Since Predator Came
A Survey of Native North America since 1492
[An earlier version of this essay by Ward Churchill first appeared in the Covert Action Information Bulletin, Ho. 40 (Spring 1992).]
History, history! We fools, what do we know or care? History begins for us with murder and enslavement, not with discovery. No, we are not Indians, but we are men of their world. The blood means nothing; the spirit, the ghost of the land moves in the blood, moves the blood. It is we who ran to the shore naked, we who cried “Heavenly Man!” These are the inhabitants of our souls, our murdered souls that lie … agh. – William Carlos Williams
Before October 12, 1492, the day Christopher Columbus first washed up on a Caribbean beach, North America had been long endowed with an abundant and exceedingly complex cluster of civilizations. Having continuously occulted the continent for at least 50,000 years, the native inhabitants evidenced a total population of perhaps 15 million, cities as large as the 40,000-resident urban center at Cahokia (in present-day Illinois), highly advanced conceptions if architecture and engineering, spiritual traditions embodying equivalents to modern eco-science, refined knowledge of pharmacology and holistic medicine. and highly sophisticated systems of governance, trade and diplomacy.1 The traditional economies of the continent were primarily agricultural, based n environmentally sound farming procedures which originated well over half tie vegetal foodstuffs now consumed by peoples the world over.2 By and large, the indigenous societies demonstrating such attainments were organized along extremely egalitarian lines, with real property held collectively, and matrifocality a normative standard.3 War, at least in the Euro-derived sense the term has today, was virtually unknown.4
The “Columbian Encounter,” of course, unleashed a predatory, five-century-long cycle of European conquest, genocide, and colonization in the “New World,” a process which changed the face of Native America beyond all recognition. Indeed, over the first decade of Spanish presence in the Caribbean, the period in which Columbus himself served as governor, the mold was set for all that would follow. By 1496, the policies of slavery (encomiendo) and wanton slaughter implemented by the “Great Discoverer” had, in combination with the introduction of Old World pathogens to which they had no immunity, reduced the native Taino (Arawak) population of just one island, Espanola (presently the Dominican Republic and Haiti), from as many as 8 million to less than 3 million. Six years later, the Tainos had been diminished to fewer than 100,000, and, in 1542, only 200 could be found by Spanish census-takers.5 Thereafter the “Indians” of Espanola were declared extinct, along with the remainder of the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean Basin, an overall body which had numbered upwards of 14 million only a generation before.
In North America, a similar dynamic was set in motion by the 1513 expedition of Ponce de Leon into Florida. The resulting smallpox pandemic spanned the continent, and before it had run its course in 1524, it had destroyed about three-quarters of all indigenous people north of the Rio Grande. This was only the beginning. Between 1520 and 1890, no fewer than 41 smallpox epidemics and pandemics were induced among North American Indians. To this must be added dozens of lethal outbreaks of measles, whooping cough, tuberculosis, bubonic plague, typhus, cholera, typhoid, diphtheria, scarlet fever, pleurisy, mumps, venereal disease, and the common cold.7 The corresponding attrition of native population by disease has usually been treated as a tragic but wholly inadvertent and unintended by-product of contact between Indians and Europeans. Such was certainly not the case in all instances, however, as is attested by the fact that the so-called King Philip’s War of 1675-76, fought between the Wampanoag and Narragansett nations and English colonists, resulted largely from the Indians’ belief that the latter had deliberately inculcated smallpox among them.8
That such perceptions of British tactics and intentions were hardly far-fetched is amply borne out by written orders issuing from Lord Jeffrey Amherst in 1763, instructing a subordinate named Bouquet to infect the members of Pontiac’s Algonquin confederacy “by means of [smallpox contaminated] blankets as well as … every other means to extirpate this execrable race.” A few days later, it was reported to Amherst that “[W]e gave them two blankets and a handkerchief out of the smallpox hospital. I hope it will have the desired effect.” It did. At a minimum, 100,000 Indians died in the epidemic brought on by Amherst’s resort to biological warfare.9 In a similar instance, occurring in 1836, the U.S. Army knowingly distributed smallpox-laden blankets among the Missouri River Mandans; the resulting pandemic claimed as many as a quarter-million native lives.10
