FOR GENERATIONS, Indian people suffered a grinding poverty and political and cultural suppression on the reservations. But tenacious and visionary tribal leaders refused to give in. They knew their rights and insisted that the treaties be honored. Against all odds, beginning shortly after World War II, they began to succeed. The modern tribal sovereignty movement deserves to be spoken of in the same breath as the civil rights, environmental, and women's movements. Charles Wilkinson recounts in colorful terms tribal victories in major legal conflicts in contemporary America: the Indian land claims in Maine and other eastern states, the "salmon wars" of the Pacific Northwest, and the establishment of tribal casinos as a way of making inroads into poverty. "Blood Struggle explores how Indian tribes took their hard-earned sovereignty--their right to self-determination--and put it to work for Indian peoples and the perpetuation of Indian culture. Finally, this is the story of wrongs righted and noble ideals upheld.
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Charles Wilkinson, author of twelve books and Distinguished University Professor at the University of Colorado, is a former attorney with the Native American Rights Fund. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.From Publishers Weekly:
Reservations, long mired in poverty and oppression, have become rallying points for Native American society, according to this stirring history of the tribal sovereignty movement. Energized by the Civil Rights movement's gains and pressing their claims under long-dormant treaties, Indian tribes have taken control of reservation government from an autocratic Bureau of Indian Affairs, regained lost lands, asserted hunting and fishing rights, jump-started reservation economic development and revived Indian languages and culture. Wilkinson (American Indians, Time, and the Law; etc.), formerly an attorney for the Native American Rights Fund and now a law professor at the University of Colorado, ranges widely over the sovereignty movement, emphasizing the court cases—like the Pacific Northwest salmon controversies and the wrangles over reservation gambling—that have expanded tribal rights. His sympathetic treatment extols the movement's success in redressing historic injustices, but sometimes skates too easily over difficulties in squaring ethnically based sovereignty with principles of democracy and equal citizenship. (He cites one reservation on which 50 Indians controlled a tribal government claiming jurisdiction over 3,000 non-Indian residents.) And he sometimes defends Native American prerogatives by invoking a cultural uniqueness—Indians' spiritual connection to the land, for example, may entitle them to "flexibility" in complying with environmental laws—that smacks of essentialism. But the story of the Native American renaissance is an inspiring one, and this book marks a deserving chapter. Photos. (Jan.)
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Book Description W. W. Norton & Company, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000161008
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