September 9, 2015

Blurring the Lines: Indians, Cowboys, and Ranching in the Modern West

Iverson, Peter. When Indians Became Cowboys: Native Peoples and Cattle Ranching in the American West. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994. Even growing up in suburban Connecticut, where the closest you got to a cowboy was attending a football game involving the Dallas Cowboys, we still invariably played Cowboys and Indians at some point. While no one could ever answer why it was cowboys and Indians and not Indians and the cavalry, the basic idea that the mythic west had a firm dichotomy between the good and the bad was firmly in place, even if as an eight year old all I wanted to do was run and and imagine shooting at people, rather than consider the deeper symbolic meanings of recess games. Read more

July 21, 2015

'The creation of Red Power': Review of McKenzie-Jones's Cylde Warrior Biography

In 1966 Clyde Warrior, Mel Thom, and other young American Indian activists crashed the National Council of American Indians’s parade in Oklahoma City with a rented car that had a sign reading “Red Power National Indian Youth Council” on one side and “Custer Died for Your Sins” on the other. The incident not only marked the first use of “Red Power” but highlighted the growing rift between the older NCAI and the younger NIYC that advocated a more forcible approach to native activism. Read more

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