The Nations Within: The Past and Future of American Indian Sovereignty

By in Civil Law on February 26, 2013

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“Those of us who try to understand what is happening in North American Indian communities have learned to see Vine Deloria, Jr., both as an influential actor in the ongoing drama and also as its most knowledgeable interpreter. This new book on Indian self-rule is the most informative that I have seen in my own half-century of reading. Deloria and his co-author focus on John Collier’s struggle with both the U.S. Congress and the Indian tribes to develop a New Deal for Indians fifty years ago. It is a blow-by-blow historical account, perhaps unique in the literature, which may be the only way to show the full complexity of American Indian relations with federal and state governments. This makes it possible in two brilliant concluding chapters to clarify current Indian points of view and to build onto initiatives that Indians have already taken to suggest which of these might be most useful for them to pursue. The unheeded message has been clear throughout history, but now we see how– if we let Indians do it their own way– they might, more quickly than we have imagined, rebuild their communities.” — Sol Tax, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, University of Chicago

One thought on “The Nations Within: The Past and Future of American Indian Sovereignty

  1. 1
    37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    This book provided an added bonus, February 23, 2000

    This review is from: The Nations Within: The Past and Future of American Indian Sovereignty (Paperback)

    I bought this book to try to understand how tribal governments fit into our federal system. I got the added bonus of learning how a bill becomes law.

    In outlining Collier’s attempts at getting the Indian Reorganization Act passed during the FDR administration, DeLoria and Lytle explain in detail, the committee hearings, the compromises and the way the two houses of Congress work together. I am sorry to say that,up to this point, I had no understanding of this complicated process.

    This is a well-written, even handed book. It makes complicated issues easier to comprehend, and it casts blame, as well as praise, on both sides of the issues.

    During the time that I was reading this book, members of the Lakota nation on the Pine Ridge reservation took over tribal government buildings as a protest against their Tribal Council. Because of my reading, I was able to understand a little bit better what was happening.

    I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about what has happened in Indian policy since the end of the Indian Wars, and also to anyone who wants a better understanding of how our own government works.

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