Sovereignty, Colonialism and the Indigenous Nations: A Reader

May 15th, 2006 | By | Category: 17-4: Reforming Our Schools, Native Style, Media Reviews

Robert Odawi Porter, Editor
Carolina Academic Press (2005) – 816 pages
ISBN 0-89089-333-0 – Paperback, $75.00

Review by Michael Thompson

This book is an incredible resource for anyone willing to explore the complex and often frustrating issues surrounding Native sovereignty.

Porter, a former attorney general of the Seneca Nation, acknowledges that there exist many contradictory notions, even among Native people, about a simple definition of the word sovereignty itself. His intention is to “provide some clarification of what indigenous nation ‘sovereignty’ really means, to explain how it has and is undermined, and to serve as a springboard for further study of the Indigenous-Colonist relationship.”

He provides an astonishing variety of texts to explore – from Indian manifestos to Supreme Court transcripts, along with more accessible book, magazine, and newspaper articles and excerpts from important speeches. The Indian voice is well-represented, and Porter’s attempt to point readers toward “decolonization” as a rational remedial strategy is commendable.

This book is highly recommended for tribal college libraries.

Michael Thompson (Muskogee Creek) is an English instructor and writer who resides in Farmington, NM.

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