Recovering The Sacred: The Power Of Naming And Claiming

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2005-07-30
  • Publisher: South End Pr

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When she invites us to "recover the sacred," well-known Native American organizer Winona LaDuke is requesting far more than the rescue of ancient bones and beaded headbands from museums. For LaDuke, only the power to define what is sacred-and access it-will enable Native American communities to remember who they are and fashion their future. Using a wealth of Native American research and hundreds of interviews with indigenous scholars and activists, LaDuke examines the connections between sacred objects and the sacred bodies of her people-past, present and future-focusing more closely on the conditions under which traditional beliefs can best be practiced. Describing the plentiful gaps between mainstream and indigenous thinking, she probes the paradoxes that abound for the native people of the Americas. How, for instance, can the indigenous imperative to honor the Great Salt Mother be carried out when mining threatens not only access to Nevada's Great Salt Lake but the health of the lake water itself? While Congress has belatedly moved to protect most Native American religious expression, it has failed to protect the places and natural resources integral to the ceremonies. Federal laws have achieved neither repatriation of Native remains nor protection of sacred sites, and may have even less power to confront the more insidious aspects of cultural theft, such as the parading of costumed mascots. But what of political marginalization? How can the government fund gene mapping while governmental neglect causes extreme poverty, thus blocking access to basic healthcare for most tribal members? Calling as ever on her lyrical sensibility and caustic wit, moving from the popular to the politic, from the sacred to the profane, LaDuke uses these essays not just to indict the current situation, but to point out a way forward for Native Americans and their allies.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 9(1)
Dedication 10(1)
What is Sacred? 11(8)
Part I: Sacred Lands and Sacred Places
God, Squirrels, and the Universe
The Mt. Graham International Observator and the University of Arizona
The Apache and the Wars
Raising Arizona
In Search of the Authentic Apaches
Salt, Water, Blood, and Coal
Mining in the Southwest
"I am as much of the clouds as they are of me."
Asabakeshiinh, the Spider
The Mormons, the Lawyers, and the Coal
Sucking the Mother Dry
The Salt Mother Still Rests
Klamath Lana and Life
The Stronghold
Unhealed Wounds of Federal Policy
Termination: The Trees and the Land
Edison Chiloquin and Tribal Restoration
A River Runs through It
Valuable Stuff
Part 2: Ancestors, Images, and Our Lives
Imperial Anthropology
The Ethics of Collecting
"I am a man"
Ishi's Descendants
The Ethics of Collecting
Our Relatives are Poisoned
Spoils of War
Quilled Cradleboard Covers, Cultural Patrimony and Wounded Knee
Cankpe Opi: Wounded Knee
Cante Ognaka: The Heart of Everything That Is
The Road to Wounded Knee
The Killing Fields
The Aftermath and the Medals of Honor
The Collection
The Spirits Still Linger
NAGPRA: The Homecoming Law
Healing and Reconciliation
Vampires in the New World
Blood, Academia, and Human Genetics
Captain Hook and the Biopirates
Mass in the New Millennium
The Native in the Game
The Fighting Sioux
Ralph the Nazi
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse
Defense of Spirit
Part 3: Seeds and Medicine
Three Sisters
Recovery of Traditional Agriculture at Canuga, Mohawk and Oneida Communities
Cayugas Remember
Monocultures of the Mind and of the Land
Peacemaking among Neighbors
Kanatiohareke: The Mohawk's Clean Pot
The Oneida's Tsyunhehkwa: "It Provides Life for Us"
Wild Rice
Maps, Genes and Patents
Manoominike: Making Wild Rice
The Price of Rice
Indian Harvest or Dutch Harvest?
Gene Hunters and the Map of the Wild Rice Genome
Patents and Biopiracy
Academic Freedom and Ethics
Pollen Drift and Those Ducks
Intellectual Property
Water Levels and Bad Development Projects
Where the Food Grows on the Water: Rice Lake and the Crandon Mine
Tribal Laws and Cultural Property Rights
Food as Medicine
The Recovery of Traditional Foods to Heal the People
Traditional Agriculture and Biodiversity
"Let Them Eat Grass"
What We Eat Makes Us Sick
They Can't Even Eat Grass: Navajo Livestock Reduction
Genes or Colonialism?
Food as Medicine
Dream of Wild Health
Mino Miijim
The Place of the Gardens
Part 4: Relatives
Return of the Horse Nation
The Horse Nation
The Wallowa Valley Homecoming
Sturgeon and People in the Great Lakes Region
Deconstructionism at Its Best
Recovering Power to Slow Climate Change
The Economics of Energy
Taté: The Wind is Wakan
Spitting or Pissing in the Wind?
Global Warming and the Quality of Ice
Power, Inequality, and Environmental Injustice
Restructuring the Energy Industry
Democratizing Power Production
Endnotes 255(26)
Index 281(14)
About Winona LaDuke 295

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