Medicine Bags & Dog Tags: American Indian Veterans From Colonial Times To The Second Iraq War

May 15th, 2009 | By | Category: 20-4: Tribal College Leadership and Vision, Media Reviews

By Al Carroll
University of Nebraska Press (2008)

Review by Gretchen Healy

Al Carroll has written a cogent, readable, scholarly, and comprehensive study of Native American veterans from a Native perspective. White scholars, some with the best of intentions, too often try to understand how Native Americans feel and miss the mark. Carroll gently punctures their pomposity and makes Native American veterans’ sensibilities understandable, even for the densest of wasicus.

He looks at the way Indian soldiers and warriors have been depicted in film, books, and other media; the reasons for their reverence of the American flag; the return of warriors to normal society; and many other relevant issues, debunking myths along the way.

Not content with explaining Indian warrior traditions, he explores the ways Indian warfare styles have influenced the American military since the earliest colonial times and shows how Native Americans have used military service to strengthen their own traditions. I highly recommend this book for tribal college libraries.

Gretchen Healy was the library director at Little Priest Tribal College from 1998 until she retired in September 2008. Prior to that, she was at Nebraska Indian Community College for four years.


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