Book Review
Fritz Scholder: Indian/Not Indian
Monday, February 09 2009
Written by Lowery Stokes Sims, Truman Lowe & Paul Chaat Smith Prestel USA,
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fritz_scholder.jpgIn the 1960s and 70s, the notion of American Indian art was turned on its head by artists who fought against prejudice and popular cliches. At the forefront of this revolution was Fritz Scholder (Luiseño Tribe, 1937-2005) whose portrayals of Native American life combined realism, tragedy, and spirituality with the genres of abstract expressionism and pop art. Published to coincide with an exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York City and Washington, D.C., this retrospective features hundreds of works from Scholder’s career as a painter, printmaker, and sculptor. Essays explore Scholder’s major themes: humanity’s place in the natural world, ancient mythical beings, women, Christian iconography, the millennium, and the afterlife. It also covers Scholder’s decades of prominence in the art world, his role in the Native American community, and his myth-shattering depictions of the realities of Native American life. Fritz Scholder: Indian/Not Indian offers a lively, insightful exploration of his place in twentieth-century American art history as a colorist, expressionist, and figurative painter.

Inkpaduta: Dakota Leader
Monday, February 09 2009
Written by Paul N. Beck,
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dakota_leader.jpgLeader of the Santee Sioux, Inkapduta (1815-1879) partcipated in some of the most decisive battles of the northern Great Plains, including Custer's defeat at the Little Bighorn. But the attack in 1857 on forty white settlers known as the Spirit Lake Massacre gave Inkapaduta the reputation of being the most brutal of all the Sioux leaders. Beck is able to restore a more human dimension to Inkapaduta, who was considered a villain whose passion was killing white settlers. For the first time, Inkpaduta is shown as a human being instead of a devil incarnate. He was respected by white settlers who lived among Inkpaduta's people and traded goods with them. Based on years of research by Beck, primarily from letters, diaries, and military official reports, the book demonstrates (for the first time) that Inkpaduta and white settlers in Iowa and Minnesota had good relations just prior to the Spirit Lake attacks. Beck does not rely on second and third hand accounts and avoids repeating historical lies about Inkpaduata. And he demonstrates that Inkpaduta never hated whites up to the eve of the massacres; but that misunderstandings between white and Indian cultures, beliefs, and needs all contributed to Inkpaduta’s actions

Taku Wadaka He? (What Do You See?)
Monday, February 09 2009
Written by Reading level,
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Simple, beautiful, artful, intricate, this book’s Dakota text and delightful premise will make it the book child reaches for at bedtime. I always try to find books that will not drive an adult crazy when read hundreds of times to a child. This one passes test! Because the illustrations also tell a story, it be examined and puzzled out by parent and child together. Each picture gives a cultural teaching. The repetition of the language is important, but most all, the book gives the sense of all encompassing kindness. A book of comfort and wisdom. — Review by Louise  Erdrich

If You Knew The Conditions: : A Chronicle of the Indian Medical Service and American Indian Health C
Monday, February 09 2009
Written by David H. DeJong Lexington Books,
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if_you_knew_the_conditions.jpgIf You Knew the Conditions examines the inadequacies of the healthcare provided to American Indians by the Indian Medical Service. DeJong argues that, while Congress and the Indian Service had a responsibility to provide meaningful and relevant medical services to American Indians, indifference to American Indian conceptions of wellbeing limited the effectiveness of Indian medical services.
Native Americans and the Christian Right: The Gendered Politics of Unlikely Alliances
Monday, February 09 2009
Written by Andrea Smith Duke,
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native_americans_and_the_christian_right.jpgIn Native Americans and the Christian Right: The Gendered Politics of Unlikely Alliances, Andrea Smith continues the work of theorizing Native American womens’ activism and arguing for the necessity of building progressive political coalitions to advance progressive agendas—interesting reading in the wake of a presidential election predicated on building just such progressive coalitions across right-left party lines. The book, published early in 2008, urges readers to reconsider the role of religion in social movements on both the right and the left. In her research, Smith looks to conservative Evangelical organizing to examine the possibilities for coalition building. Through five case studies arranged as chapters, Smith deploys her own theoretical terms to analyze race and gender in Evangelical and Native political organizing. In one such case study she examines the recent effort of evangelicals at galvanizing support for prison reform and then moves to critique evangelical ideas on race and gender in the same context. The topics Smith addresses are some of the most controversial issues facing Native political activists making this work all the more engaging, debatable, and necessary. – Review by Melissa Olson
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