Custer Died For Your Sins

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Standing Rock Sioux activist, professor, and attorney Vine Deloria, Jr., shares his thoughts about US race relations, federal bureaucracies, Christian churches, and social scientists in a collection of eleven eye-opening essays infused with humor. This “manifesto” provides valuable insights on American Indian history, Native American culture, and context for minority protest movements mobilizing across the country throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. Originally published in 1969, this book remains a timeless classic and is one of the most significant nonfiction works written by a Native American.
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Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Feb 20, 2018
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Pages
292
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ISBN
9781501188237
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Native American
History / North America
History / United States / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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"Has a many-sided appeal …. This stimulating book is one of the few that really deserve the over-worked term, a human document." — Publishers Weekly.
In the first of his memoirs, the popular Indian Boyhood, Charles Alexander Eastman recounted his traditional upbringing among the Santee Sioux. From the Deep Woods to Civilization resumes his story, recounting his abrupt departure from tribal life at age 15 to pursue his education among whites — a path that led him to certification as a medical doctor, the publication of many successful books, and a lifetime of tireless efforts to benefit his native culture. Through his social work and his writings, Eastman became one of the best-known Indians of the early twentieth century and an important force in interpreting and relating the spiritual depth and greatness of the Native American traditions.
Eastman became a physician in hopes of serving the Native American community; he received a Bachelor of Science degree from Dartmouth in 1887 and a medical degree from Boston University in 1890. He began college just a few months after the Battle of Little Bighorn, and his first job as a physician at Pine Ridge Reservation coincided with the Ghost Dance uprisings that culminated in the U. S. Army's attack at Wounded Knee. The only doctor available to assist the massacre's victims, Eastman writes movingly of the event's appalling inhumanity and injustice. Afterward, he lobbied Capitol Hill on behalf of the Sioux and devoted the rest of his life, both in and out of government service, to helping Indians adapt to the white world while retaining the best of their own culture. His autobiography resonates with the impassioned thoughts and experiences of a profound contributor to the richness of American culture.
Originally published in 1974, just as the Wounded Knee occupation was coming to an end, Behind the Trail of Broken Treaties raises disturbing questions about the status of American Indians within the American and international political landscapes. Analyzing the history of Indian treaty relations with the United States, Vine Deloria presents population and land ownership information to support his argument that many Indian tribes have more impressive landholdings than some small members of the United Nations. Yet American Indians are not even accorded status within the UN's trust territories recognition process.

A 2000 study published by the Annual Survey of International and Comparative Law recommends that the United Nations offer membership to the Iroquois, Cherokee, Navajo, and other Indian tribes. Ironically, the study also recommends that smaller tribes band together to form a confederation to seek membership—a suggestion nearly identical to the one the United States made to the Delaware Indians in 1778—and that a presidential commission explore ways to move beyond the Doctrine of Discovery, under which European nations justified their confiscation of Indian lands. Many of these ideas appear here in this book, which predates the 2000 study by twenty-six years. Thus, Behind the Trail of Broken Treaties anticipates recent events as history comes full circle, making the book imperative reading for anyone wishing to understand the background of the movement of American Indians onto the world political stage.

In the quarter century since this book was written, Indian nations have taken great strides in demonstrating their claims to recognized nationhood. Together with Tribes, Treaties, and Constitutional Tribulations, by Deloria and David E. Wilkins, Behind the Trail of Broken Treaties highlights the historical events that helped bring these changes to fruition. At the conclusion of Behind the Trail of Broken Treaties, Deloria states: "The recommendations made in the Twenty Points and the justification for such a change as articulated in the book may well come to pass in our lifetime." Now we are seeing his statement come true.

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