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Foreword Cornel Pewewardy This book is about love. It’s a book about love for the Indigenous warrior, the Ogichidaa, both within oneself and throughout Indigenous history. In many ways this book is ancient because it reflects the most prestigious and influential books of sociopolitical strategies in the modern world, much like The Art of War was compiled well over two thousand years ago by a mysterious Chinese warrior-philosopher, Sun Tzu.1 The spirit of this book is much like Sun Tzu’s classic dictum “To win without fighting is best.” This is the foundational warrior strategy and philosophy of the traditional Peace Chiefs of many Plains tribes as well. Like warriors of the past, contemporary warriors are the ones who will be expected to carry out the community’s decisions. Winona LaDuke too, like my own Comanche warrior family, has a rich history of War and Peace Chief warriors. That she began her story in this book at Fort Sill, a US army post near Lawton, Oklahoma, moved me because that is where I was born and raised. In my family, Wild Horse was a war and Peace Chief of the Quahada Comanches during the Southern Plains wars in the 1800s. Given the historical context of Fort Sill, many early frontier US Army forts were built to incarcerate and control Comanches, Kiowas, Apaches and other tribes. Establishing a similar pattern of building abandoned army forts like Fort Sill into boarding schools for local tribes, the goal of federal and state policy was to fully assimilate Indigenous children into a highly stratified racist American society and to eradicate Indigenous culture. Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding schools were created and other educational policies were adopted as part of this broader assimilationist agenda. We cannot ignore the negative feelings and treatment of Indigenous Peoples in a racist society. White settler hero worship illustrates a western frontier mentality of “how the west was won.” Subsequently, “the only good Indian is a dead Indian” is an American aphorism uttered by General Phillip Winona LaDuke xii Sheridan during the Plains Indian campaigns of the 1860s and at one time this frame of mind was considered a tenable, even popular, solution to the so-called “Indian Problem.” The practice of the Peace Chief is the practice of a Healer. If the warrior is unhappy, the warrior cannot help many people. The work of a contemporary warrior is to take the responsibility to be a self-actualized individual. Becoming more critically conscious of one’s tribal identity involves a critical analysis of the social order and a historical understanding of one’s position in it. This is a process of realization that entails actively deconstructing socially constructed versions of reality. Remember that power and control are the ability to articulate a concept, idea, or reality (worldview) to another individual or group of people and convince them that this imposed reality is real, is genuine. Individuals come to understand reality objectively through our interaction with the external environment which includes other people engaged in their own interactions and reality-forming processes. It wasn’t until later in my life, through a process of shifting my academic discipline in higher education from education to Indigenous Nations studies, that I began to honor the true spirit of the warrior philosopher, of Ogichidaa. Merging critical thinking in everyday life with Indigenous knowledge learned through reading books on critical race theory and through disciplined study has been the union of theory and practice that has driven my academic agenda. Not only did I find in Indigenous Nations studies a discipline where I could transgress cultural boundaries, it was a paradigm shift for me to move against and beyond boundaries and thus engage my students into critical consciousness.2 Winona does not have “historical amnesia.” She remembers history through Indigenous eyes. Through her life’s work, she honors the grace and patience of our Elders. Potlatch generosity of Indigenous cultures is the solution to the dilemma of modern nation-state corporate greed. Winona understands that embodied relationships must be honored. Therefore, the warrior philosopher model allows key features of historical examples of collapse The Militarization of Indian Country xiii theory, that of societies facing such crises after having depleted essential resources from capital to waste. Derived from experiences of Indigenous warriors old and new who have generated an authentic existence out of the mess left by colonial dispossession and disruption, Indigenous pathways can be thought of as a direction of freedom whether...


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