Language Shift among the Navajos: Identity Politics and Cultural Continuity; A Forest of Time: American Indian Ways of History

Language Shift among the Navajos: Identity Politics and Cultural Continuity; A Forest of Time:... is her conclusion: despite the essentialist trap, Navajos should employ Native practices to promote the ‘‘Navajo way.’’ Despite these flaws, however, the book is rich in interviews with Dine people such as Martha Jackson, who describes her experiences in the infamous ‘‘outing’’ 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 children’s food, room, and clothing). Jackson’s story is only one of several that will be of interest to future scholars. Peter Nabokov’s Forest of Time, on the other hand, is wonderful. Without offering any narrow prescriptions for understanding Native America’s ‘‘historicity,’’ Nabokov deftly covers an impressively broad ground without sinking into stereotypes. Unlike House, Nabokov also avoids a confining 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, Nabokov’s study of American Indians’ practice of history is a feast for those interested in the nature of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Literature Duke University Press

Language Shift among the Navajos: Identity Politics and Cultural Continuity; A Forest of Time: American Indian Ways of History

American Literature, Volume 75 (4) – Dec 1, 2003

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2003 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0002-9831
eISSN
1527-2117
DOI
10.1215/00029831-75-4-899
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

is her conclusion: despite the essentialist trap, Navajos should employ Native practices to promote the ‘‘Navajo way.’’ Despite these flaws, however, the book is rich in interviews with Dine people such as Martha Jackson, who describes her experiences in the infamous ‘‘outing’’ 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 children’s food, room, and clothing). Jackson’s story is only one of several that will be of interest to future scholars. Peter Nabokov’s Forest of Time, on the other hand, is wonderful. Without offering any narrow prescriptions for understanding Native America’s ‘‘historicity,’’ Nabokov deftly covers an impressively broad ground without sinking into stereotypes. Unlike House, Nabokov also avoids a confining 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, Nabokov’s study of American Indians’ practice of history is a feast for those interested in the nature of

Journal

American LiteratureDuke University Press

Published: Dec 1, 2003

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