Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-x

Map and Figures

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pp. xi-xii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xvi

I traveled a long road in completing this book and accumulated many debts along the way. A Lester J. Cappon Fellowship in Documentary Editing in the summer of 2009 afforded an opportunity to draft the proposal and identify documents in the rich collections of Chicago’s Newberry Library. Presentations at Helsinki University’s Maple Leaf and Eagle Conference in North American Studies, Stockholm University, and Dartmouth College in 2010 provided settings for me to work through my initial thoughts on the topic...

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Introduction: A Reflexive Historiography

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pp. 1-8

Over the past several decades, reflexivity has transformed the field of anthropology. It began as a critique of the ethnographic method, but I consider the concerns it raises applicable to any scholarly enterprise. Essentially, reflexivity refers to the process of consciously locating ourselves in the work we create. Reflecting on our positionality allows us to think critically about the intersubjectivity of the stories we tell—...

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I: CONTESTING CITIZENSHIP, 1887–1924

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pp. 9-12

At the end of the nineteenth century and for the first three-and-a-half decades of the twentieth, American Indians contended with a federal government and majority society wedded to the policies of allotment and assimilation. Inaugurated in 1887, the General Allotment (Dawes) Act proposed to convert the 138 million acres of tribally owned reservation lands remaining in Native America into individually owned plots of from 40 to 320 acres...

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1 “My Own Nation” (1899)8

Queen Lili‘uokalani

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pp. 13-18

It has been suggested to me that the American general reader is not well informed regarding the social and political conditions which have come about in the Sandwich Islands, and that it would be well here to give some expression to my own observation of them.10 Space will only permit, however, a mere outline. It has been said that the Hawaiian people under the rule of the chiefs were most degraded, that under the monarchy their condition greatly improved, but...

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2 “Keep Our Treaties” (1906)17

Chitto Harjo

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pp. 19-23

I will begin with a recital of the relations of the Creeks with the Government of the United States. . . . And I will explain it so you will understand it. . . . My ancestors and my people were the inhabitants of this great country from 1492. I mean by that from the time the white man first came to this country until now. It was my home and the home of my people from time immemorial, and is today, I think, the home of my people...

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3 “We Can Establish Our Rights” (1913)23

Cherokee Freedmen

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pp. 24-26

By the act of Congress of June 10, 1896 (the Indian appropriation bill), the rolls of citizenship of the several tribes, as they then existed, were confirmed, yet a number of our people whose names appear upon the various rolls have been denied their rights.25 Under the act of June 28, 1898, the Commission to the Five Tribes was directed as follows: “It shall make a roll of Cherokee freedmen in strict compliance with the decree of the Court of Claims rendered the 3d day of February, 1896.”...

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4 “That the Smaller Peoples May Be Safe” (1918)27

Arthur C. Parker

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pp. 27-31

Complaint against the existing order is not always indicative of anarchism; it may be on the other hand a healthy call to greater progress and wider application of world justice. Complaints against the Indian Office have been continual since its creation but at irregular intervals these complaints become more acute and again die down to a low, almost inaudible rumble.29 It would be an interesting study to trace the curve of complaint...

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5 “Another Kaiser in America” (1918)30

Carlos Montezuma

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pp. 32-35

Never in the history of America had there been such demonstration of rejoicing as when the wire waving over the country proclaimed that the war had ended.32 “Now, free the Indians,” comes to WASSAJA.33 There is no use of talking, THIS MUST BE DONE. The people throughout America think the Indians are free and citizens. Again, we say, it is not so. The Indians are not free and citizens. Reservation life is not freedom. It is bondage...

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6 “Our Hearts Are Almost Broken” (1919)35

No Heart et al.

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pp. 36-38

Dear Sir: We, the undersigned members of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation of North Dakota, hereby write and explain to you the difficulties we are having regarding our Indian dances on this Reservation. Our Superintendent, Mr. James B. Kitch has recently announced that Indian dances are absolutely prohibited by the Indian Office on account of complaints made to you from this Reservation. We are advised that the complaints as stated to you are as follows...

