Opinion

Steven Newcomb: Taking Indian land away from Indian people





"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)

Related Stories:
Steven Newcomb: A cruel history in conquest of Native people (12/3)
Steven Newcomb: Fear and loathing of history on Thanksgiving (11/23)
Steven Newcomb: Russell Means was one of great Indian leaders (11/9)
Steven Newcomb: Canonization in context of spiritual conquest (10/22)
Steven Newcomb: A 1993 open letter to then Pope John Paul II (10/18)
Steven Newcomb: Obama ignores consequence of colonization (10/15)
Steven Newcomb: Indian law just another form of domination (10/8)
Steven Newcomb: Anti-Indian federal law lacking in legitimacy (9/28)
Steven Newcomb: Colonizing language adopted by Indians (9/14)
Steven Newcomb: No justice with domination of Indian nations (8/30)
Steven Newcomb: Tracing the origins of federal Indian policy (8/23)
Steven Newcomb: Civilized Indians are just really dominated (8/20)
Steven Newcomb: Book takes on Native genocide in California (8/10)
Steven Newcomb: Examining the new state of federal Indian law (7/30)
Steven Newcomb: 'Normalcy' in U.S. looking like totalitarianism (7/19)
Steven Newcomb: Military drones to descend upon border tribes (7/11)
Steven Newcomb: Conspiracy in treatment of American Indians (6/26)
Steven Newcomb: Dehumanization of Indian people in California (6/20)
Steven Newcomb: Rethinking notions behind federal Indian laws (6/8)
Steven Newcomb: California tribes still not treated with respect (5/30)
Steven Newcomb: Anti-terror law threatens indigenous rights (5/1)