Synopses & Reviews
In 2003, a backhoe operator hired by the state of Washington to work on the Port Angeles waterfront discovered what a larger world would soon learn. The place chosen to dig a massive dry dock was atop one of the largest and oldest Indian village sites ever found in the region. Yet the state continued its project, disturbing hundreds of burials and unearthing more than 10,000 artifacts at Tse-whit-zen village, the heart of the long-buried homeland of the Klallam people.
Excitement at the archaeological find of a generation gave way to anguish as tribal members working alongside state construction workers encountered more and more human remains, including many intact burials. Finally, tribal members said the words that stopped the project: "Enough is enough."
Soon after, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe chairwoman Frances Charles asked the state to walk away from more than $70 million in public money already spent on the project and find a new site. The state, in an unprecedented and controversial decision that reverberated around the nation, agreed.
In search of the story behind the story, Seattle Times reporter Lynda V. Mapes spent more than a year interviewing tribal members, archaeologists, historians, city and state officials, and local residents and business leaders. Her account begins with the history of Tse-whit-zen village, and the nineteenth- and twentieth-century impacts of contact, forced assimilation, and industrialization. She then engages all the voices involved in the dry dock controversy to explore how the site was chosen, and how the decisions were made first to proceed and then to abandon the project, as well as the aftermath and implications of those controversial choices.
This beautifully crafted and compassionate account, illustrated with nearly 100 photographs, illuminates the collective amnesia that led to the choice of the Port Angeles construction site. "You have to know your past in order to build your future," Charles says, recounting the words of tribal elders. Breaking Ground takes that teaching to heart, demonstrating that the lessons of Tse-whit-zen are teachings from which we all may benefit.
Lynda V. Mapes is an award-winning journalist with a twenty-year career in newspaper reporting, much of it with the Seattle Times. She is the author of Washington: The Spirit of the Land.
"Compelling, moving, inspirational, and profound. This is a captivating human interest story brought to life by a fascinating historical subplot, juxtaposed with a modern tragedy." - CHiXapkaid (Michael Pavel), Skokomish, Traditional Bearer of Southern Puget Salish cultures
"A wonderful project . . . both because of the author's passion and accessible style and her attention to critical issues of ethics and relationship-building. A significant contribution to the region and to scholarship more broadly." - Coll Thrush, author of Native Seattle
and#8220;[Fluent Selves] is an astonishingly well-written collection of firsthand accounts of particular Native personsand#8217; experiences with and#8216;colonialism,and#8217; and#8216;development,and#8217; and and#8216;civilizing practices.and#8217; It is a major contribution to several fields: the comparative ethnographic and social historical study of lowland South America, postcolonial studies of self/structural interaction, and the psychological study of Native American trauma passed down through generations.and#8221;and#8212;Kathleen Fine-Dare, coeditor of Border Crossings: Transnational Americanist Anthropology
and#8220;Colonial Mediascapes offers compelling insights from a veritable Whoand#8217;s Who of early American literacy studies. The range of topics, the geographical diversity, and the thoughtfully developed connections between these essays makes this a particularly welcome project. This is a timely collection that will without a doubt have a major impact on a number of intersecting fieldsand#8212;book history, Native studies, early American studies, literacy studies.and#8221;and#8212;Hilary E. Wyss, Hargis Professor of American Literature at Auburn University and author of English Letters and Indian Literacies: Reading, Writing, and New England Missionary Schools, 1750and#8211;1830
andquot;Highly recommended for all scholars of South American peoples, and its use cross-culturally is of equal value.andquot;andmdash;Norman E. Whitten, Jr., Journal of Anthropological Research
examines narrative practices throughout lowland South America focusing on indigenous communities in Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru, illuminating the social and cultural processes that make the past as important as the present for these peoples. This collection brings together leading scholars in the fields of anthropology and linguistics to examine the intersection of these narratives of the past with the construction of personhood. The volumeand#8217;s exploration of autobiographical and biographical accounts raises questions about fieldwork, ethical practices, and cultural boundaries in the study of anthropology.
Rather than relying on a simple opposition between the and#8220;Western individualand#8221; and the non-Western rest, contributors to Fluent Selves explore the complex interplay of both individualizing as well as relational personhood in these practices. Transcending classic debates over the categorization of and#8220;mythand#8221; and and#8220;history,and#8221; the autobiographical and biographical narratives in Fluent Selves illustrate the very medium in which several modes of engaging with the past meet, are reconciled, and reemerge.and#160;
When the U.S. government ended its relationship with dozens of Native American tribes and bands between 1953 and 1966, it was in fact engaging in a massive social experiment. Congress enacted the program, known as termination, in the name of and#8220;freeingand#8221; the Indians from government restrictions and improving their quality of life. Eliminating the federal status of more than nine dozen tribes across the country, however, plunged many of their nearly thirteen thousand members into even deeper levels of poverty and eroded the tribal peopleand#8217;s sense of Native identity. Beginning in 1973 and extending over a twenty-year period, the terminated tribes, one by one, persuaded Congress to restore their ties to the federal government. Nonetheless, so much damage had been done that even today the restored tribes struggle to overcome the problems created by those terminations more than half a century ago.
Roberta Ulrich provides a concise overview of all the terminations and restorations of Native American tribes from 1953 to 2006 and explores the enduring policy implications for Native peoples. This is the first book to consider all the terminations and restorations in the twentieth century as part of continuing policy while simultaneously detailing some of the individual tribal differences. Drawing from congressional records, interviews with tribal members, and other primary sources, Ulrich examines the causes and effects of termination and restoration from both sides.
In colonial North and South America, print was only one way of communicating. Information in various forms flowed across the boundaries between indigenous groups and early imperial settlements. Natives and newcomers made speeches, exchanged gifts, invented gestures, and inscribed their intentions on paper, bark, skins, and many other kinds of surfaces. No one method of conveying meaning was privileged, and written texts often relied on nonwritten modes of communication.
and#160;Colonial Mediascapes examines how textual and nontextual literatures interacted in colonial North and South America. Extending the textual foundations of early American literary history, the editors bring a wide range of media to the attention of scholars and show how struggles over modes of communication intersected with conflicts over religion, politics, race, and gender. This collection of essays by major historians, anthropologists, and literary scholars demonstrates that the European settlement of the Americas and European interaction with Native peoples were shaped just as much by communication challenges as by traditional concerns such as religion, economics, and resources.
About the Author
Matt Cohen is an associate professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of The Networked Wilderness: Communicating in Early New England
. Jeffrey Glover is an assistant professor of English at Loyola University Chicago and the author of Paper Sovereigns: Anglo-Native Treaties and the Law of Nations, 1604and#8211;1664
Contributors: Ralph Bauer, Heidi Bohaker, Galen Brokaw, Jon Coleman, Jeffrey Glover, Peter Charles Hoffer, Andrew Newman, Birgit Brander Rasmussen, Richard Cullen Rath, Sarah Rivett, Gordon M. Sayre, and Germaine Warkentin.