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Steven Newcomb: Taking Indian land away from Indian people

Filed Under: Opinion
More on: steven newcomb

"In 1987, while I was staying at Sunset Beach on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawai’i, I had a strange dream. In my dream I encountered several priests from long ago who were wearing grey hooded robes. One of them said to me: “These people are so stupid that they still believe these are folk lands when we conquered them by the sword.”

The next day I went to the library at the University of Hawai’i School of Law. After some digging for source materials on feudal land law, I came across Frederick Maitland’s Domesday Book & Beyond, first published in 1897.

I carried that and a couple of other books down to the copier. As I stood there, flipping absent-mindedly through the pages of Maitland’s book, I was startled by an unexpected chapter heading. I snapped the book shut, remembering of my dream from the previous night. I thought that perhaps my eyes were playing tricks on me. I reopened the book, and, sure enough, the chapter heading read: “Book-land and Folk-land.”"

Get the Story:
Steven Newcomb: Book-land and Folk-land (Indian Country Today 12/29)

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