Beginning in the early seventeenth century, with the establishment of England’s Plymouth and Virginia colonies, and the Dutch toehold at New Amsterdam, the eradication of North America’s indigenous population assumed much cruder forms. A classic example occurred on the night of May 26, 1637, when the British surrounded the Pequot town of Mystic (Pennsylvania), *s it ablaze, and then slaughtered some 800 fleeing men, women, and children, lacking them to pieces with axes and swords.’1 Such “incidents” occurred with ever greater frequency throughout most of the eighteenth century, a period which found Britain and France engaged in the “French and Indian Wars,” a protracted series of struggles in North America to determine which country would wield ultimate hegemony over the continent. While the outcome of these contests eventually proved all but irrelevant to the European colonial powers, even the subsequent revolt and decolonization of the initial 13 U.S. states, the nature of the fighting created a context in which indigenous nations were increasingly compelled to battle one another to the death. The reduction of the indigenous population was thereby accelerated dramatically.12
Enter the United States
For its part, the fledgling United States embarked almost immediately upon a course of territorial acquisition far more ambitious than any exhibited by its Euro-colonial precursors. Although it renounced rights of conquest and pledged to conduct its affairs with Indians in “utmost good faith” via the 1789 Northwest Ordinance, the United States comported itself otherwise from the rutset.13 From 1810 to 1814, a succession of extremely brutal military campaigns were conducted against the followers of the Shawnee leader, Tecumseh in the Ohio River Valley, and against the Creek Confederacy farther south.14 With native military capacity east of the Mississippi thus eliminated, the government launched, during the 1820s and 1830s, a policy of forced relocation of entire indigenous nations to points west of that river, “clearing” the eastern United States more or less en toto for repopulation by white “settlers.”15 Attrition among the affected populations was quite severe; more than half of all Cherokees, for example, died along the 1,500-mile “Trail of Tears,” over which they were marched at bayonet-point. This federal “removal policy” was to find echoes, of course, in the articulation of “lebensraumpolitik” by Adolf Hitler a century later.17
To cast a veneer of legality over his government’s conduct, Chief Justice John Marshall penned a series of high court opinions during the 1820s and 1830s, based in large part upon the medieval Doctrine of Discovery. He remained on firm juridical ground long enough to contend that the doctrine imparted a right to the United States to acquire Indian territory by treaty, a matter which led to ratification of at least 371 such nation-to-nation agreements over the next four decades. In a bizarre departure from established principles of international law, however, Marshall also argued that the United States possessed an inherently “higher” sovereignty than the nations with which it was treating: Indians held no right not to sell their land to the United States, in his view, at whatever price the United States cared to offer. Within this formulation, any resistance by “the savages” to the taking of their territories could thus be cast as an “act of war” theoretically “justifying” a U.S. “response” predicated in armed force.18 By 1903 the “Marshall Doctrine” had evolved—and the indigenous ability to offer physical resistance had been sufficiently crushed—to the point that the Supreme Court was confident in asserting an “intrinsic” federal “plenary” (full) power over all Indians within its borders, releasing the United States from any treaty obligations it found inconvenient while leaving the land title it purported to have gained through the various treaty instruments intact. In conjunction with this novel notion of international jurisprudence, the high court simultaneously expressed the view that the government enjoyed “natural” and permanent “trust” prerogatives over all residual native property.19
Meanwhile, having consolidated its grip on the eastern portion of its claimed territoriality during the 1840s—and having militarily seized “rights” to the northern half of Mexico as well—the United States proclaimed itself to be imbued with a “Manifest Destiny” to expand westward to the Pacific.20 There being essentially no land available within this conception for Indian use and occupancy, a rhetoric of outright extermination was quickly adopted both by federal policy makers and by a sizable segment of the public at large.21 These sentiments led unerringly to a lengthy chain of large-scale massacres of Indians in the Great Plains and Basin regions by U.S. troops. Among the worst were the slaughters perpetrated at the Blue River (Nebraska, 1854), Bear River (Idaho, 1863), Sand Creek (Colorado, 1864), Washita River (Oklahoma, 1868), Sappa Creek (Kansas, 1875), Camp Robinson (Nebraska, 1878), and Wounded Knee (South Dakota, 1890).22 In 1894, the U.S. Census Bureau observed that the United States had waged “more than 40” separate wars against native people in barely a century, inflicting some number of fatalities “very much greater” than its minimum estimate of 30,000 in the process.23
