Making a Difference: My Fight for Native Rights and Social Justice

Univ. of Oklahoma. Oct. 2019. 232p. illus. index. ISBN 9780806164274. $26.95. AUTOBIOG
Deer’s autobiography is a life history, a chronicle of the struggle of Menominee Indians in the 20th century, and a stirring example of a lifetime of advocacy. Deer was born on the Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin in the 1930s. The Menominee were the early subjects of a controversial federal policy that resulted in the termination of their tribal status in the 1950s. This decision upended the tribe and pushed Deer to a life of service. Here, she details the ultimately successful effort to restore tribal status to the Menominee in the 1970s. Her effective activism and considerable political skills opened new opportunities, leading to her appointment as Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs in the Clinton administration. In this position, the author continued to advocate for Native American sovereignty, often in the face of significant political opposition. Throughout, Deer demonstrates how Native American rights under longtime U.S. treaties remain under constant attack.
VERDICT Recommended for all readers interested in Native American history, and careers in public service.
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