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7 “I Want to Be Free” (1920)40

Porfirio Mirabel

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pp. 39-44

Mr. MIRABEL (interpreted by Mr. Lorenzo Martinez).42 Gentlemen of the committee, I am here today representing my pueblo of Taos. I am a man of this age, and I have the opportunity to meet you, the committee from Washington, at this stage. I am not an old man, but age is about 65 to 70 years old. I am glad to have the chance to talk to you and put before you what is needed at my pueblo. . . . I will tell you what I know of the conditions of my pueblo of Taos...

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8 “I Am Going to Geneva” (1923)51

Deskaheh

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pp. 45-49

I am on my way to the League of Nations, and stopped off to tell why, to you who care to know. I go because your Imperial Government refused my plea, for protection of my people as of right against subjugation by Canada. The Canadian “Indian Office” took that refusal to mean that it could do as it wished with us. The officials wished to treat us as children and use the rod. This trouble has been going from bad to worse because we are not children...

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9 “It Is Our Way of Life” (1924)55

All-Pueblo Council

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pp. 50-54

The Council of All the New Mexico Pueblos, assembled at Santo Domingo Pueblo this Fifth day of May, 1924, issues the following declaration, addressed to the Pueblo Indians, to all Indian, and to the people of the United States. We have met because our most fundamental right of religious liberty is threatened and is actually at this time being nullified. And we make as our first declaration the statement that our religion to us is sacred and is more important to us than anything else in our life...

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II: RECLAIMING A FUTURE, 1934–1954

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pp. 55-58

Native communities continued to struggle for their right to exist as distinct peoples through the late 1920s and early 1930s. The number of new allotments declined, but supplementary legislation and all manner of dubious dealings at the grassroots level ensured that the divesting of the tribal estate persisted.1 By 1934, less than fifty years after passage of the General Allotment Act, the federal government had liquidated nearly 100 million acres of tribal lands...

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10 “As One Indian to Another” (1934)9

Henry Roe Cloud

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pp. 59-63

I would like to give my personal opinion on this whole bill and it might be interesting to some of you. . . . I am not speaking officially for the United States government in any sense of the word. I am just talking as one Indian to another. Now I happen to be in favor of this bill for the following reasons: . . . In the first place for the organization of these chartered communities that we have been hearing about, there will be allowed five hundred thousand dollars for the purpose of purchasing additional lands for the Indian people...

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11 “Fooled So Many Times” (1934)11

George White Bull and Oliver Prue

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pp. 64-67

George White Bull from Standing Rock: Mr. Chairman. We have such a good interpreter that I am going to say a few words. I wish to extend my appreciation to the Officials for all the good things that they have done for us. But, in the middle there, there are some things that is detrimental to us and we fear them. Under the allotment system they have been after us for quite a number of years, using every means, employing fraud and deceit and eventually made us accept and go into the allotment system...

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12 “Let Us Try a New Deal” (1934)16

Christine Galler

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pp. 68-69

I have spoken many times before the white people; and I am sure I am going to speak to you. . . . Ladies and gentlemen: My education did not come to me on a silver spoon. I am one of seven children. We children were very, extremely poor. My mother and father were prejudiced against education. What I have learned was through the hard ways. I learned of my own free will and I am proud today to say that I learned the education of the white man’s language and tongue...

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13 “If We Have the Land, We Have Everything” (1934)21

Albert Sandoval, Fred Nelson, Frank Cadman, and Jim Shirley

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pp. 70-74

Albert Sandoval, Delegate from Southern Navajo: The speakers ahead of me have given little stories when they started their talks. When I was in school I read a little story. When the white people first came across the ocean and first came in contact with us, the Indians, they began to push the Indian back. Finally, a general and an Indian Chief had a meeting. They sat on a log together. The Chief kept telling the General to move over and give him more room...

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14 “We Have Heard Your Talk” (1934)26

Joe Chitto

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pp. 75-77

Sir: In 1842 the Government sent a board of Commissioners to Mississippi to investigate the wrong perpetrated on the Choctaw Indians under the 14 article of the Dancing Rabbit Creek Treaty. The United States Emigrating Agent, John J. McRae, convened the Indians at Hopaka, in Leake County, and urged them in [torrid] terms, to enroll for removal to the west, and renewed in the name of the Government, the lavish promises the [that] had been made. Col. Cobb, the Choctaw chief, and one of the shrewdest men the nation ever produced replied to Mr. McRae’s speech...