The indigenous death toll generated by “private actions” during U.S. continental expansion was also, the Census Bureau admitted, “quite substantial.” In all probability, it was far higher than that stemming from formal military involvement, given that the native population of the State of California alone was reduced from approximately 300,000 in 1800 to less than 20,000 in 1890, “chiefly [because of] the cruelties and wholesale massacres perpetrated by … miners and the early settlers.”24 In Texas, to take another prominent example, a bounty was paid for the scalp of any Indian brought to a government office, no questions asked: “The facts of history are plain. Most Texas Indians [once the most diverse population in North America] were exterminated or brought to the brink of extinction by [Euro-American civilians] who often had m: more regard for the life of an Indian than they had for that of a dog, sometimes less.”25 The story in other sectors of the western United States, while sometimes less spectacular, reveals very much the same pattern. As the indigenous population was liquidated – along with the buffalo and other animal species consciously exterminated in order to deny Indians a “commissary” once their agricultural economies had been obliterated by the invaders – white settlers replaced them on the vast bulk of their land.26
By 1890, fewer than 250,000 Indians remained alive within the United States, a degree of decimation extending into the upper 90th percentile.27 The survivors were lodged on a patchwork of “reservations” even then being dismantled through application of what was called the “General Allotment Act. Under provision of this statute, effected in 1887, a formal eugenics code was utilized to define who was (and who was not) “Indian” by U.S. “standards.”29 Those who could, and were willing to, prove to federal satisfaction that fey were “of one-half or more degree of Indian blood,” and to accept U.S. citizenship into the bargain, received a deed to an individual land parcel, typically of 160 acres or less.30 Once each person with sufficient “blood quantum” had received his or her allotment of land, the remaining reservation land was declared “surplus” and opened up to non-Indian homesteading, corporate acquisition, or conversion into national parks and forests. Through this mechanism, the best 100 million acres of the reserved native land base was supped away by 1930, the Indians ever more concentrated within the 50 million arid or semi-arid acres – about 2.5 percent of their original holdings – left to them.31 The model was later borrowed by the apartheid government of South Africa in developing its “racial homeland” system of territorial apportionment.
The Contemporary Era
Culmination of this trajectory in U.S. colonial administration of Indian Country occurred during the mid-1950s, with the enactment of a series of “termination” statutes by which the federal government unilaterally dissolved more than 100 indigenous nations and their reservation areas.33 Concomitantly, legislation was effected to “encourage” the relocation of large numbers of Indians from the remaining reservations to selected urban centers, a strategy designed to preclude reemergence of social cohesion within most land-based native communities.34 Although it was suspended in the late 1970s, the federal relocation program had by 1990 fostered a native diaspora which found more than half of all indigenous people in the United States, a total of about 880,000 persons, scattered in the ghettoes of cities.35
The government’s termination and relocation policies coupled quite well with other techniques employed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to undermine the socio-cultural integrity of native existence. Salient in this regard is a generations-long program of “blind adoptions” in which Indian babies are placed for adoption with non-Indian families, their birth records permanently sealed so they can never know their true heritage.36 Similarly, beginning in the 1870s and continuing into the present moment, the BIA administered a system of boarding schools to which indigenous children were sent, often for a decade or more, without being allowed to return home, speak their native languages, practice their religions, or otherwise manifest their identity as Indians.37 Encompassed under the benign-sounding rubric of “assimilation,” both of these youth-oriented undertakings were and are blatant violations of the provision of the 1948 Convention on Punishment and Prevention of the Crime of Genocide, which makes it a crime against humanity for a government to engage in the systematic forced transfer of the children of a targeted racial or ethnic group to another group.38 Contemporary violation of another provision of the Genocide Convention may be found in a program of involuntary sterilization imposed by the BIA’s “Indian Health Service” upon approximately 40 percent of the female population of childbearing age during the 1970s.39
Ironically, the final and complete dissolution of Native North America seems to have been averted mainly by the fact that the barren areas left to native habitation after allotment turned out to be inordinately rich in mineral resources. Current estimates suggest that about two-thirds of all U.S. domestic uranium deposits, a quarter of the readily accessible low sulphur coal, a fifth of the oil and natural gas, and substantial deposits of copper and other ores lie within reservation boundaries.40Government planners discovered by 1920 that certain advantages could be maintained in terms of their ability to control the pace and nature of resource extraction, royalty rates, and the like, through exercise of federal “trust responsibilities” over indigenous assets.41 The same principle was seen to pertain to manipulations of water policy throughout the arid West.42 Such options being unavailable to them should Indian Country as a whole be converted into private property under state and local jurisdiction, it was found to be in the U.S. interest to maintain the majority of reservations as discrete internal colonies.
