is her conclusion: despite the essentialist trap, Navajos should employ Native practices to promote the ââNavajo way.ââ Despite these ï¬aws, however, the book is rich in interviews with Dine people such as Martha Jackson, who describes her experiences in the infamous ââoutingââ program that sent children already incarcerated in boarding schools out to work as domestics or farm laborers in white families (for wages paid directly to the schools, ostensibly for the childrenâs food, room, and clothing). Jacksonâs story is only one of several that will be of interest to future scholars. Peter Nabokovâs Forest of Time, on the other hand, is wonderful. Without oï¬ering any narrow prescriptions for understanding Native Americaâs ââhistoricity,ââ Nabokov deftly covers an impressively broad ground without sinking into stereotypes. Unlike House, Nabokov also avoids a conï¬ning ethnocentrism. He gracefully shares his unique perspective, that of a non-Indian scholar and activist who has spent decades teaching and researching as well as working with and for Native communities. Nabokov also adds politics and history to his study, thus avoiding romanticized images of timeless, natureloving primitives. Elegantly written, Nabokovâs study of American Indiansâ practice of history is a feast for those interested in the nature of
American Literature – Duke University Press
Published: Dec 1, 2003
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