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Enduring Legacies: Native American Treaties and Contemporary Controversies

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Overview

Treaties are so fundamental to the lives of Native Americans and their nations in the United States and Canada that life without them would be difficult to imagine. Most contemporary issues, from land claims to resource ownership to gambling permits, are rooted in laws that derive much of their sustenance from such documents. Treaties are, therefore, vibrant documents that define important issues in our time. This book is an attempt to maintain a national conversation on the treaty basis of important contemporary laws and issues. While the texts of such treaties have long been available, discussion and other annotation in a context that gives them contemporary meaning has been scarce.

This collection of essays by experts in Native American history examines these historic agreements in light of recent and ongoing controversies. Claims to ancestral land bases are one prime example: the Canandaigua Treaty of 1794 provides a context in which to address the Onondaga's claim to most of the Syracuse urban area. Treaties provide the bases for events such as the modern-day rebirth of the Ponca Nation in Nebraska more than a century after a bureaucratic error resulted in banishment from ancestral land. One chapter explores why the U.S. Army still officially regards tragic events at Wounded Knee in December 1890 as a battle, rather than a massacre. Another reveals how treaties and laws have been used to retain and regain gas and oil resource ownership. Still another expert examines why so much energy has been expended over the fate of 9,300- year-old bones that have come to be called Kennewick Man.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Most of the 11 case studies presented here focus on the present-day legacy of treaties negotiated more than a century ago. Unfortunately, the quality of the studies varies greatly. Barbara Alice Mann's excellent study of the Greenville Treaty of 1795 sheds light on the dubious manner in which the U.S. government "negotiated" a treaty that subsequently became the model throughout the continent. In contrast, editor Johansen's (communication & Native American studies, Univ. of Nebraska) superficial and decidedly imbalanced examination of legal issues surrounding Kennewick Man dwells on sideshow issues, such as the dubious claims of the Odin-worshiping Asatr Folk Assembly, to legitimize the claims of various native groups to the 9300-year-old skeleton. At the same time, he largely dismisses legal claims made by leading anthropologists who wish to study the remains. By minimizing the greater issues, he fails to dissect the legal arguments that allow these scientists to keep winning in court, even though these arguments stand to undermine the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) drastically. Despite its weaknesses, this work has enough good material to recommend it to academic and public libraries. John Burch, Campbellsville Univ. Lib., KY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313321047
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/30/2004
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.54 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

BRUCE E. JOHANSEN is Professor of Communication and Native American Studies at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. He is the author of numerous works including The Global Warming Desk Reference (2001).

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction
1 The "lobster war," the Marshal decision, and emerging Canadian first nations' treaty rights 1
2 Sovereign municipalities? : twenty years after the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980 25
3 The Treaty of Canandaigua (1794) : past and present 45
4 The Iroquois land claims : a legacy of fraud, politics, and dispossession 81
5 The New York Oneidas : a business called a nation 95
6 The Greenville Treaty of 1795 : pen-and-ink witchcraft in the struggle for the Old Northwest 135
7 Rebirth of the Osni (Northern) Ponca 203
8 Wounded Knee, 1890 : battle or massacre : a treaty context 251
9 How the Osages kept their oil 271
10 Kennewick Man : the facts, the fantasies, and the stakes 283
11 The new terminators : a guide to the antitreaty movement 305
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