To this end, the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) was passed in 1934 to create a federally designed regulatory or “governing” body on most reservations.43 Although the IRA boards were and are composed exclusively of native people, their authority stems from—and thus their primary allegiance adheres to—the United States rather than their ostensible indigenous constituents; their major function during the half-century of their existence has been to sow confusion, providing an illusion of Indian consent to the systematic Euro-American expropriation of native resources, and to vociferously denounce any Indian audacious enough to object to the theft. They serve, in effect, as American Indian Movement (AIM) leader Russell Means once put it, as “Vichy Indians.”44 For this reason, their position in Indian Country has been steadily reinforced over the years by passage of additional federal statutes, among them the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 and the Indian “Self-Determination” and Educational Assistance Act of 1975.45
The results have embodied themselves in situations like the “Hopi-Navajo Land Dispute” in northeastern Arizona, a scenario in which the United States has been able to utilize the carefully tailored pronouncements of two of us puppet governments to create the impression of an inter-Indian conflict requiring federal intervention/resolution as a means of “avoiding bloodshed.” Behind this humanitarian facade resides a U.S. governmental/corporate desire to bring about the compulsory relocation of more than 10,000 traditional Navajos from the contested area, a matter which will serve to clear the way for the real objective: the strip mining of more than 20 billion tons of high-quality coal.46 Comparable circumstances have prevailed with regard to the conversion of the Western Shoshone homeland (Newe Segobia) in Nevada into a U.S. nuclear weapons testing area, removal of more than 90 percent of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty Territory from Lakota control, upcoming implementation of the “Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act,” and other examples.47
Coherent efforts by native people to oppose such manipulations—AIM’s resistance during the mid-70s to IRA government collaboration in a plan to transfer title over one-eighth of the Pine Ridge Reservation to the National Forest Service, for example—have been put down by the use of outright counterinsurgency warfare techniques (such as death squads) similar in many respects to the methods employed by U.S. agencies in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.48 During the Pine Ridge “reign of terror” alone, the body count came to about 70 fatalities and nearly 350 serious physical assaults on AIM members and supporters over a bare three-year period.49 This was correlated with an outright military-style occupation of the reservation by federal forces, a comprehensive government propaganda campaign directed against the “insurgents,” and an extensive series of show trials such as those of the so-called Wounded Knee Leadership during 1974-75, and of the “RESMURS Defendants” (including AIM security leader Leonard Peltier) in 1976-77.50
For grassroots Indian people, the broader human costs of ongoing U.S. domination are abundantly clear. The 1.6 million American Indians within the United States remain, nominally at least, the largest per capita land owners in North America.51 Given the extent of the resources within their land base, Indians should by logical extension comprise the wealthiest “ethnic group” in North American society. Instead, according to the federal government’s own statistics, they are the poorest, demonstrating far and away the lowest annual and lifetime incomes, the highest rate of unemployment, lowest rate of pay when employed, and lowest level of educational attainment of any North American population aggregate. Correspondingly, they suffer, by decisive margins, the greatest incidence of malnutrition and diabetes, death by exposure, tuberculosis, infant mortality, plague, and similar maladies.52 These conditions, in combination with the general disempowerment which spawns them, breed an unremitting sense of rage, frustration, and despair which is reflected in the spiraling rates of domestic and other forms of intra-group violence, alcoholism and resulting death by accident or fetal alcohol syndrome.53 Consequently, the average life expectancy of a reservation-based Native American male in 1980 was a mere 44.6 years, that of his female counterpart less than three years longer.54 Such a statistical portrait is obviously more indicative of a Third World environment than that expected of people living within one of the world’s most advanced industrial states.
