U.S.-Tribe Relations


screenshot of book coverThe Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman (Women in the West)
Margot Mifflin, University of Nebraska Press, 2009.

In 1851 Olive Oatman was a thirteen-year old pioneer traveling west toward Zion, with her Mormon family. Within a decade, she was a white Indian with a chin tattoo, caught between cultures. Based on historical records, including letters and diaries of Oatman’s friends and relatives, The Blue Tattoo is the first book to examine her life from her childhood in Illinois—including the massacre, her captivity, and her return to white society—to her later years as a wealthy banker’s wife in Texas.

screenshot of book coverCuster Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto
Vine Deloria Jr., University of Oklahoma Press;
Reprint edition, April 1, 1988.

It seems that each generation will have to read and reread Vine Deloria’s Manifesto for some time to come, before we absorb what he tells us (with a great deal of humor) about U.S. race relations, federal bureaucracies, Christian churches, and social scientists.

screenshot of book coverDebating Democracy
Bruce Johansen and Donald Grinde Jr. Santa Fe: Clear Light Publishers Inc., 1998.

Recounts the ongoing debate over the “Influence Theory,” the Haudenosaunee’s (Iroquois) Great Law of Peace’s effect on the formation of the United States Constitution.

screenshot of book coverExiled in the Land of the Free
Oren Lyons, John Mohawk, Vine Deloria Jr., eds. Santa Fe, Clear Light Publishing, 1992.

Essays by Native American leaders and scholars present persuasive evidence that the American colonists and U.S. founding fathers borrowed from the Iroquois Confederacy and other Indian political institutions in drafting the U.S. Constitution and creating democratic traditions. They also review the effects of Supreme Court rulings on dominion and land claims.

screenshot of book coverFor An Amerindian Autohistory
Georges E. Sioui (translated by Sheila Fischman). Montreal: McGill University Press, 1992.

This work is a metahistory of moral reflection, and the need for human beings to establish intellectual and emotional connections with the entire living world in order to achieve abundance, quality, and peace.

screenshot of book coverFor This Land: Writings on Religion in America
Vine Deloria, Jr., New York and London: Routledge, 1999.

Brings together over thirty years of Vine Deloria’s work, expressing his concern for the religious dimensions and implication of human existence.

screenshot of book coverGod is Red, A Native View of Religion
Vine Deloria Jr. Fulcrum Publishing; 2nd edition, 1994.

This work critiques the Western spiritual world view and its effect on Native Americans and society as a whole.

screenshot of book coverIn the Absence of the Sacred, The Failure of Technology and the Survival of the Indian Nations
Jerry Mander. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1991.

Urging us to come to a fuller understanding of the perils of technology, Mander explores the sociopolitical ramifications of technological innovation and the spiritual wisdom of Native Peoples, desperately needed by us at this moment in time.

screenshot of book coverLies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong
James W. Loewen. New York: The New Press; March 2005.

In this updated edition, Loewen surveys six new high school history textbooks written since the first edition of Lies was published. In his inimitable style, he adds material to each of the chapters noting where new books are more accurate and where they are still fatally flawed. A must-read for teachers.

screenshot of book coverNew York University, Review of Law & Social Change
Volume XX No. 2, 1993.

This important issue from the colloquium, “The Native American Struggle: Conquering The Rule of Law” contains speeches by Leonard Peltier, Lorraine Canoe, and Oren Lyons and includes papers by Jack F Trope, Mark Save, Steven Paul McSloy, and Jo Corrillo. Steven T. Newcomb’s paper, “The Evidence of Christian Nationalism in Federal Indian Law: The Doctrine of Discovery, Johnson v. McIntosh, and Plenary Power” provides an important treatise of the basis upon which all land claims rest in the United States.

screenshot of book coverPopay: Architect of the First American Revolution: August 10, 1680
Joe Sando. Santa Fe: Clear Light Books, 2005.

To the Spaniards he was known as El Popay, the man from San Juan Pueblo who led the successful Pueblo Revolt of 1680 in what is now New Mexico. For Pueblo Indians, Popay is celebrated as the revolutionary figure without whom they would not have survived.

screenshot of book coverRed Earth, White Lies: Native Americans and the Myth of Scientific Fact
Vine Deloria Jr. New York: Scribner, 1995.

