In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Indigenous Studies
  • K. Tsianina Lomawaima (bio)
Mark My Words: Native Women Mapping Our Nations. By Mishuana Goeman. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013. 260 pages. $75.00 (cloth). $25.00 (paper).
Mohawk Interruptus (Political Life across the Borders of Nation States). By Audra Simpson. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014. 280 pages. $84.95 (cloth). $23.95 (paper).
Native Acts: Law, Recognition, and Cultural Authenticity. By Joanne Barker. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011. 296 pages. $84.95 (cloth). $23.95 (paper).
Once Were Pacific: Māori Connections to Oceania. By Alice Te Punga Somerville. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012. 288 pages. $67.50 (cloth). $22.50 (paper).
Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition. By Glen Sean Coulthard. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014. 256 pages. $67.50 (cloth). $22.50 (paper).
Remembering the Modoc War: Redemptive Violence and the Making of American Innocence. By Boyd Cothran. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014. 264 pages. $34.95 (cloth).

“We are all relatives” when taken as a methodological tool for obtaining knowledge means that we observe the natural world by looking for relationships between various things in it. … This concept is simply the relativity concept as applied to a universe that people experience as alive and not as dead or inert.

—Vine Deloria, “Relativity, Relatedness, and Reality,” in Spirit and Reason: The Vine Deloria, Jr. Reader

Searching for relationships across recent scholarship in Indigenous studies is productive and intellectually satisfying. The limited slice of this review includes [End Page 149] scholars writing from and about the United States, Canada, and Aotearoa / New Zealand. The varied stitches of their interdisciplinary, geographic, cultural, familial, and personal vantage points bite like feather quills, basketry splints, and fishing lines into a fabric of shared Indigenous experiences that are rooted in places, landscapes, seas, and movements of ancient time-depth; that have been and are being substantially shaped by the ongoing structures of settler colonialism; and that express unfolding contemporary dynamism. As Audra Simpson writes in Mohawk Interruptus, “Concepts have teeth, and teeth that bite through time” (100). The Indigeneity explored and articulated in these works interrogates the past, battles for the present, and demands a visionary future.

International Indigenous studies is florescent in the twenty-first century: not unchallenged, of course, but vital and exuberant. It reminds me of an O’odham squash plant I once knew, called “ha:l,” rioting down the furrows, over the fence, and across the countryside. The books reviewed here are not “representative”; they constitute a sample picked from a big, rich garden. I believe that they share some key intellectual mooring points, perspectives, and inquiries, and they also display a splendid variety.

Intellectual Roots, Goals, and Contributions

These authors share a striking brand of intellectual agility: well-trained in their respective disciplines, well-versed in traversing interdisciplinary boundaries, familiar with the classics and “great men” of Western academe, and self-confidently assertive of theories, methods, analyses, and perspectives rooted in Indigenous epistemologies and experiences. The stance of settler colonial studies is pervasive, building on Patrick Wolfe’s insights: the path-breaking characterization of settler conquest as an ongoing structure rather than a “oneoff” event of the past, the pervasive territorial imperative to claim land, and the logic of elimination of the Native.

In Remembering the Modoc War, the historian Boyd Cothran relates more than dates and events of the Modoc War of 1872–73 in the Klamath Basin straddling the California–Oregon border. His narrative relates remembrances and movements, how traces of brutal violence have been transformed from horrific and gruesome physical trophies to suitable souvenirs to cabinet displays to “valuable” historic artifacts, and transformed from material or discursive objects to commodity goods in “marketplaces of remembering” (14). The transformative process has manufactured a “redemptive narrative of American [End Page 150] innocence” (15) out of the corrosive violence of frontier (and ongoing) settler colonialism. In an evocative, eloquent narrative style, Cothran correlates the “conflagration of state-sponsored Indian killing” (18) in Oregon and California from 1854 through the 1870s with the violences of writing and circulating history. Cothran’s innovative examination of memory and American innocence as influenced by capitalism in processes...