THE NEW INDIANS by Stan Steiner


Email this review


Stan Steiner wanted the new Indians to write their own book; instead they backed him as a ""faithful recorder"" of their movement. He has spoken with the regal Anna Wauneka of the Navaho (""If there were a queen in the United States, it would have to be this woman"") and with the vigorous Sioux advocate of Red Power, Vine Deloria, Jr. He writes of the powwow of young intellectuals in 1954 that kicked off the movement, of armed fish-ins in Washington, to maintain ancient rights, of the Indian response, a reformation of ""troops,"" to the meeting on Indian affairs in Santa Fe which excluded them. He describes the economic standing of the Indians today, living on 2.9% of the land that once belonged to them (the Cherokees in Oklahoma receive $500 a year--""hardly enough to starve on""), their lives on the reservations and off--in the cities, where they are lonely, in the army where they are tabbed ""Chief"" (like ""Kike"" or ""Nigger""), and from which they emerge to restore themselves to tribalism in dance. He tells of their rising education rate (notable in the decade of the Fifties'); their diminishing esteem for uncle Tomahawks. The New Indians say, ""It isn't important that there are only five hundred thousand of us Indians. What is important is that we have a superior way of life. We Indians will show this country how to act human."" How hip!

Pub Date: Feb. 21st, 1967
Publisher: Harper & Row