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Beyond Red Power

American Indian Politics and Activism since 1900

Edited by Daniel M. Cobb and Loretta Fowler

How do we explain not just the survival of Indian people in the United States against very long odds but their growing visibility and political power at the opening of the twenty-first century? Within this one story of indigenous persistence are many stories of local, regional, national, and international activism that require a nuanced understanding of what it means to be an activist or to act in politically purposeful ways. Even the nearly universal demand for sovereignty encompasses multiple definitions that derive from factors both external and internal to Indian communities. Struggles over the form and membership of tribal governments, fishing rights, dances, casinos, language revitalization, and government recognition constitute arenas in which Indians and their non-Indian allies ensure the survival of tribal community and sovereignty. Whether contesting termination locally, demanding reparations for stolen lands in the federal courts, or placing their case for decolonization in a global context, American Indians use institutions and political rhetorics that they did not necessarily create for their own ends.

2007. 368 pp., 13 black-and-white illustrations, 8 tables, notes, references, index, 6 x 9

Contributors: Darryl Baldwin, Jessica R. Cattelino, David Anthony Tyeeme Clark, Daniel M. Cobb, Donald Fixico, Loretta Fowler, Taiawagi Helton, Frederick E. Hoxie, Clara Sue Kidwell, Larry Nesper, Julie Olds, Katherine M. B. Osburn, Lindsay Robertson, Sherry L. Smith, Circe Sturm, Helen Hornbeck Tanner, John W. Troutman, Della Warrior

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“A groundbreaking work that offers a new approach to modern American Indian history. Dense, revisionist, theoretical, and for the most part meticulously researched.”
—Bradley G. Shreve, Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education, vol. 20, no. 3, Spring 2009

“The essays in Beyond Red Power hang together better than most in similar anthologies. It remains an important contribution to the history of American Indian activism.”
—Brian C. Hosmer, University of Illinois at Chicago, Journal of American History

“This book contains sixteen well-written chapters by anthropologists, historians, legal authorities, and Native American leaders. These narratives provide multifaceted perspectives on how Indians, since 1900, have used political activism, other than the militancy of the American Indian Movement, to ensure their survival. Part one deals with contexts for writing a new American Indian political history. Part two shows the encounters between Natives and newcomers that began during the colonial era have continued to the present. Part three provides case studies of contemporary Indian sovereignty in action.

[This book] is a path breaking effort to better understand the complex origins and functioning of modern tribal sovereignty and self-determination.”
—Kenneth Philip, U. of Texas at Arlington, Western Historical Quarterly

“Contributors here do a very good job of describing how and why Native peoples have asserted themselves in recent years….Noted American Indian studies professor Frederick E. Hoxie “throws” down an intellectual gauntlet.”
—B. E. Johansen, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Choice, Vol. 45, No, 11, August 2008


  1. Witness to Change: Fifty Years of Indian Activism and Tribal Politics
    Donald L. Fixico
  2. Missing the Point: Academic Experts and American Indian Politics
    Frederick E. Hoxie
  3. The Foundations of Federal Indian Law and Its Application in the Twentieth Century
    Taiawagi Helton and Lindsay G. Robertson
  4. At the Headwaters of a Twentieth-Century “Indian” Political Agenda: Rethinking the Origins of the Society of American Indians
    D. Anthony Tyeeme Clark
  5. The Citizenship of Dance: Politics of Music among the Lakota, 1900–1924
    John Troutman
  6. “In a name of justice and fairness”: The Mississippi Choctaw Indian Federation versus the BIA, 1934
    Katherine M. B. Osburn
  7. Terminating the Choctaws
    Clara Sue Kidwell
  8. Indians, the Counterculture, and the New Left
    Sherry L. Smith
  9. Talking the Language of the Larger World: Politics in Cold War (Native) America
    Daniel M. Cobb
  10. In the Arena: An Expert Witness View of the Indian Claims Commission
    Helen Hornbeck Tanner
  11. Tribal Sovereignty Movements Compared: The Plains Region
    Loretta Fowler
  12. States of Sovereignty: Race Shifting, Recognition, and Rights in Cherokee Country
    Circe Sturm
  13. Tribal Courts and Tribal States in the Era of Self-Determination: An Ojibwe Case Study
    Larry Nesper
  14. Florida Seminole Gaming and Local Sovereign Interdependency
    Jessica Cattelino
  15. Miami Indian Language and Cultural Research at Miami University
    Daryl Baldwin and Julie Olds
  16. Conclusion: Education, Art, and Activism
    Della C. Warrior
There are no working papers for this book at the present time.