Plainly, all official polemics to the contrary notwithstanding, the agony induced by 500 years of European/Euro-American predation in North America has done anything but diminish at this juncture. For the indigenous people of the continent it has become obvious there are no real alternatives except either to renew their commitment to struggle for survival or to finally pass into the realm of extinction which has been relentlessly projected for them since the predator’s arrival on their shores. For everyone else, the situation is rapidly becoming—or in some cases has already become—much the same. The time has arrived when a choice must be made: Non-Indians, in both the New World and the Old, must decide whether they wish to be a willing part of the final gnawing on the bones of their native victims, or whether they are at last prepared to join hands with Native North America, ending the wanton consumption of indigenous lands and lives which has marked the nature of our relationship to date.
The sort of alliance at issue no longer represents, as it did in the past, an exercise in altruism for non-Indians. Anti-imperialism and opposition to racism, colonialism, and genocide, while worthy enough stances in and of themselves, are no longer the fundamental issues at hand. Ultimately, the same system of predatory goals and values which has so busily and mercilessly consumed the people of the land these past five centuries has increasingly set about consuming the land itself. Not only indigenous peoples, but the lands to which they are irrevocably linked, are now dying. When the land itself dies, it is a certainty that no humans can survive. The struggle which confronts us—all of us—is thus a struggle to save our collective habitat, to maintain it as a “survivable” environment, not only for ourselves, but for the generations to come. Self-evidently, this cannot be approached either from the posture of the predator, or any other position which allows the predator to continue with business as usual. At long last, we have arrived at the point where there is a tangible, even overriding, confluence of interest between natives and non-natives.
The crux of the matter rests, not merely in resistance to the predatory mature of the present Eurocentric status quo, but in conceiving viable socio-cultural alternatives. Here, the bodies of indigenous knowledge evidenced in the context of Native America at the point of the European invasion—large-scale societies which had perfected ways of organizing themselves into psychologically fulfilling wholes, experiencing very high standards of material life, and still maintaining environmental harmony—shine like a beacon in the night. The information required to recreate this reality is still in place in many indigenous cultures. The liberation of significant sectors of Native America stands to allow this knowledge to once again be actualized in the “real world,” not to recreate indigenous societies as they once were, but to recreate themselves as they can be in the future. Therein lies the model—the laboratory, if you will—from which a genuinely liberatory and sustainable alternative can be cast for all humanity. In a very real sense, then, the fate of Native America signifies the fate of the planet. It follows that it is incumbent upon every conscious human—red, white, black, brown, or yellow, old or young, male or female—to do whatever is within their power to ensure the next half-millennium heralds an antithesis to the last.
1. For a good survey of the data indicating native occupancy in North America for 50 millennia or more, see Jeffrey Goodman, American Genesis: The American Indian and the Origins of Modern Man (New York: Summit Books, 1981). On population size, see Henry F. Dobyns, Their Numbers Become Thinned: Native American Population Dynamics in Eastern North America (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1983). On Cahokia, see Melin T. Fowler, “A Pre-Columbian Urban Center on the Mississippi,” Scientific American, No. 233 (1975), pp. 92-101. On architecture and engineering, see Peter Nabokov and Robert Easton, Native American Architecture (London/New York: Oxford University Press, 1988). On medicine and pharmacology, see Virgil Vogel, American Indian Medicine (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1975). On governance and diplomacy, see, for example, William Brandon, Old Worlds for New: Reports from the New World and Their Effect on :he Development of Social Thought in Europe, 1500-1800 (Athens: Ohio University Press, 1986).
2. According to even a hostile source like R. Douglas Hurt, in his Indian Agriculture in America: Prehistory to the Present (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1987), about two-thirds of the dietary requirements of Native North America were met by “horticultural” rather than “hunting and gathering” means. As to the variety of vegetal foodstuffs developed by pre-contact indigenous people in this hemisphere and then adopted elsewhere, see Jack Weatherford, Indian Givers: How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World (New York: Crown Publishers, 1988).
3. A good, if somewhat over-stated, examination of Native North American sexuality and gender relations may be found in Paula Gunn Allen, The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions (Boston: Beacon Press, 1986).
4. See Tom Holm, “Patriots and Pawns: State Use of American Indians in the Military and the Process of Nativization in the United States,” in The State of Native America: Colonization, Genocide and Resistance, M. Annette Jaimes, ed. (Boston: South End Press, 1992).
5. See Kirkpatrick Sale, The Conquest of Paradise: Christopher Columbus and the Columbian Legacy (New York: Alfred A. Knopf Publishers, 1990).
