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X-Marks: Native Signatures of Assent

scott richard Lyons
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 240
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  • Book Info
    Book Description:

    In X-Marks, Scott Richard Lyons explores the complexity of contemporary Indian identity and current debates among Indians about traditionalism, nationalism, and tribalism. Employing the x-mark as a metaphor for what he calls the “Indian assent to the new,” Lyons offers a valuable alternative to both imperialist concepts of assimilation and nativist notions of resistance.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-7373-5
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xiv)
    S. R. L
  4. INTRODUCTION: Migrations/Removals
    (pp. 1-34)

    An x-mark is a treaty signature. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries it was a common practice for treaty commissioners to have their Indian interlocutors make x-marks as signifiers of presence and agreement. Many an Indian’s signature was recorded by the phrase “his x-mark,” and what the x-mark meant was consent.

    An x-mark also signified coercion. As everyone knows, treaties were made under conditions that were generally unfavorable to Indians, and as a result they were often accompanied by protest. Treaties led to dramatic changes in the Indian world: loss of land and political autonomy, assent to assimilation polices, the...

  5. CHAPTER ONE Identity Crisis
    (pp. 35-72)

    It was the last night of the powwow, and my twelve-year-old daughter was walking around with her girlfriends, or, more precisely, walking back and forth in front of a group of boys their age. This was during that awkward but sweet time of life when formerly distinct groups of girls and boys start to merge, and my daughter and her friends were justifiably feeling pretty in their colorful regalia. Yet it was also during that unbelievably petty time when adolescents can become exclusive and mean, leading to rejection and possible self-esteem issues. So you can imagine the twinge in my...

  6. CHAPTER TWO Culture and Its Cops
    (pp. 73-110)

    In 1961, 420 Indians representing sixty-seven nations held a small but historic conference at the University of Chicago. The American Indian Chicago Conference discussed numerous aspects of Indian life, formed policy resolutions, established work committees, set agendas, and catalyzed the creation of the National Indian Youth Council, an early Red Power group. One important product of the Chicago conference was its “Declaration of Indian Purpose,” a little manifesto that anticipated—perhaps launched is a better word—what we now recognize to be an indigenous cultural revival. Boldly asserting the “right to choose our own way of life,” the declaration defined...

  7. CHAPTER THREE Nations and Nationalism since 1492
    (pp. 111-164)

    In his classic 1950Discourse on Colonialism,the great Martinican poet Aimé Césaire outlined the important task that lay before anticolonial activists and intellectuals:

    For us, the problem is not to make a utopian and sterile attempt to repeat the past, but to go beyond. It is not a dead society that we want to revive. We leave that to those who go in for exoticism. Nor is it the present colonial society that we wish to prolong, the most putrid carrion that ever rotted under the sun. It is a new society that we must create, with the help...

  8. CHAPTER FOUR Resignations
    (pp. 165-190)

    Long before the new traditionalism appeared on the scene, the cantankerous Ojibwe polemicist Wub-e-ke-niew (Francis Blake Jr.) did something remarkable: he disenrolled himself from the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians. I repeat: he disenrolledhimself.Wub-e-ke-niew was a fluent speaker ofOjibwemowin,a member of the Midewiwin (Grand Medicine Lodge), a regular columnist for theNative American Press/Ojibwe News,and the author ofWe Have the Right to Exist: A Translation of Aboriginal Indigenous Thought,which he advertised as “the first book ever published from anAhnishinahbæótjibwayperspective.”¹ In 1991, just before the Columbian quintcentennial, Wub-e-ke-niew ceremoniously sliced up...

  9. NOTES
    (pp. 191-210)
  10. INDEX
    (pp. 211-220)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 221-221)