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HUMANITIES 347 Unlike many other books covering contemporary times, this history takes a balanced approach to activism, refusing to glorify many of the events but giving an honest appraisal of the movements of modern times. While the treatment of the period r88o-196o is fine, a good deal more should have been made of the destruction of the Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma, since that situation has created a federal law that has been bifurcated to account for the special status given to tribes which have no permanent reservation boundaries in many instances. Additional discussion of non-recognized eastern Native commrmities would also have been helpful to readers who will read about individual efforts to get recognition by some of these long-standing communities. This history pushes forward issues that will become critical in the decades ahead. David Damas's article, 'The Arctic from Norse Contact to Modem Times,' is a good example, admitting that there were probably preColumbian contacts and opening up a new topic for discussion. This essay sets the stage for future scholars to begin to link ancient slag iron furnaces in Ohio, Virginia, and other areas to Norse expeditions and provides a starting place to incorporate heretical scholarship which sees Norse intrusions on a much larger geographic scale. Historians here are offering a more realistic appraisal of pre-Columbian history and are now in a position to force anthropologists to consider the historical dimension of Native life in North America, one which they would otherwise be reluctant to consider. In summary, thenJ this is a superb collection of essays. It is essential to any library dealing with Native Americans and is also a wonderful source book for the serious scholar. It would, in fact, be a significant textbook for a university course in Native peoples' history, were it not for the price. A paperback version at a reduced price would be desirable for classroom use. I cannot think of another single source that has such breadth and depth in its presentation and is so useful to so many different groups. We should deliver many rounds of applause for this endeavour. {VINE DELORIA, JR) Claude Denis. We Are Not You: First Nations and Canadian Modernity Broadview Press. 178. $18.95 Central to this work is the lawsuit of a Coast Salish man (Denis uses the pseudonym of Joseph Peters for the purposes of his discussion) against seven other Coast Salish for 'assault, battery, and false imprisonment.' Peters maintained that he was captured, taken to an isolated building, beaten, and denied food for four days. The defendants argued that their actions were not hostileJ but rather a ritual initiation into syewen, 'typically called "spirit dancing" by outsiders,' which can be seen as 'an attempt to heal a wounded spirit.' Peters won his suit in the British Columbia 348 LETTERS IN CANADA 1997 Supreme Court, and Denis mines the seam of that junction- or disjunction -of two cultural practices, philosophies, and societies, those of Coast Salish and those of Canadian modernity. Denis questions in some detail (perhaps too much) various academic practices of researching and discussing Native cultures and knowledges, including his own, and his anatomy of the Peters case is refreshingly unanthropological yet relevant to anthropology as well as a number of other disciplines (history, philosophy, cultural studies). His purpose is not to explain the practices of syewen, although he does point the reader to resources for more information. Rather, he probes the case for its implications about the nature of Euro-Canadian society, posing the question of what can be learned 'from the aboriginal side of this case' (his emphasis) about modernity, rather than vice versa. Beginning with his own revulsion and fears when first encountering the Peters case in the newsis this seemingly brutal invasion of rights what would result from Native self-government?- Denis uses the case to tease out the assumptions of a modern, secular society about its own superiority, universality, and naturalness and its consistent tendency to conceive of aboriginality as a primitive predecessor. While this may sound like poststructuralist orthodoxy, the work opens up a number of fascinating issues, large and small, which help to reflect on the issue of Native self...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 347-349
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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