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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter highlights a generation of historical scholarship that has contested prevailing notions of American Indians as a passive minority group unable and unwilling to adapt to Western “progress.” Such notions persisted into the late twentieth century, finding expression in narratives that ignored the cultural and social heterogeneity of an increasingly urban Native American population, whose sophistication in resisting coercive federal assimilation programs such as termination developed within the context of Cold War politics and decolonization. As they struggled to defend their homelands and way of life, American Indians drew heavily on their cultural traditions, history of treaty making with the United States, and wartime sacrifices to assert themselves in modern America, as citizens of the United States and of indigenous nations.

Keywords: resistance, treaties, citizenship, decolonization, Cold War, termination, indigenous nations

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