Native Stories | Social Sciences Reviews, December 2018

This thought-provoking resource makes a nice complement to extensive collections on Native studies; a fascinating, must-read for anyone interested in American history and politics as well as Native American studies; all American history collections will benefit from this important work by an important native scholar 

O’Leary, Nina. Native Enough. Makwa Enewed. Dec. 2018. 144p. photos. ISBN 9781938065057. pap. $29.95. SOC SCI
Using a combination of narratives and photographs, O’Leary explores what it means for Native Americans to grapple with and celebrate their identity—what does it mean to be native enough? The forward by Ojibwe poet Heid Erdrich gives insight into the history of select land-grant institutions agreeing to “repay debt to natives by waiving tuition to descendants of those who ceded the land where the colleges sit.” Cherokee photographer O’Leary interviews students at two of these colleges: University of Minnesota Morris and Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. Seeking to disrupt the legacy of photographer Edward Curtis, who often portrayed his subjects in stereotypical native regalia, O’Leary features bold black-and-white images along with accounts of students who grew up on reservations and those who didn’t. Lakota, Ojibwe, Navajo, Anishinaabe, Cherokee, and Aleut voices discuss blood quantum, tribal enrollment, indigenous feminism, cultural erasure, sexual assault, and more. The history of Indian boarding schools is a recurring subject, as many interviewees are descended from survivors. The conflicting opinions prove O’Leary’s point; there is no right or wrong way to be native.
VERDICT This thought-provoking resource makes a nice complement to extensive collections on Native studies.—Stephanie Sendaula, Library Journal

Ramirez, Renya K. Standing Up to Colonial Power: The Lives of Henry Roe and Elizabeth Bender Cloud. Univ. of Nebraska. Dec. 2018. 304p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781496211729. $29.95. BIOG
Ramirez (anthropology, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz; Native Hubs) has deeply researched her own history in writing this biography of her grandparents Henry Roe Cloud (1884–1950) and Elizabeth Bender Roe Cloud (1887–1965). Drawing upon family archives, the author illuminates their careers and lives as instrumental in the development of federal American Indian policy in mid-20th-century America. Henry Cloud, of the Ho-Chunk tribe, was the sole Native American member of Lewis Meriam’s committee, which surveyed American Indian socioeconomic conditions in the 1920s. The committee’s report laid the groundwork for the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. Henry later became a reformer superintendent of Haskell Indian Nations University in Kansas and subsequently Superintendent of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon. Elizabeth, an Ojibwe, became active in national organizations such as General Federation of Women’s Clubs and the National Congress of American Indians.
VERDICT At once a personal and professional take on the complexities of traditionalist vs. assimilationist politics at both tribal and federal levels, this family history relates the Clouds’ experience with institutional racism and federal policies of settler colonialism. Recommended for all interested in Native American studies.—Nathan Bender, Albany Cty. P.L., Laramie, WY

redstarRobinson, Rebecca. Voices from Bears Ears: Seeking Common Ground on Sacred Land. Univ. of Arizona. Oct. 2018. 440p. photos
by Stephen E. Strom. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780816538058. pap. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9780816539161. HIST In December 2016, President Barack Obama designated Bear Ears National Monument on public lands in southeastern Utah. The act appeared to conclude decades of conflict over how best to utilize public lands in the area. Those in favor of the monument included Hopi, Navajo, Ute, and Zuni peoples who sought to protect sacred ancestral lands. Others, such as proponents of the Sagebrush Rebellion in the late 1970s and early 1980s, saw any protections imposed by the federal government as a threat to their economic security. Journalist Robinson examines the decades of debate through interviews with stakeholders representing a multitude of perspectives. Although the text attempts to be unbiased in its presentation, the beautiful full-color photographs by Strom showing the natural beauty of the area make a powerful case for its protection. The book focuses on trying to find a common path forward, only to find conflict rekindled by President Donald Trump’s decision to shrink Bear Ears National Monument by 85 percent in 2017. VERDICT A fascinating, must-read for anyone interested in American history and politics as well as Native American studies.—John R. Burch, Univ. of Tennessee at Martin

redstar Treuer, David. The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present. Riverhead. Jan. 2019. 528p. photos. maps. notes. index. ISBN 9781594633157. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780698160811. HIST
Treuer (literature, Univ. of Southern California), a Leech Lake Reservation Ojibwe scholar, has distinguished himself as an accomplished writer of both fiction (Prudence) and nonfiction (Rez Life). Here he takes on a bold task: a history of Native America from the Paleolithic to the Standing Rock Reservation protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2017. Peoples from all regions of North America are included. Unlike other works that depict the “vanishing Indian” narrative, Treuer’s does not end at the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre. Rather, he uses Wounded Knee as a springboard to discuss the Native American experience as it has adapted and persisted since. The struggles of Native peoples, including the United States cavalry’s attacks, the destruction of the bison herds, and forced integration through boarding schools, are held in balance with the success stories, such as the Pueblo Revolt, the rise of the American Indian Movement, and the development of the tribal gaming industry.
VERDICT Treuer chronicles the long histories of Native North America, showing the transformation and endurance of many nations. All American history collections will benefit from this important work by an important native scholar.—Jeffrey Meyer, Mt. Pleasant P.L., IA

LJ Reviews

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