Book review in The New York Times (20 January 2019)
Over the past 12 months, Native American politicians, artists and academics have made uncommon gains. Indeed, Native American women helped to make 2018 the Year of the Woman. In November, New Mexican and Kansan voters elected Debra Haaland (Laguna Pueblo) and Sharice Davids (Ho-Chunk) to Congress, while voters in Minnesota elected Peggy Flanagan (Ojibwe) their lieutenant governor. In October, the sociologist Rebecca Sandefur (Chickasaw) and the poet Natalie Diaz (Mojave) won MacArthur Foundation Awards, while throughout the spring and summer, the playwrights Mary Kathryn Nagle (Cherokee), Larissa FastHorse (Lakota) and DeLanna Studi (Cherokee) had historic openings at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., Artists Repertory Theater in Portland, Ore., and Portland Center Stage, respectively. From the cover of American Theater magazine in April to CNN on election night, the work of these eight dynamic Native women garnered national acclaim.
Such achievements represent more than added texture to the mosaic of modern America. They underscore the rising power of American Indians over the past two generations. […]
There is an urgency to fashion new national narratives. Treuer’s suggestion, for example, that Indian peoples have been infected by colonialism with a disease “of powerlessness … more potent than most people imagine” could be extended to include the subordination experienced by other gendered, racialized and historically disempowered communities. This disease also has the potential to spread even further, because it cannot simply be up to America’s indigenous people to ward it off. As Treuer explains, “This disease is the story told about us and the one we so often tell about ourselves.” […]
Ned Blackhawk (Western Shoshone) is a professor of history and American studies at Yale University, where he coordinates the Yale Group for the Study of Native America.
Source: A New History of Native Americans Responds to ‘Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee’
Date visited: 26 January 2019
Discussion with author, David Treuer, on the New York Time Book Review Podcast
Podcast: 25 January 2019; excerpts transcribed from an interview with the author
(30:00 to 52:50)
- Are we a country of hunger, where we quest after other people’s things?
- Are we an imperialist country?
- Are we a country that doesn’t care about the rights of minorities or disenfranchised people?
- Or are we a country that believes in supporting and protecting one another?
That’s been at the heart of all of its major conflicts. That was a question embedded in its civil war, that was embedded in the fight at Wounded Knee. What country do we want to be. […]
Publications on the above issues may be found here (title descriptions and libraries):