In this Book

Choctaw Nation
summary
Choctaw Nation is a story of tribal nation building in the modern era. Valerie Lambert treats nation-building projects as nothing new to the Choctaws of southeastern Oklahoma, who have responded to a number of hard-hitting assaults on Choctaw sovereignty and nationhood by rebuilding their tribal nation. Drawing on field research, oral histories, and archival sources, Lambert explores the struggles and triumphs of a tribe building a new government and launching an ambitious program of economic development in the late twentieth century, achieving a partial restoration of the tribe’s former glory as a significant political and economic presence in what is now the United States.
 
An enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation who was reared in Oklahoma, Lambert describes in vivid detail what this nation building has meant for the Choctaw people and for non-Indians. Choctaw nation building has strengthened the tribe’s ongoing efforts to defend their sovereignty and protect their rights to land, water, and other natural resources. It has also helped produce new ways of imagining, constructing, and expressing Choctaw identity. Yet, as Choctaw Nation also shows, Choctaw sovereignty—the bedrock of Choctaw empowerment—remains under threat, as tribal sovereignty is not only a bundle of inherent rights but also an ongoing, complex consequence of Native initiatives and negotiations on local, state, and national levels.
 
In addition to wrestling with the topics of sovereignty, identity, tribal nationalism, and contemporary tribal governance, this book gives considerable ethnographic attention to tribal elections, non-Indians, urban Indians, economic development, and tribal water rights.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xiv
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  1. 1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-18
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  1. 2. The Journey Has Been Long and Hard: Chocktaw Culture, Society, and History through 1970
  2. pp. 19-60
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  1. 3. "Because We Were Proud to Be Chocktaw" Political Mobilization and the Reconstitution of the Tribe
  2. pp. 61-110
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  1. 4. "Tomorrow Is the Day YOU Are Chief" Leaders, Citizens, and Political Groups in the 1995 Election
  2. pp. 111-156
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  1. 5. "The First of Many Good Things to Come from the Tribe" Identity, Race, and Economic Development in Kalichito Town
  2. pp. 157-206
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  1. 6. "We Don't Believe That Claim Is Valid" Chocktaw Sovereignty Assertions and the Water-Rights Conflict of 2001
  2. pp. 207-250
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  1. 7. Conclusion
  2. pp. 251-262
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 263-278
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 279-294
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 295-303
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