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date: 11 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The Native peoples of the Great Basin live on some of the most arid and sparsely populated lands in the United States. The unforgiving basin environment has long influenced scholarly and popular perceptions of Great Basin Indians. This chapter is intended to historicize peoples who have too been naturalized. Spanish colonization in New Mexico transformed Native life in the Great Basin before the arrival of permanent Euro-American settlement. The subsequent conquest of the Great Basin took place largely through the actions of nonstate power interests—miners, overland emigrants, and the Mormon Church. The incorporation of wage labor was a common adaptation to conquest. Because many basin peoples lacked established treaty rights and/or reservation land bases, they struggled throughout the course of the twentieth century to reestablish sovereignty over their homelands.

Keywords: Great Basin, Ghost Dance, Bear River Massacre, Ute, Shoshone, Paiute, Goshute, Washo, Panamint, Kawaiisu

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