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15 “Eliminate This Discrimination” (1941)28

Elizabeth and Roy Peratrovich

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pp. 78-79

December 30, 1941 Dear Mr. Gruening, My attention has been called to a business establishment in Douglas, namely, “Douglas Inn,” which has a sign on the door which reads, “No Natives Allowed.” In view of the present emergency, when unity is being stressed, don’t you think that it is very Un-American? We have always contended that we are entitled to every benefit that is accorded our so-called White Brothers. We pay the required taxes, taxes in some instances that we feel are unjust, such as the School tax...

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16 “I Am Here to Keep the Land” (1945)31

Martin Cross

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pp. 80-82

I am delegated here with three other men to voice the adverse disapproval of the construction of the proposed Garrison Dam. We wish to present evidence, testimony, and data in support, and substantiate our claim. Most of our reservation, the best irrigable land, and about 370 well-improved Indian homes will be in the flooded area. An unestimated amount of coal, timber, and wildlife will be destroyed...

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17 “We Are Still a Sovereign Nation” (1949)38

Hopi Traditionalist Movement

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pp. 83-88

To the President: We, the hereditary Hopi Chieftains of the Hopi Pueblos of Hotevilla, Shungopovy, and Mushongnovi humbly request a word with you. Thoroughly acquainted with the wisdom and knowledge of our traditional form of government and our religious principles, sacredly authorized and entrusted to speak, act, and to execute our duties and obligations for all the common people throughout this land of the Hopi Empire,...

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18 “I Had No One to Help Me” (1953)41

Jake Herman

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pp. 89-92

One day, the first part of August 1942, one of my friends came to me very excited and said we were going to have to move out of our homes in ten days because the Army was going to take over our lands. The Indian people were shocked. Great confusion followed and people were asking what was going to happen to them. Although we knew that some land was to be taken, no one was told which tracts of land...

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19 “We Need a Boldness of Thinking” (1954)47

D’Arcy McNickle

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pp. 93-96

Those of you who were at our first convention in Denver in 1944 will remember how we discussed our purposes in forming an all-Indian organization. We knew there was need for taking the step we planned, but we knew also that the step had been taken before; Indians had come together in plans for mutual assistance, and they had failed. Some of us thought it would be better not to try at all, than to try and add another failure to the record...

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III: DEMANDING CIVIL RIGHTS OF A DIFFERENT ORDER, 1954–1968

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pp. 97-100

As the struggle for black equality gained momentum and national visibility through the 1950s and 1960s, it presented opportunities for and challenges to advocates of Native rights. The opportunities came in the form of increased attention and the opening of new spaces for dialogue about the rights of racial minorities. But riding on the coattails of the civil rights movement also presented challenges...

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20 “We Are Citizens” (1954)6

National Congress of American Indians

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pp. 101-102

Representatives of 183,000 American Indians gathered to consider the emergency created by numerous bills now pending in the Congress make to their fellow American citizens the following declaration: American Indians seek for themselves only those things that are promised to every American citizen by our National charters, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence...

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21 “This Resolution ‘Gives’ Indians Nothing” (1954)8

Helen Peterson and Alice Jemison

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pp. 103-106

Mrs. Peterson: My statement is on behalf of the National Congress of American Indians. . . . I am instructed by the President and Vice President of our organization and by a number of Tribes to oppose Senate Joint Resolution 4. . . . We understand this resolution, if passed, would take from the Federal Government the authority to regulate commerce with Indian Tribes in the United States. We further understand this constitutional authority is the only express basis for most of the Federal legislation to provide protections to Indians and their trust property...

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22 “We Are Lumbee Indians” (1955)10

D. F. Lowry

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pp. 107-110

Mr. Carlyle.13 Now, the purpose of this bill is to designate a very fine group of citizens of my home county as Lumbee Indians of North Carolina. . . . I should like for you to recall that there is nothing in this bill that requests one penny of appropriation of any kind. There is nothing in this bill that would call for any upkeep or expenditure. It just simply relates to the name of these people. . . . They have their own schools. They are interested, of course, in their churches. They dot practically every hill in my country...

