Indian Country
304 pages
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Indian Country


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304 pages


Since first contact, Natives and newcomers have been involved in an increasingly complex struggle over power and identity. Modern “Indian wars” are fought over land and treaty rights, artistic appropriation, and academic analysis, while Native communities struggle among themselves over membership, money, and cultural meaning. In cultural and political arenas across North America, Natives enact and newcomers protest issues of traditionalism, sovereignty, and self-determination. In these struggles over domination and resistance, over different ideologies and Indian identities, neither Natives nor other North Americans recognize the significance of being rooted together in history and culture, or how representations of “Indianness” set them in opposition to each other.

In Indian Country: Essays on Contemporary Native Culture, Gail Guthrie Valaskakis uses a cultural studies approach to offer a unique perspective on Native political struggle and cultural conflict in both Canada and the United States. She reflects on treaty rights and traditionalism, media warriors, Indian princesses, powwow, museums, art, and nationhood. According to Valaskakis, Native and non-Native people construct both who they are and their relations with each other in narratives that circulate through art, anthropological method, cultural appropriation, and Native reappropriation. For Native peoples and Others, untangling the past—personal, political, and cultural—can help to make sense of current struggles over power and identity that define the Native experience today.

Grounded in theory and threaded with Native voices and evocative descriptions of “Indian” experience (including the author’s), the essays interweave historical and political process, personal narrative, and cultural critique. This book is an important contribution to Native studies that will appeal to anyone interested in First Nations’ experience and popular culture.



Publié par
Date de parution 01 janvier 2006
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780889209206
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 2 Mo

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Indian Country Essays on Contemporary Native Culture
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Indian Country Essays on Contemporary Native Culture Gail Guthrie Valaskakis
Aboriginal Studies Series
This book has been published with the help of a grant from the Canadian Federa-tion for the Humanities and Social Sciences, through the Aid to Scholarly Publica-tions Programme, using funds provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. We acknowledge the financial support of the Gover n-ment of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program for our publishing activities. We acknowledge the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Media Development Corporation’s Ontario Book Initiative.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Valaskakis, Gail Guthrie Indian country : essays on contemporary Native culture / Gail Guthrie Valaskakis
(Aboriginal studies series) Includes bibliographical references and index
isbn 0-88920-479-9
1.Canada.Indians of North America — 2.Indians of North America.i.Title. ii.Series: Aboriginal studies series (Waterloo, Ont.) e77.2.v34 2005 305.897'071 c2005-902019-9 ©2005Wilfrid Laurier University Press Waterloo, Ontario, Canadan2l 3c5
Cover photograph: Margaret Gauthier in the ceremonial dress she gave to the Smith-sonian Museum in the late1920s. Photograph courtesy of the author. Cover and text design by P.J. Woodland.
Every reasonable effort has been made to acquire permission for copyright material used in this text, and to acknowledge all such indebtedness accurately. Any errors and omissions called to the publisher’s attention will be corrected in future printings.
Printed in Canada
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or trans-mitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior written consent of the pub-lisher or a licence from The Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright). For an Access Copyright licence, visit or call toll free to1-800 -893-5777.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsvii Acknowledgmentsix Introduction1 Approaching Indian Country
1Living the Heritage of Lac du Flambeau9 Traditionalism and Treaty Rights
2Rights and Warriors35 Media Memories and Oka
3Postcards of My Past67 Indians and Artifacts
4Indian Country89 Claiming Land in Native America
5Sacajawea and Her Sisters125 Images and Native Women
6Dance Me Inside151 Pow Wow and Being Indian
7Drumming the Past175 Researching Indian Objects
8Blood Borders211 Being Indian and Belonging
9Conclusion255 All My Relations
List of Illustrations
1Big George Skye with Ben Guthrie (age six), standing in front of the trading post built by Ben and Margaret Gauthier on the Lac du Flambeau reservation,1914.p. 17 2Margaret Gauthier in the ceremonial dress she gave to the Smithsonian Museum in the late1920s.p. 21 3Indians from Lac du Flambeau marching in the Fourth of July parade, carrying “Indian Joe” flags,1991.p. 31 4Mohawk Warrior surrounded by reporters, Oka,1990.p. 40 5A postcard photograph of Mrs. Chen-Gu-Os-No-Qua on the Lac du Flambeau reservation,1910to1920.p. 75 6 Sacajawea, or “Bird Woman,” spearing fish with a bow and arrow from a birchbark canoe,1920s.p. 126 7 1920s print of an Indian princess wearing a war bonnet.p. 139 8Minnie Cloud, Lac du Flambeau reservation,1910to1920.p. 142 9Marcus Guthrie dancing at a winter pow wow, Lac du Flambeau, 1975.p. 156 10Pow Wow at Bear River, in the Old Village on the Lac du Flambeau reservation,1938.p. 165 11Midéwiwin member with drum in a Midéwigan, or Midéwiwin Lodge.p. 197
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thank the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada I for a publications grant in support of this book; Concordia University for the Administrative Research Grants that allowed me to present conference papers and publish articles during the years in which I was vice-dean and dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science; and the Aborig-inal Healing Foundation for the privilege of serving as Director of Research. I am grateful, too, to Jacqueline Larson, Carroll Klein, Beth McAuley, and the staff of Wilfrid Laurier University Press for their sup-port, insight, and skill throughout the processes of editing and publish-ing this collection of essays. I am also indebted to the distant teachers, whose writing weaves through these essays; and to the close companions, whose generosity, curiosity, and knowledge are woven into my daily life: Stan Cudek, Gregg Guthrie, Ion and Paris Valaskakis, Lorna Roth, Miriam Van Buskirk Guthrie, and, most of all, my father, Ben Guthrie. The essays in this book have been written or rewritten during a decade of cultural struggle between Natives and newcomers and Native people themselves. In these years, my reflections on contemporary Native culture have been reworked and updated. Essays that draw upon the material in this collection were originally published in the following:
“The Chippewa and the Other: Living the Heritage of Lac du Flambeau.” Cultural Studies2, 3 (1988): 26793. “Partners in Heritage: Living the Tradition of Spring Spearing.”Journal of Communication Inquiry13, 2 (1989): 1217. “Rights and Warriors: First Nations, Media and Identity.”Ariel: A Review of International English Literature25, 1 (1994): 6072.Courtesy of the Board of Governors, University of Calgary.
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