Steven Newcomb: Judging our nations by white man's thinking

Steven Newcomb of the Indigenous Law Institute. Photo from Finding the Missing Link

Steven Newcomb debunks some of the wild assertions made about Indian history and policy in America: Imagine a World without Her by Dinesh D’Souza, an author who has pleaded guilty to campaign finance law violations:

America: Imagine a World without Her
In Chapter Six “The Red Man’s Burden,” (an obvious play on Rudyard Kipling’s nineteenth century poem about British colonialism in India), D’Souza opens with a discussion of Mount Rushmore, a monument to various U.S. President that was carved in the Black Hills of the Great Sioux Nation by Gutzon Borglum, who was a member of the Klu Klux Klan.

D’Souza interviews Charmaine White Face, an Oglala Lakota woman whom he incorrectly characterizes as “a spokesperson for the tribe’s national council.” She is a spokesperson for the Black Hills Treaty Council.

According to D’Souza’s account: “I reminded White Face that before the Sioux, there were Cheyenne Indians and other tribes on that land. So if America stole the land from the Sioux, didn’t the Sioux steal the land from the Cheyenne and other tribes?”

He writes that “White Face looked flustered. She said that, long before the white man came, American Indians had certain ‘dominant’ tribes, and the Sioux happened to be one of them. Some tribes were in charge and that’s all there was to that.”

When I contacted Charmaine to ask about her D’Souza interview, she said that he mischaracterized her remarks and took them out of context. She said that she told D’Souza that many nations have gone to the Black Hills traditionally to perform ceremonies and to gather medicines. She told him that her people lived according to natural law, and in that context the Great Sioux Nation was the dominant organism in its territory.

Get the Story:
Steven Newcomb: Dinesh D’Souza's Buffoonery (Indian Country Today 8/11)

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