Native Provenance: The Betrayal of Cultural Creativity

Univ. of Nebraska: Univ. of Nebraska. Sept. 2019. 208p. notes. ISBN 9781496216717. $29.95. SOC SCI
Vizenor (Native Liberty; Chair of Tears) discusses a spectrum of issues concerning Native North Americans, painting these issues from the perspectives of transmotion, irony, and survivance. The notion of transmotion is seen in nature, such as a shadow moving along stone. Irony is presented in many examples, from the humorous—such as selling “organic wild rice”—to the serious, such as Native Americans being killed in exceedingly high numbers in World War I, despite not having the status of citizens. Survivance is the central element of this work. Instead of the Indian as a victim, Vizenor is advocating Native peoples as active agents in their own life. For instance, the Constitution of the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota was composed by Native delegates at their own instigation; the White Earth Reservation did not need an occupying federal agency to draft a constitution for them.
VERDICT Vizenor’s latest raises important discussion points for students and scholars of anthropology, history, and American studies.

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