6. Ibid., citing Woodrow W. Borah and Sherburn F. Cook.
7. Henry F. Dobyns, op. cit., pp. 15-23.
8. See Douglas Edward Leach, Flintlocks and Tomahawks: New England in King Philip’s War (New York: W. W. Norton, 1958).
9. E. Wagner Stearn and Allen E. Stearn, The Effects of Smallpox on the Destiny of the Amerindian (Boston: Bruce Humphries, 1945), pp. 44-45; P. M. Ashburn, The Ranks of Death (New York: Coward, 1947).
10. The dispensing of smallpox-infected blankets at Fort Clark is covered in Russell Thornton, American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987), pp. 94-96.
11. The estimate of Pequot casualties derives from an extremely conservative source. See Robert M. Utley and Wilcomb E. Washburn, Indian Wars (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1977), p. 42.
12. An excellent analysis of these dynamics can be found in Francis Jennings, The Invasion of America: Indians, Colonialism, and the Cant of Conquest (New York: W. W. Norton, 1976).
13. 1 Stat. 50; for background, see Thomas Perkins Abernathy, Western Lands and the American Revolution (New York: Russell and Russell, 1959).
14. On Tecumseh, see John Sugden, Tecumseh’s Last Stand (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1985). On the Redsticks, see Joel W. Martin, Sacred Revolt: The Muskogees’ Struggle for a New World (Boston: Beacon Press, 1991).
15. The policy was implemented under provision of the Indian Removal Act (Ch. 148, 4 Stat. 411), passed on May 28, 1830. For details, see Grant Foreman, Indian Removal: The Immigration of the Five Civilized Tribes (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1953).
16. See Russell Thornton, “Cherokee Population Losses during the Trail of Tears: A New Perspective and a New Estimate,” Ethnohistory, No. 31 (1984), pp. 289-300.
17. The lebensraum concept is laid out in Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf (Verlag FRZ, Eher Nachf, G.M.B.H., 1925). See also Robert Cecil, The Myth of the Master Race: Alfred Rosenberg and Nazi Ideology (New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1972).
18. The sequences of cases consists of Johnson v. Mcintosh (21 U.S. 98 [Wheat.] 543 ); Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (30 U.S. [5 Pet.] 1 ); and Worcester v. Georgia (31 U.S. [6 Pet.] 551 ).
19. Lonewolfv. Hitchcock (187 U.S. 553 ). A prelude to articulation of this juridical absurdity may be found in U.S. v. Kagama (118 U.S. 375 ).
20. For a brilliant elaboration of this theme, see Reginald Horsman, Race and Manifest Destiny: The Origins of Racial Anglo-Saxonism (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1981).
21. See, for example, David Svaldi, Sand Creek and the Rhetoric of Extermination: A Case-Study in Indian-White Relations (Washington, DC: University Press of America, 1989).
22. On Bear River, see Brigham D. Madsen, The Shoshone Frontier and the Bear River Massacre (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1985). On Sand Creek and the Washita, see Stan Hoig, The Sand Creek Massacre (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1961), and The Battle of the Washita: The Sheridan-Custer Indian Campaign of 1867-69 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1976). On Blue River, see Mari Sandoz, Crazy Horse: The Strange Man of the Oglalas (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1961), pp. 63-85; on Sappa Creek and Camp Robinson, see her Cheyenne Autumn (New York: Avon Books, 1964). For an excellent overview of the sort of warfare waged against the indigenous people of the plains region, see Ralph Andrist, The Long Death: The Last Days of the Plains Indians (New York: Collier Books, 1964).
23. U.S. Bureau of the Census, Report on Indians Taxed and Indians Not Taxed in the United States (except Alaska) at the Eleventh U.S. Census: 1890 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1894), pp. 637-38.
24. James M. Mooney, “Population,” in Handbook of the Indians North of Mexico, Frederick W. Dodge, ed. (Washington, DC: Vol. 2, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin No. 30, Smithsonian Institution, 1910), pp. 286-87.
25. W. W. Newcome, Jr., The Indians of Texas (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1961), p. 334.
26. On “eradication” of the North American Bison, see Francis Haines, The Buffalo (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1970).
27. U.S. Bureau of the Census, Abstract of the Eleventh Census: 1890 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1896).