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23 “The Mississippi Choctaws Are Not Going Anywhere” (1960)16

Phillip Martin

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pp. 111-114

Dear Secretary Seaton: The Business Committee of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians has authorized me to appeal to you as the highest official in the United States concerned with Indian people. This is not our first appeal to your Department to help us win recognition of our equality as citizens of Mississippi and America. We have appealed to our Superintendent, our Area Director, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and other Washington officials of the Bureau, and your former Assistant Secretary of the Interior Roger Ernst...

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24 “A Human Right in a Free World” (1961)21

Edward Dozier

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pp. 115-119

This is an historic and memorable occasion. We have here a gathering of Indians from many tribes and from vast areas of the American continent to discuss problems that affect us all. This is not simply a gathering of reservation Indians, but also of Indians now living in off-reservation locations as well as of Indians who have lived for many years without federal recognition. And I might add for those Indians without such recognition, that federal supervision has not been a bed of roses...

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25 “This Is Not Special Pleading” (1961)23

American Indian Chicago Conference

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pp. 120-123

WE BELIEVE in the inherent right of all people to retain spiritual and cultural values, and that the free exercise of these values is necessary to the normal development of any people. Indians exercised this inherent right to live their own lives for thousands of years before the white man came and took their lands. It is a more complex world in which Indians live today, but the Indian people who first settled the New World and built...

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26 “I Can Recognize a Beginning” (1962)25

Jeri Cross, Sandra Johnson, and Bruce Wilkie

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pp. 124-127

With all the wisdom of a sixteen-year old whose observations of life’s complexities though limited were very concrete, I asked my mother why didn’t she raise my younger sisters and brothers as whites. She smiled (I remember the smile—a sheepish one) and she said, “I tried that on you four older girls.” Her philosophy—to inject as much white or European thinking into her children and to discourage Indian ways in them—...

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27 “To Survive as a People” (1964)31

Clyde Warrior

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pp. 128-132

The National Indian Youth Council has been the victim of undue and unjust criticism from uninformed and irresponsible people both Indian and non-Indian. The harshest criticism coming from prominent Indian leaders. Criticisms have ranged from saying that NIYC consists of ignorant little kids to foolish radicals with no reasonable policy or viewpoint...

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28 “We Were Here as Independent Nations” (1965)35

Vine Deloria Jr.

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pp. 133-138

Mr. Deloria. The National Congress of American Indians endorses S. 963, S. 965, S. 967, and S. 968 as basically good bills which will provide for a more adequate protection of the constitutional rights of American Indians. S. 961, as presently written, does not spell out exactly what rights and responsibilities guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution would be applicable to either tribal governments or individual Indian citizens in relation to their tribal governments...

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29 “Is It Not Right to Help Them Win Their Rights?” (1965)41

Angela Russell

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pp. 139-142

Since that big day in March when one of my friends and co-workers, Fran Poafpybitty, and I went down to Alabama to march on the final day of the Selma-to-Montgomery March, I have been asked by countless friends, tribal leaders and even relatives the reason I went. “Why did you go?” many have asked. Let me caution those of you who firmly believe that protesting of any sort, whether it be demonstrating, picketing or petitioning, is below the dignity of any American Indian, to stop here...

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30 “We Will Resist” (1965)43

Nisqually Nation

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pp. 143-145

During January and February 1965 the Nisqually Indians of central Washington State wrote a series of letters and staged a series of very significant demonstrations. The six letters, which were a combination of complaints and petitions pertaining to basic Constitutional issues and flagrant violations of law committed by government officials, were sent to Washington State Superior Court Judge Cochran, Governor Dale Evans and the U.S. Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, with copies to President Johnson, Mexico, Panama and interested parties...

