Mary Pember: Review of 'Last Great Battle of The Indian Wars'

"I have dodged the bullet this year. Columbus Day has come and gone and not a single editor asked me to write about the “Native American reaction” to a holiday honoring an Italian guy who got lost and hung that “Indian” tag on us so long ago.

For the record, the fact that the U. S. celebrates Columbus Day makes the top of my personal (and I suspect a lot of other Indian people’s) “so what” list. Given the rocky history between the U. S. government and the indigenous peoples of this continent, the United States decision to revere the guy who started it all is maddeningly predictable.

Therefore, it’s my great pleasure to review a book that honors an unsung American Indian hero, Forrest Gerard of the Blackfeet Tribe via former Washington State senator Henry M. Jackson.

In his book, “The Last Great Battle of the Indian Wars, Henry M. Jackson, Forrest J. Gerard and the campaign for the self-determination of America’s Indian Tribes,” Mark Trahant gives us the skinny on the creation of the 1970’s “Golden Era” of American Indian legislation.

Jackson is widely credited with helping to reverse the dreadful Termination policies of the mid-1940’s to the mid-1960’s that sought to end the trust relationship between the United States and tribes, effectively dissolving tribal sovereignty for all time. Termination policies were, according to Trahant, the ultimate political expression for assimilation."

Get the Story:
Mary Annette Pember: The Last Great Battle of The Indian Wars (The Daily Yonder 10/12)

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