Allotment Stories: Daniel Heath Justice and Jean M. O'Brien

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Land privatization has been a longstanding and ongoing settler colonial process separating Indigenous peoples from their traditional homelands, with devastating consequences. ALLOTMENT STORIES is an edited collection that dives into this conflict, creating a complex conversation out of narratives of Indigenous communities resisting allotment and other dispossessive land schemes. The volume’s editors, Daniel Heath Justice and Jean M. O’Brien, are here to talk about the urgency of these conversations on dispossession and repossession, which are not always stories of easy heroes and easy villains; and also discuss considerations that go into publishing an edited collection.

Raised in traditional Ute territory in Colorado and now living in shíshálh territory in British Columbia, Daniel Heath Justice (Cherokee Nation) is professor of Critical Indigenous Studies and English at the University of British Columbia, xwməθkwəy̓əm territory. He is author of Why Indigenous Literatures Matter and Our Fire Survives the Storm (Minnesota, 2005).

Jean M. O’Brien (White Earth Ojibwe) is Distinguished McKnight and Northrop Professor in the Department of History at the University of Minnesota within Dakota homelands. Her books include Dispossession by Degrees and Firsting and Lasting (Minnesota, 2010).

Episode note: Brief references are made to the book’s cover designer and acquisitions editor; they are, respectively, Catherine Casalino and Jason Weidemann.

References:

-General (Dawes) Allotment Act of 1887 in the United States, which allowed the federal government to break up tribal lands.

-McGirt v. Oklahoma, in which the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s reservation boundaries in current-day Oklahoma had not been extinguished by nineteenth-century allotment legislation.

-Cobell v. Salazar settlement’s Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations.

ALLOTMENT STORIES is a volume that features contributions from Jennifer Adese, Megan Baker, William Bauer Jr., Christine Taitano DeLisle, Vicente M. Diaz, Sarah Biscarra Dilley, Marilyn Dumont, Munir Fakher Eldin, Nick Estes, Pauliina Feodoroff, Susan E. Gray, J. Kēhaulani Kauanui, Rauna Kuokkanen, Sheryl R. Lightfoot, Kelly McDonough, Ruby Hansen Murray, Tero Mustonen, Darren O’Toole, Shiri Pasternak, Dione Payne, Joseph M. Pierce, Khal Schneider, Argelia Segovia Liga, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Jameson R. Sweet, Michael P. Taylor, Candessa Tehee, and Benjamin Hugh Velaise.

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