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31 “I Want to Talk to You a Little Bit about Racism” (1968)46

Tillie Walker

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pp. 146-148

My name is Tillie Walker and I am from the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota and I live in Colorado. I want to talk to you a little bit about racism. I was involved in the Poor People’s Campaign since March 14, at the invitation of Dr. Martin Luther King. There were about 15 Indians invited to that meeting, so that all races across the country could meet together, and see what they felt about something called the Poor People’s Campaign...

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32 “A Sickness Which Has Grown to Epidemic Proportions” (1968)49

Committee of 100

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pp. 149-152

We have joined the Poor People’s Campaign because most of our families, tribes, and communities number among those suffering most in this country. We are not begging. We are demanding what is rightfully ours. This is no more than the right to have a decent life in our own communities. We need guaranteed jobs, guaranteed income, housing, schools, economic development, but most important—we want them on our own terms...

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IV: DECLARING CONTINUING INDEPENDENCE, 1969–1994

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pp. 153-156

To deflect the “freedom program” of terminationists and avoid conflation with civil rights from the 1950s through the early 1970s, Native activists developed a vocabulary to discuss Indian concerns that the majority society could understand. Essentially, this amounted to connecting ideas and issues in Native America to matters of pressing national and international concern to prevent them from being dismissed as unimportant or obscure...

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33 “Our Children Will Know Freedom and Justice” (1969)8

Indians of All Tribes

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pp. 157-159

United Indians of All Tribes call upon our brothers and sisters all across these Americas to hear this, our call and pledge to Indian unity. Hear us, as we open our hearts and minds, and raise our voices! The time has come for all Indians to unite into one brotherhood and to demonstrate, by this unity, the immediate needs of all our people. The occupation of Alcatraz has seen the beginnings of a concept of unity long dreamed of by all our people...

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34 “We Are an Honorable People—Can You Say the Same?” (1973)10

The Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy

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pp. 160-162

The Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy stands in support of our brothers at Wounded Knee. We find it deplorable that the Native Americans have to risk their very lives to focus attention on the terrible conditions of our people in this country. We cite the poor health conditions, education, welfare, illegal drafting of our people, and the utter disregard for the treaties that we have paid for with our lives as examples of these conditions...

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35 “We Have the Power” (1974)12

John Trudell

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pp. 163-166

When we talk about discipline for the American Indian Movement, commitment is just about the number one thing to think about. We’ve got to have commitment so strong that when we get mad at each other, we overlook it. We’ve got to have commitment so strong that we don’t take no for an answer. We’ve got to have commitment so strong that we will not accept their rhetoric and lies for an answer...

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36 “For the Continuing Independence of Native Nations” (1974)16

International Indian Treaty Council

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pp. 167-171

A long time ago my father told me what his father told him. There was once a Lakota Holy man called Drinks Water, who visioned what was to be; and this was long before the coming of the Wasicus. He visioned that the four-legged were going back into the earth and that a strange race had woven a spider’s web all around the Lakotas. And he said, “When this happens, you shall live in barren lands, and there beside those gray houses you shall starve.”...

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37 “For Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms” (1977)18

Geneva Declaration

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pp. 172-175

Having considered the problems relating to the activities of the United Nations for the promotion and encouragement of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, Noting that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related international covenants have individuals as their primary concern, and Recognizing that individuals are the foundation of cultures, societies, and nations, and...

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38 “Why Have You Not Recognized Us as Sovereign People Before?” (1977)20

Marie Sanchez

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pp. 176-179

I come with greetings from the women of the Western Hemisphere. I come here to pose questions to this conference and hopefully to receive positive actions in some of the questions that I present. The Indian women of the Western Hemisphere are the target of the genocide that is still ongoing, that is still the policy of the United States of America. We are undergoing a modern form called sterilization, which has been going on for hundreds of years, to totally exterminate the Red man...

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39 “Our Red Nation” (1978)22

Diné, Lakota, and Haudenosaunee Traditional Leaders

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pp. 180-183

For countless thousands of years our people have lived on this continent in peace and tranquility, coexisting with all Natural Life. In the beginning we were told that the human beings who walk upon the Earth have been provided with all the things necessary for life. We were instructed to carry a love for one another, and to show a great respect for all beings of this Earth...

