American Capitalism and Tribal Natural Resources


The examination done by Fixico Donald about how American Indian reservations have been influenced by modern capitalism is quite controversial. Most people consider the book’s story to be extremely unapologetic, as well as unabashed concerning the manner, which it has explored the issues facing the native people. Fixico is quite compassionate as he expresses about the story of the Indian Americans, he claims that “how my ancestors and other Indian people have suffered at the hands of American capitalists in this age of greed, the twentieth century” (Fixico, 1998. 6). The latter is the thesis presented by Fixico, and he seems to argue about it in the entire book. Furthermore, this thesis addresses other vital issues that need to be known. According to Fixico, a global crisis exists, and this is due to the American people and their acquisitive instincts. These people tend to be accumulating goods and are always looking for ways to find wealth in any way possible (Fixico, 1998. 34).

There are two key parts in the book that have vital information, which Fixico wants the world to be aware of. In the book’s first section, there are a total of six case studies dealing with information regarding disparate Indians. Moreover, it shows the manner, which tribal life has been affected by the countries federal policies. Also, the individual chapter focuses on other issues such as access to timber and water, and allotted minerals, oil and land resources, which are non-Indian quests. The other concerns addressed by Fixico are cultural rights over the Black Hills, which is a constant struggle, as well as their denial over the right to fish (Fixico, 1998. 145). The book’s second section has five chapters dealing with various diverse issues. They include matters that concern defending their resources as well as the tribal government and strategies that it is using. Lastly, it talks about the tribal water, mineral and land rights that are corporate related (Fixico, 1998. 278).

In chapter one, there is a discussion about a Muscogee Creek known as Jackson Barnett. It is believed that the greedy whites exploited him through the federal policy of Assimilation and Allotment. In the second chapter, there is mention of the Kyle Family that was murdered in the 1920’s, as they had head rights. In chapter three, Fixico discusses about the Pueblo water rights and a detailed historical background has been provided by the author. In the next chapter, Fixico makes the reader be aware of how a society that was rich in resources was fully exploited. Chapter five mentions about the fishing and hunting rights of the Chippewa, as well as how they sort to achieve balance within their clans. In the final chapter, Fixico deals with the issue concerning Lakota spirituality and how this people fought to attain rights to their land (Fixico, 1998. 309).

It is quite ironical to see the manner, which Native Americans are being treated, yet they were forced to live in lands they did not approve of. Later on, after wealth was discovered, ways were found to remove the Native Americans from the land that they inhabited. Fixico seems to relate with the struggles of this people as he is also a Native American. He believes that the Native Americans have had to find ways of not having their land and lives controlled. Moreover, it is evident that Fixico believes that six elements exist in the Native American society (Fixico, 1998. 97). These are considered to be the book’s key themes, and they are spirituality, nation, community, society, clan, family, individuals or society. The latter are part of an Indian society theorized model that is internal. In fact, from the book, it is evident that tribal leadership has been affected by environmental issues. The struggle that existed between the whites and the Indians concerning land was one that continued past the battlefields (Fixico, 1998. 216). It even extended to the twentieth century where natural resources played a vital role in making the United States a powerful economy. The analysis of the war provided by Fixico is one that is still relevant in today’s way of life. It helps one know about the Native Americans history, their land as well as the government policy that regulates it.

In conclusion, the book’s status was fully stated as when one reads they know about the problems facing the Native Americans. Fixico has used specific examples that ensure that the evidence provided is credible. Furthermore, the chapters in the book have been organized systematically, which in this case is chronologically. The book has been written in the highest standards of literature and would be suited for high school seniors and college freshmen. Therefore, the book has balanced in every aspect as it has made its objectives be known. The only disappointment in this book is that Fixico did not address the strategies that should be adopted by their native Indians to retain their traditional teachings. Up to now, the native Indians continue to be oppressed and nothing seem to be done to help them. Indeed, this is an excellent and informative book by Fixico Donald.







Work Cited

Fixico, Donald. The Invasion of Indian Country in the Twentieth Century: American Capitalism and Tribal Natural Resources. Colorado: University Press of Colorado, 1998.Print.

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