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Real Indians

Real Indians: Identity and the Survival of Native America

Eva Marie Garroutte
Copyright Date: 2003
Edition: 1
Pages: 250
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  • Book Info
    Real Indians
    Book Description:

    At the dawn of the twenty-first century, America finds itself on the brink of a new racial consciousness. The old, unquestioned confidence with which individuals can be classified (as embodied, for instance, in previous U.S. census categories) has been eroded. In its place are shifting paradigms and new norms for racial identity. Eva Marie Garroutte examines the changing processes of racial identification and their implications by looking specifically at the case of American Indians.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-93592-1
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  6. Introduction: The Chief Who Never Was
    (pp. 1-13)

    “The first thing in my life that I can remember is the exciting aftermath of an Indian Wght in northern Montana. My mother was crying and running about with me in my moss bag-carrier on her back. . . . Women and horses were everywhere. . . . My mother’s hand was bleeding. . . . She handed me to my aunt and jumped on a pony and rode away.”¹ These lines introduce the life story of Chief Buffalo Child Long Lance as he himself told it. Earlier in his writing career, Long Lance, whom his recent biographer Donald B....

  7. CHAPTER ONE Enrollees and Outalucks: Law
    (pp. 14-37)

    “I am not a real Indian,” writes the acclaimed Choctaw/Cherokee novelist Louis Owens. “Not a real, essential Indian because I’m not enrolled. . . . Because growing up in different times I naively thought that Indian was something we were, not something we did or had or were required to prove on demand. Listening to my mother’s stories about Oklahoma, about brutally hard lives and dreams that cut across the fabric of every experience, I thought that was Indian.” A childhood friend, Owens notes,wasan enrollee—invested with formal citizenship in his tribe—and was “somewhat smug about that...

  8. CHAPTER TWO “If He Gets a Nosebleed, He’ll Turn into a White Man”: Biology
    (pp. 38-60)

    North American Indians who successfully negotiate the rigors of legal definitions of identity at the federal level can achieve what some consider the dubious distinction of being a “card-carrying Indian.” That is, their federal government can issue them a laminated document (in the United States, a CDIB; in Canada an Indian status card) that certifies them as possessing a certain “degree of Indian blood.”

    Unlike Louis Owens, of the previous chapter, Canadian-born country music singer Shania Twain has what it takes to be a card-carrying Indian: she is formally recognized as an Anishnabe (Ojibwe) Indian with band membership in the...

  9. THREE What If My Grandma Eats Big Macs? Culture
    (pp. 61-81)

    Strange and perplexing legal cases have tried the sagacity of judges and juries throughout the history of the American judicial system. But in 1976, the country witnessed an unprecedented event. An entire tribe went on trial. Events began with the Indian community’s efforts to bring a land claims case. But the point upon which the outcome quickly came to turn was whether or not that community had the right to a collective identity as an Indian tribe.

    The trial involved a community of self-identified Indian residents of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the Mashpee. They proposed to bring a land claims suit...

  10. FOUR If You’re Indian and You Know It (but Others Don’t): Self-Identification
    (pp. 82-98)

    When Zug G. Standing Bear attends meetings of the Deer Clan of Georgia, he rubs shoulders with individuals with names such as Morning Star, Panther, Grey Wolf, and Wild Rose. The Deer Clan, in Standing Bear’s description, is “a rather feisty unit of a larger Native American cultural association known as the Southeastern Cherokee Confederacy (SECC).”¹ Medicine men and a council of clan mothers assist in group leadership. Members share their interest in such cultural activities as powwows, Native American language study, genealogy workshops, tribal arts and crafts classes, and the like.²

    As one might well suppose, Mr. Standing Bear...

  11. FIVE “Whaddaya Mean ‘We,’ White Man?”: Identity Conflicts and a Radical Indigenism
    (pp. 99-112)

    “Whaddaya mean ‘we,’ white man?” is the punch line to one of the more venerable Indian jokes. It purports to be the trusty sidekick’s response to the Lone Ranger’s shout of “What should we do, Tonto? We’re completely surrounded by Indians!” But the same phrase, by a different construction, might well be considered the keynote of a mood that presently pervades Indian country. Whereas the previous four chapters of this book have sketched some of the many competing definitions of Indianness, and the positive and negative consequences of each as seen from various perspectives, they may not have communicated the...

  12. CHAPTER SIX Allowing the Ancestors to Speak: Radical Indigenism and New/Old Definitions of Identity
    (pp. 113-139)

    Radical Indigenism is centered on the assumption that American Indian (and other indigenous) philosophies of knowledge are rational, articulable, coherent logics for ordering and knowing the world. It pushes beyond that assumption to argue that indigenous philosophies of knowledge, and the models of inquiry they imply, have a place in the academy. This position invites an understanding of these philosophies not merely as objects of curiosity (unusual things that people have believed) but as tools for the discovery and generation of knowledge.

    In this chapter I develop these ideas by applying them to the issue of American Indian identity. I...

  13. CONCLUSION: Long Lance’s Ghost and the Spirit of Future Scholarship
    (pp. 140-152)

    One of the many conclusions one might draw from the foregoing discussions is that neither Indian communities nor scholarly ones have so far succeeded in sending the ghost of Chief Buffalo Child Long Lance to its proper rest. Long Lance, with whom we began our exploration of Indian identity, took both Hollywood and New York by storm in the 1920s. America in that era was greedy for Indians—but only for the “right” kind, and Long Lance comprehended this with great clarity. Indians whose tribes showed too clearly the brutal effects of European invasion because they had borne the first...

  14. Appendix
    (pp. 153-162)
  15. Notes
    (pp. 163-200)
  16. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 201-212)
  17. Index
    (pp. 213-223)