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By Joanne Barker
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Extra info for Native Acts: Law, Recognition, and Cultural Authenticity
In fact, some people, like the Fort Peck Assiniboine woman who described the tribal practice of mutilating the faces of suspected adulterers, or the Pueblo woman who told me about the practice of exiling those who had committed certain types of crimes, think that certain traditions ought to be left in the past. In these multiple articulations, Native peoples shun the notion that the relevance of their cultures and identities is merely collectable, anecdotal, or decorative. They assert traditions as the cultural beliefs and practices that they understand as uniquely their own, not as a yardstick of conformity to an authentic past but as what binds them together in relationship and responsibility to one another in the present and future.
Berkhofer Jr. (1979), Rayna Green (1990), and Gerald Vizenor (1994) aptly explain the reasons for these representational contradictions by showing their ideological consistencies within the racisms of nationalism. They argue that the point of the “Indian” was and is not her or his accuracy but her or his utility in constituting and perpetuating the national narrations that uphold Native subjugation. This “Indian” was never meant to represent the complexities and diversities of Native peoples’ cultural perspectives and experiences.
It ceded Cherokee lands in Kansas and provided for the survey and payment of the lands to the national fund; it also allowed the Cherokee to sell lands in Arkansas and “east of the Mississippi” with approval from the Secretary of the Interior. It allowed Cherokee “heads of families” residing on ceded lands to remove to the Cherokee Nation. It allowed the Cherokee to opt for the allotment of their reservation lands. It allowed for the construction of monuments to mark Cherokee borders with Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas.
Native Acts: Law, Recognition, and Cultural Authenticity by Joanne Barker