, everything (especially political fighting) was put aside for those three weeks in June and everyone from the drum keeper to the cooks focused on making the whole thing run smoothly.
I was learning from my elders. This book is shaped by the questions I asked and by what the Liars’ Club wanted to teach me. My methodology in recording and writing the book was guided by a Cherokee way of sharing knowledge, which is that the one with something to learn should watch, listen, and ask questions when it’s appropriate. I think for me and the Liars’ Club the book represents a Cherokee way of doing research in the community and sharing knowledge with the wider community. We hope it provides a model that will inspire others.
In Crooked Paths to Allotment, C. Joseph Genetin-Pilawa complicates standard narratives of nineteenth century Native American history by uncovering the stories of individuals who contested federal Indian policy and proposed viable alternatives during a critical moment in its development.
Bonds of Alliance: Indigenous and Atlantic Slaveries in New France, by Brett Rushforth”On the one hand I knew that the French were known in North America for their success at forming Indian alliances and learning Native languages, intermarrying with Native women, and fairly successfully integrating themselves into the Native communities for the purposes of the fur trade. But on the other hand, I also knew that there were households in the St. Lawrence Valley and the French colonies that held Native Americans as slaves. And I was interested in how these two things worked together.”—Brett Rushforth
It was lovely, this old plantation house, perched, as it was, atop a hillside. Striking in its grandeur. Alluring in its light. I could almost believe, staring up at the glowing, Palladian window panes, that the year was 1806, that Cherokees still possessed the lands of northern Georgia, that the wealthy Cherokee family who once dwelled in this home would appear at a doorway in waistcoats and bustles.