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40 “These Are Inherent Rights” (1978)24

The Longest Walk Statement

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pp. 184-188

We are the sovereign and free children of Mother Earth. Since before human memory, our people have lived on this land. For countless generations, we have lived in harmony with our relatives, the four-leggeds, the winged beings, the beings that swim and the beings that crawl. For all time our home is from coast to coast; from pole to pole. We are the original people of this hemisphere. The remains of our ancestors and of our many relatives are a greater part of this land and any other’s remains...

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41 “Get the Record Straight” (1987)26

James Hena

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pp. 189-191

I am here today on behalf of my Pueblo and the other gaming Pueblos in New Mexico. . . . It is quite clear to everyone who is involved in this issue that the real difference between H.R. 964 and H.R. 2507 is in the area of jurisdiction over class III gaming. The Pueblo support Federal legislation to regulate gaming on Indian lands along the lines proposed in H.R. 2507. We do not and will not support any bills which provide State jurisdiction over gaming on Indian lands...

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42 “This Way of Life—The Peyote Way” (1992)28

Reuben Snake

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pp. 192-194

Mr. SNAKE. Mr. Chairman, at this time I want to say thank you for the invitation to be present here at this hearing and to give testimony on behalf of a very important part of the Native American community— that is, those of us that adhere to the ages-old, traditional religion of the peyote way, as we call it amongst ourselves, and known in the larger society as the Native American Church...

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43 “Let Catawba Continue to Be Who They Are” (1992)35

E. Fred Sanders

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pp. 195-198

The bill 5562 has to do with restoring Catawba to a government-to-government Federal relationship, which we had at one time and was caught in the termination trap by the policies of the Federal Government in the mid-1950s. Catawba has put off seeking restoration because there was a lawsuit involved with the State of South Carolina concerning a treaty land violation, and we were hoping to get that bill, along with doing the same process...

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44 “Return the Power of Governing” (1994)37

Wilma Mankiller

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pp. 199-202

I am convinced by my own work for the last twenty-five years in Indian communities that the best solution to problems in native communities come from within our own communities and our own tribes. . . . I believe very strongly that the BIA is an anachronism. It has barely changed since its inception, yet tribal governments have changed and the capacity of tribes to do things for themselves has changed dramatically...

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V: TESTING THE LIMITS, 1994–2015

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pp. 203-206

Indigenous peoples secured important symbolic and substantive victories during the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. In 1993 the United States Congress issued an Apology Resolution with regard to the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i. Seven years later, Assistant Secretary of the Interior Kevin Gover (Pawnee) offered a “formal apology to Indian people for the historical conduct” of the Bureau of Indian Affairs...

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45 “We Already Know Our History” (1996)10

Armand Minthorn

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pp. 207-209

In the summer of 1996 a human burial, believed to be about 9,000 years old, was discovered near Columbia Park in Kennewick, Washington. Scientists and others want to study this individual. They believe that he should be further desecrated for the sake of science, and for their own personal gain. The people of my tribe, and four other affected tribes, strongly believe that the individual must be re-buried as soon as possible...

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46 “We Would Like to Have Answers” (2003)12

Russell Jim

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pp. 210-215

The Hanford area was our wintering ground, the Palm Springs of the area. And the winters were milder here, and so therefore we moved here and disbursed to all other parts of the country when the spring came. And our usual and accustomed places involve Canada, western Montana, northern Arizona, northern California, and the Pacific coast. So consequently in the Treaty of 1855, we included such language as accepted by the United States of America, in a contract called a treaty...

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47 “The Sovereign Expression of Native Self-Determination” (2003)14

J. Kēhaulani Kauanui

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pp. 216-220

The current draft of the bill S. 344 proposes to recognize Hawaiians as an indigenous people who have a “special trust relationship” with the United States and, hence, a right to self-determination under U.S. federal law. The passage of the bill would lay the foundation for a nation-within-anation model of self-governance, like that of over three hundred federally recognized American Indian tribal nations—as a domestic dependent nation...

