At the dawn of the twenty-first century, America finds itself on the brink of a new racial consciousness. The old, unquestioned confidence with which individuals can be classified (as embodied, for instance, in previous U.S. census categories) has been eroded. In its place are shifting paradigms and new norms for racial identity. Eva Marie Garroutte examines the changing processes of racial identification and their implications by looking specifically at the case of American Indians.
“Her straightforward narrative is informed by published and unpublished sources in law, history, social science, and literature and enhanced by numerous in-depth interviews with Indian and non-Indian people. What results constitutes the single comprehensive book-length examination of “Indian-ness” in print.”—Terry P. Wilson, Dept. of History & Ethnic Studies, CSU At Hayward Great Plains Qtly
"In discussing a wide array of legal, biological, and sociocultural definitions, Eva Garroutte documents how these have frequently been manipulated by the federal government, by tribal officials, and by Indian and non-Indian individuals to gain political, social, or economic advantage. Whether or not one agrees with her solutions, anyone seriously concerned with contemporary American Indian issues should read this book."—Garrick Bailey, editor of The Osage and the Invisible World
is a remarkably candid, engaging, and compelling book. It tells the important and often controversial story of how 'Indian-ness' is negotiated in American culture by indigenous peoples, policy makers, and scholars."—Robert Wuthnow, author of Creative Spirituality
"Eva Marie Garroutte has done an exemplary job of combining scholarly sources, personal accounts, interview data, and self-reflection to catalog and examine the ways in which individual and collective identities are asserted, negotiated, and revitalized. She invites readers to imagine an intellectual space where scholarly and traditional ways of knowing and telling come face to face in an epistemological landscape where the ‘traditions’ of social science and 'radical indigenism' can confront one another in constructive dialogue."—Joane Nagel, author of Race, Ethnicity, and Sexuality