Synopses & Reviews
Shadow Tribe offers the first in-depth history of the Pacific Northwest's Columbia River Indians -- the defiant River People whose ancestors refused to settle on the reservations established for them in central Oregon and Washington. Largely overlooked in traditional accounts of tribal dispossession and confinement, their story illuminates the persistence of off-reservation Native communities and the fluidity of their identities over time. Cast in the imperfect light of federal policy and dimly perceived by non-Indian eyes, the flickering presence of the Columbia River Indians has followed the treaty tribes down the difficult path marked out by the forces of American colonization.--Based on more than a decade of archival research and conversations with Native people, Andrew Fisher's groundbreaking book traces the waxing and waning of Columbia River Indian identity from the mid-nineteenth through the late twentieth centuries. Fisher explains how, despite policies designed to destroy them, the shared experience of being off the reservation and at odds with recognized tribes forged far-flung river communities into a loose confederation called the Columbia River Tribe. Environmental changes and political pressures eroded their autonomy during the second half of the twentieth century, yet many River People continued to honor a common heritage of ancestral connection to the Columbia, resistance to the reservation system, devotion to cultural traditions, and detachment from the institutions of federal control and tribal governance. At times, their independent and uncompromising attitude has challenged the sovereignty of the recognized tribes, earning Columbia River Indians a reputation as radicals and troublemakers even among their own people.--Shadow Tribe is part of a new wave of historical scholarship that shows Native American identities to be socially constructed, layered, and contested rather than fixed, singular, and unchanging. From his vantage point on the Columbia, Fisher has written a pioneering study that uses regional history to broaden our understanding of how Indians thwarted efforts to confine and define their existence within narrow reservation boundaries.--Andrew H. Fisher is assistant professor of history at the College of William and Mary.--"Andrew Fisher has written a superb book that tells a story of near-forgotten Indians who refused to move to the reservations and continued to live a traditional life along their beloved Columbia River. The dramatic story of their survival from the nineteenth deep into the twentieth centuries is a moving narrative that is both authentic and colorful." -Clifford Trafzer, University of California Riverside--"Shadow Tribe focuses on Indian communities that remained and evolved within important historic areas not on the reservations, in which the communities' complicated relationship with the Indian peoples on the reservations is as much a part of the story as the engagement with non-Indian society outside of the reservations." -John Shurts, author of Indian Reserved Water Rights-
Drawing on archaeological evidence and often-neglected Spanish source material, The Invention of the Creek Nation, 1670and#8211;1763
explores the political history of the Creek Indians of Georgia and Alabama and the emergence of the Creek Nation during the colonial era in the American Southeast. In part a study of Creek foreign relations, this book examines the creation and application of the and#8220;neutralityand#8221; policyand#8212;defined here as the Coweta Resolution of 1718and#8212;for which the Creeks have long been famous, in an era marked by the imperial struggle for the American South.
Also a study of the culture of internal Creek politics, this work shows the persistence of a and#8220;traditionaland#8221; kinship-based political system in which town and clan affiliation remained supremely important. These traditions, coupled with political intrusions by the regionand#8217;s three European powers, promoted the spread of Creek factionalism and mitigated the development of a regional Creek Confederacy. But while traditions endured, the struggle to maintain territorial integrity against Britain also promoted political innovation. In this context the territorially defined Creek Nation emerged as a legal concept in the era of the French and Indian War, as imperial policies of an earlier era gave way to the territorial politics that marked the beginning of a new one.
This engaging collection of essays discusses the complexities of and#8220;beingand#8221; indigenous in public spaces. Laura R. Graham and H. Glenn Penny bring together a set of highly recognized junior and senior scholars, including indigenous scholars, from a variety of fields to provoke critical thinking about the many ways in which individuals and social groups construct and display unique identities around the world. The case studies in Performing Indigeneity
underscore the social, historical, and immediate contextual factors at play when indigenous people make decisions about when, how, why, and who can and#8220;beand#8221; indigenous in public spaces.
and#160;Performing Indigeneity invites readers to consider how groups and individuals think about performance and display and focuses attention on the ways that public spheres, both indigenous and nonindigenous ones, have received these performances. The essays demonstrate that performance and display are essential to the creation and persistence of indigeneity, while also presenting the conundrum that in many cases and#8220;indigeneityand#8221; excludes some of the voices or identities that the category purports to represent.
In this innovative, performative approach to the expressive culture of the Yaqui (Yoeme) peoples of the Sonora and Arizona borderlands, David Delgado Shorter provides an altogether fresh understanding of Yoeme worldviews. Based on extensive field study, Shorterand#8217;s interpretation of the communityand#8217;s ceremonies and oral traditions as forms of and#8220;historical inscriptionand#8221; reveals new meanings of their legends of the Talking Tree, their Testamento narrative of myth and history, and their fabled deer dances, funerary rites, and church processions.
Working collaboratively with Yoeme communities, Shorter has produced a scrupulous investigation that challenges received wisdom from both anthropological and New Age perspectives, demonstrates how Yoeme performances provide a counterdiscourse to earlier understandings of colonialism and conquest, and updates our knowledge of contemporary Yoeme society. Shorterand#8217;s vivid descriptions and penetrating analyses vividly show how todayand#8217;s Yoeme peoples navigate the tribulations and opportunities of the twenty-first century.
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 the second half of the nineteenth century, the Euro-American citizenry of California carried out mass genocide against the Native population of their state, using the processes and mechanisms of democracy to secure land and resources for themselves and their private interests. The murder, rape, and enslavement of thousands of Native people were legitimized by notions of democracyand#8212;in this case mob ruleand#8212;through a discreetly organized and brutally effective series of petitions, referenda, town hall meetings, and votes at every level of California government.
and#160;Murder State is a comprehensive examination of these events and their early legacy. Preconceptions about Native Americans as shaped by the popular press and by immigrantsand#8217; experiences on the Overland Trail to California were used to further justify the elimination of Native people in the newcomersand#8217; quest for land. The allegedly and#8220;violent natureand#8221; of Native people was often merely their reaction to the atrocities committed against them as they were driven from their ancestral lands and alienated from their traditional resources.
and#160;In this narrative history employing numerous primary sources and the latest interdisciplinary scholarship on genocide, Brendan C. Lindsay examines the darker side of California history, one rarely studied in detail, and the motives of both Native Americans and Euro-Americans at the time. Murder State calls attention to the misuse of democracy to justify and commit genocide.
European enslavement of American Indians began with Christopher Columbusand#8217;s arrival in the New World. The slave trade expanded with European colonies, and though African slave labor filled many needs, huge numbers of Americaand#8217;s indigenous peoples continued to be captured and forced to work as slaves. Although central to the process of colony building in what became the United States, this phenomena has received scant attention from historians.
Indian Slavery in Colonial America, edited by Alan Gallay, examines the complicated dynamics of Indian enslavement. How and why Indians became both slaves of the Europeans and suppliers of slaveryand#8217;s victims is the subject of this book. The essays in this collection use Indian slavery as a lens through which to explore both Indian and European societies and their interactions, as well as relations between and among Native groups.
About the Author
Laura R. Graham is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Iowa. She is a filmmaker and author of Performing Dreams: Discourses of Immortality among the Xavante Indians of Central Brazil
.and#160;H. Glenn Penny is an associate professor of modern European history at the University of Iowa. His most recent book is Kindred by Choice: Germans and American Indians since 1800