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48 “I Will Not Rest Till Justice Is Achieved” (2005)18

Elouise Cobell

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pp. 221-225

I am here today on behalf of myself and the more than 500,000 individual Indian trust beneficiaries represented in the lawsuit we filed in the Federal court, Cobell v. Norton. I would also like to explain to you that the Blackfeet pray at the Baker massacre on a yearly basis and we pray that the Federal Government will never treat us like they treated us then.20 I also pray on a daily basis going to work on the Blackfeet Reservation...

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49 “An Organization, a Club, or Is It a Nation?” (2007)22

Osage Constitutional Reform Testimony

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pp. 226-229

“I think that there should be no blood quantum. If we stop now and try to clean up our roll, it is going to bog us down and we’ll be bogged down for the next 50 years and never accomplish a thing and not get a membership. . . . If you take another tribe, say across the river, the Poncas. . . . Right now they are dealing with lowering their membership quantum...

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50 “The Gwich’in Are Caribou People” (2011)24

Sarah Agnes James

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pp. 230-233

I am honored to speak on behalf of this Committee for my nation, which is Gwich’in Nation. I feel real honored to be here. English is my second language, so I will address to you and translate it in my language back to English. I will speak Gwich’in. English is my second language. . . . I say: We came a long ways. We all came a long ways. We still have a long ways to go. On behalf of the elders that cannot be here today, and on behalf of the children that is not yet born,...

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51 “I Want to Work for Economic and Social Justice” (2012)26

Susan Allen

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pp. 234-236

I am a political newcomer. I am, however, a lifelong Democratic voter. I believe my progressive values are aligned with the DFL [Democratic- Farm-Labor] party’s values of equality, opportunity and fairness. The DFL values are also consistent with my cultural values of generosity and inclusiveness. . . . I want to work for economic and social justice. In our community and in my district there are unmet needs. Half of the children live in poverty...

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52 “I Could Not Allow Another Day of Silence to Continue” (2012)29

Deborah Parker

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pp. 237-238

I am here today to support the Violence Against Women Act. I was here on an environmental protection issue on Monday and did not plan on providing my story while at the nation’s capital. However, I could not allow another day of silence to continue. Yesterday I shared with Senator Murray the reasons why the Violence Against Women Act is so important to our Native American women...

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53 “Indian Enough” (2013)32

Alex Pearl

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pp. 239-241

There are a lot of very good assessments of the Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl decision, and I will not attempt to add to that thoughtful analysis of the holding. Instead, I’d like to focus on a different aspect of the Court’s opinion, which is its misplaced and worrisome obsession with whether Veronica is Indian enough. While not the stated basis for the Court’s decision, the repeated references to Veronica’s percentage of Cherokee ancestry display a misunderstanding of tribal citizenship laws and...

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54 “We Will Be There to Meet You” (2013)34

Armando Iron Elk and Faith Spotted Eagle

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pp. 242-244

Armando Iron Elk Sr. I am an elected Treaty Council official of the Ihanktonwan [Iháŋktȟuŋwaŋ—Yankton, “(those) dwelling at the end”]. I present the Department of State with a copy of our new 2013 international treaty to protect the sacred against the tar sands and our resolve to stop this destruction of our land. I leave this message for you. We affirm that our laws define our solemn duty and responsibility to our ancestors, to ourselves, to our future generations...

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55 “Call Me Human” (2015)36

Lyla June Johnston

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pp. 245-248

In January 2015, Diné young people began the first of four marches to their people’s sacred mountains in remembrance of the Long Walk and to raise awareness of resource colonization.37 Dinétah, the Navajo homeland, had been exploited for its oil, gas, uranium, and coal throughout the twentieth century, enriching corporations while impoverishing the land and its people38...

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Conclusion: Forgotten/Remembered

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pp. 249-250

The words Faith Spotted Eagle used to conclude her testimony at the public meeting on the Keystone XL pipeline bear repeating. “We do believe that Mother Nature, Iná Makȟá [‘Mother Earth’], is speaking,” she told the panel of government officials. “And I think, true to what my grandmother said, nuŋȟčháŋ means wooden ears. And I would urge the Department of State to listen.” The symbol of ears has a central place in Lakota diplomacy...

Notes

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pp. 251-266

Bibliography

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pp. 267-284

Index

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pp. 285-296

Other Works in the Series

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pp. 297-298