This is not a tale of bloody and doomed battles with settlers and the U.S. Army, which casts Native Americans as mere victims of U.S. expansionism. Instead, This Indian Country describes how, for more than two hundred years, Native American political activists have petitioned courts and campaigned for public opinion, seeking redress and change from the American government. They defined a new language of “Indian rights” and created a vision of American Indian identity. In the process, they entered into a dialogue with other activist movements, from African American civil rights movements to women’s rights and other progressive organizations.
As we grapple with contemporary challenges to national institutions, from inside and outside our borders, and as we reflect on the array of shifting national and cultural identities across the globe, This Indian Country provides a context and a language for understanding our present dilemmas.
Frederick E. Hoxie is the Swanlund Professor of History and a professorof law at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he specializes in Native American history. He is a founding trustee of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian and a former president of the American Society for Ethnohistory.
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