Examines modern science as it relates to Native American oral history. Deloria turns his audacious intellect and fiery indignation to an examination of modern science as it relates to Native American oral history and exposes the myth of scientific fact, defending Indian mythology as the more truthful account of the history of the earth.

screenshot of book coverReuben Snake: Your Humble Serpent – Indian Visionary and Activist
As told to Jay C. Fikes. Santa Fe: Clear Light Publishers, 1996.

In this autobiography, Snake reflects on his experiences in politics, as leader and member of the National American Church, with humor and insight.

screenshot of book coverThe Conquest of America. How the Indian Nations Lost Their Continent
Hans Koning. NY: Monthly Review Press, 1993.

Koning provides, in ten short chapters, a brilliant account of the ongoing war waged by Europeans against the Native Peoples of the Americas over five centuries after Columbus’ arrival. From the Spanish conquest to the colonization of North America, Koning frames the U.S. policy toward Indigenous and foreign peoples.

screenshot of book coverIndian Givers, How the Indian of the Americas Transformed the World
Jack Weatherford. New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1988.

The conquest of the “New World” changed the “Old World” forever, from economy and diet to the concept of personal freedom. Anthropologist Weatherford examines the contributions of the Western Hemispheres’ Indigenous peoples.

screenshot of book coverA Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas 1492 to the Present
Ward Churchill. City Lights Publishers, January 1998.

Ward Churchill, explores the history of holocaust and denial in this hemisphere, beginning with the arrival of Columbus and continuing on into the late 20th century.

screenshot of book coverWisdom of the Elders: Honoring Sacred Native Visions of Nature
David Suzuki and Peter Knudston. New York: Bantam Books, 1992.

Wisdom of the Elders is the first book to explore shared beliefs of the delicate interrelationship between humans and the environment contained in both Western science and the wisdom of Native Peoples around the world.

screenshot of book coverAll Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life
Winona LaDuke. South End Press, 1999.

An in-depth account of Native resistance to environmental and cultural degradation. LaDuke’s unique understanding of Native ideas and people is deepened by inspiring testimonies from local Native activists sharing the struggle for survival.

screenshot of book coverKanatsiohareke Traditional Mohawk Indians Return to Ancestral Homeland
Tom Porter John Mohawk Doug George-Kanentiio. Bowman Books, 2006.

Kanatsiohareke (pronounced Ga na jo ha lay gay) is the true account of how a small group of traditional Kanienkehaka (Mohawks) set out to fulfill a prophesy of hope and determination. Generation after generation of these First Nations People had passed on the story of how they would someday return to the homeland of their ancestors, the Mohawk River Valley in central New York State. In that place, they would reestablish a community where they would work hard to revitalize and teach their cultural traditions, language, and spirituality.

screenshot of book coverIndigenous Peoples in International Law
S. James Anaya. Oxford University Press, USA; 2 edition (2004)

In this thoroughly revised edition of the first book-length treatment of the subject, Anaya incorporates references to the latest treaties and developments in the international law of Indigenous Peoples. Anaya demonstrates that, while historical trends in international law largely facilitated colonization of Indigenous Peoples and their lands, modern international law’s human rights program has been modestly responsive to Indigenous Peoples’ aspirations to survive as distinct communities in control of their own destinies.

screenshot of book coverIn The Courts of the Conqueror: The 10 Worst Indian Law Cases Ever Decided
Walter R. Echo-Hawk. Fulcrum Publishing, Reprint edition, 2012.

A vivid account of ten U.S. Supreme Court cases that changed the fate of Native Americans, providing the contemporary historical and political context of each case, and explaining how the decisions have adversely affected the cultural survival of Native people to this day.

screenshot of book coverWorking in Indian Country: Building Successful Business Relationships with American Indian Tribes
Larry D. Keown. Roberts & Ross Publishing, 2010.

Born out of nearly twenty years of working with American Indian tribes both as a federal official and as a seminar facilitator, Keown’s Working in Indian Country lays a foundation for relationship building based on redefining leadership roles through understanding history, trust, respect, honor, and tribal sovereignty. Whether you are a government or corporate official, work for a nonprofit organization, or merely have a personal interest about working in Indian Country, this book will serve as your bible and should always be at “arms length” in your personal library.


Special thanks to the American Indian Ritual Object Repatriation Foundation and The Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation for their support of this resource and repatriation efforts.