28. Ch. 119, 24 Stat 388, now codified as amended at 25 U.S.C. 331 et seq. The General Allotment Act is also known as the “Dawes Act” or “Dawes Severalty Act” after its sponsor, Massachusetts Senator Henry M. Dawes.
29. On this aspect, see Ward Churchill, “Nobody’s Pet Poodle: Jimmie Durham, an Artist for Native America,” in Ward Churchill, Indians Are Us? Genocide and Colonization in Native North America (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994).
30. As of 1924, all Native Americans who had not been made U.S. citizens through the allotment process were unilaterally declared to be such—en mass, and whether they wanted to be or not—through provision of the Indian Citizenship Act (Ch. 233, 43 Stat 25).
31. See Janet A. McDonnell, The Dispossession of the American Indian, 1887-1934 Bloomington/Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1991).
32. On these linkages, see George M. Fredrickson, White Supremacy: A Comparative Study in American and South African History (London/New York: Oxford University Press, 1981).
33. The “Act” is actually House Concurrent Resolution 108, pronounced on August 1, 1953, which articulated a federal policy of unilaterally dissolving specific native nations. What followed was the “termination”—suspension of federal services to and recognition of the existence of—the Menominee on June 17, 1954 (Ch. 303, 68 Stat. 250); the Klamath on August 13, 1954 (Ch. 732, 68 Stat. 718, codified as 25 U.S.C. 564 et seq.); the “Tribes of Western Oregon” on August 13, 1954 (Ch. 733, 68 Stat. 724, codified at 25 U.S.C. 691 et seq.); and so on. In all, 109 native nations, or elements of native nations, were terminated by congressional action during the late 1950s. A handful were “restored” to federal recognition during the 1970s.
34. The “Relocation Act” (P.L. 959) was passed in 1956 to provide funding to establish “job training centers” for American Indians in various urban centers, and to finance the relocation of individual Indians and Indian families to these locales. It was coupled with a denial of funds for similar programs and economic development on the reservations themselves. Those who availed themselves of the “opportunity” for jobs, etc., represented by the federal relocation programs were usually required to sign agreements that they would not return to their respective reservations to live. For further information, see Donald L. Fixico, Termination and Relocation: Federal Indian Policy, 1945-1960 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1986).
35.U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1990 Census of the Population, Preliminary Report (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1991).
36. See Tillie Blackbear Walker, “American Indian Children: Foster Care and Adoptions,” in Conference on Educational and Occupational Needs of American Indian Women, October 1976, the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Development, National Institute of Education, (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1980), pp. 185-210.
37. For a comprehensive overview of this process, see Jorge Noriega, “American Indian Education in the U.S.: Indoctrination for Subordination to Colonialism,” in The State of Native America, op. cit.
38. For the complete text of the 1948 Genocide Convention, see Ian Brownlie, ed., Basic Documents on Human Rights (London/New York: Oxford University Press, 1971).
39. See Brent Dillingham, “Indian Women and IHS Sterilization Practices,” American Indian Journal, Vol. 3, No. 1 (Jan. 1977), pp. 27-28. See also Janet Larson, “And Then There Were None: IHS Sterilization Practice,” Christian Century, No. 94 (26 Jan. 1976). See also Bill Wagner, “Lo, the Poor and Sterilized Indian,” America, No. 136 (29 Jan. 1977).
40. On resource distribution, see generally, Michael Garrity, “The U.S. Colonial Empire Is as Close as the Nearest Reservation,” in Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Government, Holly Sklar, ed. (Boston: South End Press, 1980), pp. 238-68. See also Joseph Jorgenson, ed., Native Americans and Energy Development II (Cambridge: Anthropology Resource Center/Seventh Generation Fund, 1984).
41. The prototype for this policy emerged with the BIA’s formation of the “Navajo Grand Council” to approve drilling leases at the behest of Standard Oil in 1923. See Laurence C. Kelly, The Navajo Indians and Federal Indian Policy, 1900-1935 (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1968).
42. See Marianna Guerrero, “American Indian Water Rights: The Blood of Life in Native North America,” in The State of Native America, op. cit. See also Daniel McCool, Command of the Waters: Iron Triangles, Federal Water Development, and Indian Wafer (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987).
