Posts Tagged ‘alison owings’
Mark Trahant is a writer, speaker and Twitter poet. He is a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and lives in Fort Hall, Idaho. Trahant’s recent book, “The Last Great Battle of the Indian Wars,” is the story of Sen. Henry Jackson and Forrest Gerard.
The debt ceiling negotiations are deep underground. While there’s plenty of action on the surface, posturing, mostly, there are also quiet talks about both temporary and real solutions. Indeed, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told CNBC on Monday that there will be a “deal” and that default is off the table.
Hopeful news. We’ll have to stay tuned. Meanwhile I am in Alaska on assignment … so I thought this might be a good opportunity to write about what I’ve been reading this summer.
My three picks:
- Walter Echo-Hawk’s “In the Courts of the Conquerors: The Ten Worst Indian Law Cases Ever Decided.”
- Roberta Ulrich’s “American Indian Nations from Termination to Restoration, 1953-2006.”
- Alison Owings’ “Indian Voices: Listening to Native Americans.”
These three books have relevancy to today’s headlines.
Echo-Hawk’s book ought to retire the entire debate about judicial activism. It has become a conservative article of faith that judges should narrowly follow the law when deciding cases. But Echo-Hawk methodically picks apart that fiction. He shows that even sainted justices, such as John Marshall, invented a legal theory from dust about the doctrine of discovery in Johnson v. M’Intosh. “Marshall claimed that the nation had no choice in how it dealt with the tribes and that the normal rules of international law did not apply,” Echo-Hawk wrote … “Thus, the normal rules governing the relations between the conqueror and conquered were simply ‘incapable of application’ in the United States. It was the Indians own fault.”