Cover image for The politics of hallowed ground : Wounded Knee and the struggle for Indian sovereignty
The politics of hallowed ground : Wounded Knee and the struggle for Indian sovereignty
Gonzalez, Mario, 1944-
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Publication Information:
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xiv, 428 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
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Call Number
Material Type
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E99.T34 G65 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This riveting account of hope, anger, and the pursuit of honor centers around the efforts, beginning in 1985, of the Wounded Knee Survivors' Associations to obtain legal redress for the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee. Interweaving entries from the diary of Oglala attorney Mario Gonzalez and historical commentary by Santee/Yankton writer Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, The Politics of Hallowed Ground traces the Survivors' Associations' struggle to secure from the U.S. government a formal apology and recognition of the massacre site as a National American Monument. Surveying both recent and historical events, Gonzalez and Cook-Lynn address critical issues of cultural bias and collective memory. Their observations expose not only the seemingly unbridgeable gap between white and Native cultures but also impassioned dialogue among various tribes affected by the Wounded Knee Massacre. Heartbreaking and inspiring by turns, The Politics of Hallowed Ground reveals the bitter and ongoing struggle of a Native people to recover its history and its sacred lands -- and to achieve justice once and for all.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Issues of American Indian sovereignty, exploitation of cultural memory, and an emerging mythology couched in postcolonial cant form a contextual fabric for commentary by two Native American activists. Gonzalez defends tribal sovereignty in courts and international forums, particularly regarding the Black Hills. Edited excerpts from his 1989-92 diaries concerning his work for the Wounded Knee Survivors Association make up part of this book. His goals are a congressional apology for the massacre and a monument controlled by the association. Cook-Lynn, a Santee/Yankton poet and founding editor of Wicazo Sa Review, contributes "tribal discourse" elaborating the context of Gonzalez's struggles for a monument to his Lakota ancestors. Their alternating narratives reveal Gonzalez's frustrations in trying to control the various actors and the personalized articulation of an emerging interpretation of Oglala and Native American history from Cook-Lynn. This is not history, but it is a fascinating primary source. Ten appendixes add source material. Recommended for undergraduate Native American studies collections. G. Gagnon University of North Dakota