MORNING STAR, BLACK SUN: The Northern Cheyenne Indians and America's Energy Crisis by Brent Ashabranner

MORNING STAR, BLACK SUN: The Northern Cheyenne Indians and America's Energy Crisis

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A heartening story of Cheyenne triumph over the latest manifestation of white greed and treachery. Setting the scene with Cheyenne heroes and legends and a prophecy of white men who would come and tear up the land, Ashabranner then tells the familiar but still relevant story of the misfortunes that resulted when the white man did come: army attacks, the forced relocation to Oklahoma and the heroic flight back to Montana in 1884, the mismanagement and betrayal by the Indian Bureau (later the BIA) ever since. The second half of the book tells of the latest encroachment, seen by one Cheyenne in a pattern of ""terrible symmetry"" with earlier removal when the white man wanted Cheyenne land for farms and ranches and gold. This time, it's an attempt by power companies to strip mine and to build generators on the ancestral land. It's an old story, with the Indians signing contracts they didn't understand and the BIA urging them to do so. But once more the Cheyenne kept their home, obtaining first an Interior Department stay and then a law, passed by Congress and signed by President Jimmy Carter, canceling the leases. Having saved their land, the Cheyenne found their air threatened by huge generators at strip mines abutting the reservation; but, once more, good legal work won EPA-mandated pollution-control devices--plus company-provided monitors and jobs. Now the Cheyenne are taking care of their own resource-development and have signed a limited exploration agreement with another power company, this one negotiated according to the Cheyenne agenda. We have heard much about Indian losses and demoralization; this chapter in Cheyenne history is an impressive demonstration of their strength and survival.

Pub Date: May 31st, 1982
Publisher: Dodd, Mead