43. The IRA (Ch. 576, 48 Stat. 948, now codified at 25 U.S.C. 461-279) is also known as the “Wheeler-Howard Act” after its Senate and House sponsors.
44. Quoted in Rebecca Robbins, “Self-Determination and Subordination: The Past, Present and Future of American Indian Governance,” in The State of Native America, op. cit. On propaganda functions, see Ward Churchill, ‘”Renegades, Terrorists and Revolutionaries’: The U.S. Government’s Propaganda War Against the American Indian Movement,” Propaganda Review, No. 4 (Spring 1989).
45. The Indian Civil Rights Act, PL. 90-284 (82 Stat. 11, codified in part at 25 U.S.C. 1301 et seq.) locked indigenous governments—as a “third level” of the federal government—into U.S. constitutional requirements. The “self-determination” aspect of the 1975 Act (P.L. 93-638; 88 Stat. 2203, codified at 25 U.S.C. 450a and elsewhere in titles 25, 42, and 50, U.S.C.A.)—dubbed the “Self-Administration Act” by Russell Means—provides for a greater degree of Indian employment within the various federal programs used to subordinate native people.
46. On the supposed dispute between the Hopis and Navajos, and the federal-corporate role in fostering it, see Jerry Kammer, The Second Long Walk: The Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1980). See also Anita Parlow, Cry, Sacred Big Mountain, USA (Washington, DC: Christie Institute, 1988).
47. On the Western Shoshone, see Glenn T. Morris, “The Battle for Newe Segobia: The Western Shoshone Land Rights Struggle,” in Critical Issues in Native North America, Vol. M. Ward Churchill, ed. (Copenhagen: IWGIA Document 68,1991), pp. 86-98. On the Black Hills see the special issue of Wicazo Sa Review, Vol. IV, No. 1 (Spring 1988). On Alaska, see M. C. Berry, The Alaska Pipeline: The Politics of Oil and Native Land Claims (Bloomington/Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1975).
48. The best overview—including the uranium connection—may be found in Peter Matthissen In the Spirit of Crazy Horse (New York: Viking Press [2d ed.], 1991). See also Rex Weyler, Blood of the Land: The U.S. Government and Corporate War Against the American Indian Movement (Philadelphia: New Society [2d ed.], 1992).
49. The term “reign of terror” accrues from an official finding by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Report of an Investigation: Oglala Sioux Tribe, General Election, 1974, Rocky Mountain Regional Office, Denver, 1974). For statistical comparison to Third World contexts, see Bruce Johansen and Roberto Maestas, Wasi ‘chu: The Continuing Indian Wars (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1978).
50. For detailed analysis, see Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall, Agents of Repression: The FBI’s Secret Wars Against the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement Boston: South End Press, 1988). Official use of the term “insurgents”—as opposed to “extremists,” or even “terrorists”—vis-a-vis AIM is documented via FBI memoranda in Vied Churchill and Jim Vander Wall, The COINTELPRO Papers: Documents from the FBI’s Secret Wars Against Dissent in the United States (Boston: South End Press, 1990). On the RESMURS (Reservation Murders) trials, see Jim Messerschmidt, The Trial of Leonard Peltier (Boston: South End Press, 1983). For a brief overview, see “The Bloody wake of Alcatraz” in this book.
51. This is based on the approximately 50 million acres still designated as reservation land. 1 should be noted that the United States never acquired even a pretense of legal title via treaties and other “instruments of cession” to fully one-third of the area (about 750 million acres) encompassed by the 48 contiguous states. The larger acreage should be balanced against the fact that, while federal census data recognizes only about one and a half million Indians residing within the U.S., the actual number may well be ten times that; see Jack D. Forbes, “Undercounting Native Americans: The 1980 Census and the Manipulation of Racial Identity in the United States,” Wicazo Sa Review, Vol. VI, No. 1 (Spring 1990).
52. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Chart Series Book (Washington, DC: Public Health Service, 1988 [HE20.9409.988]).
53. See Rosemary Wood, “Health Problems Facing American Indian Women,” in U.S. Department of Education, Conference on Educational and Occupational Needs of American Indian Women, op. cit. See also Charon Asetoyer, “Fetal Alcohol Syndrome—’Chemical Genocide’,” in Indigenous Women on the Move (Copenhagen: IWGIA Document 66, 1990), pp. 87-92.
54. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Chart Series Book, op. cit.