We Are An Indian Nation

We Are An Indian Nation

A History of the Hualapai People

Book - 2010
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Though not as well known as the U.S. military campaigns against the Apache, the ethnic warfare conducted against indigenous people of the Colorado River basin was equally devastating. In less than twenty-five years after first encountering Anglos, the Hualapais had lost more than half their population and nearly all their land and found themselves consigned to a reservation.

This book focuses on the historical construction of the Hualapai Nation in the face of modern American colonialism. Drawing on archival research, interviews, and participant observation, Jeffrey Shepherd describes how thirteen bands of extended families known as The Pai confronted American colonialism and in the process recast themselves as a modern Indigenous nation.

Shepherd shows that Hualapai nation-building was a complex process shaped by band identities, competing visions of the past, creative reactions to modernity, and resistance to state power. He analyzes how the Hualapais transformed an externally imposed tribal identity through nationalist discourses of protecting aboriginal territory; and he examines how that discourse strengthened the Hualapais’ claim to land and water while simultaneously reifying a politicized version of their own history. Along the way, he sheds new light on familiar topics—Indian–white conflict, the creation of tribal government, wage labor, federal policy, and Native activism—by applying theories of race, space, historical memory, and decolonization.

Drawing on recent work in American Indian history and Native American studies, Shepherd shows how the Hualapai have strived to reclaim a distinct identity and culture in the face of ongoing colonialism. We Are an Indian Nation is grounded in Hualapai voices and agendas while simultaneously situating their history in the larger tapestry of Native peoples’ confrontations with colonialism and modernity.

Publisher: Tucson : University of Arizona Press, c2010
ISBN: 9780816528288
Branch Call Number: 970.00497 Sh485w 2010
Characteristics: xviii, 282 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

For too long the Hualapai, a proud people living in northwestern Arizona, have been one of the least visible Native Nations, but their story is that of many First Nations. Historically they battled the US Army pushing them off their lands, eastern settlers grazing their grass and cutting their ti... Read More »

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