Winona LaDuke on the Militarization of Indian Country

From the Author’s Preface:

“…Yet, despite our history and the present appropriation of our lands and culture by the military, we have the highest rate of military enlistment of any ethnic group in the United States. We also have the largest number of living veterans out of any community in the country. We have borne a huge burden of post traumatic stress disorder among our veterans, and continue to feel this pain today, compounded by our own unresolved historic grief stemming from colonization.

“In this book, I consider the scope of our historic and present relation­ship with the military and discuss economic, ecological and psychological impacts. I then examine the potential for a major transformation from the US military economy that today controls much of Indian Country to a new community-centered model that values our Native cultures and traditions and honors our Mother Earth.

 Ogichidaa Ira Hayes

 The book is divided into four sections:

Chapter I, “The Military and the People,” contains a brief history of the mili­tary and Native people, a set of profiles of some well-known and not so well-known veterans and a discussion of some of the impacts of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on our nations.

Chapter II, “The Military and the Economy,” reviews the broad economics of war and then offers a socio-economic case study of the Navajo Nation. This chapter also discusses tribal military contractors, like Blackwater.

Chapter III, “The Military and the Land,” discusses historic and current mil­itary land seizures from Native communities and the environmental impact of the military in Native America. This section also broaches the history of why so many reservations are called Fort.

Chapter IV, “The Military and the Future,” discusses some present positive endeavors of the military, their possible implications for the Native and broader community, and how we can proceed to create a more peaceful world for coming generations.

“I hope you find the book’s contents informative and, in the end, I hope that some readers are encouraged to critically examine Native peoples’ relation­ship with the military, and start the work of transforming it.”


Winona LaDuke

Veteran’s Day, 2012


The Militarization of Indian Country, by Winona LaDuke, with Sean Aaron Cruz, Michigan State University Press, Makwa Enewed:

About 1000nations

Sean Aaron Cruz is Executive Director of 1000 Nations and a co-founder of The Friends of Celilo Falls. He is the organizer of the Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival. He is co-author of Winona LaDuke's new book, "The Militarization of Indian Country." He is the father of four children who disappeared into Utah in a Mormon abduction in 1996, and the author of Oregon's landmark anti-kidnapping statute "Aaron's Law" (Senate Bill 1041), named for his late son Aaron Cruz. He writes online as Blogolitical Sean.
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