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Dammed Indians Revisited: The Continuing History of the Pick-Sloan Plan and the Missouri River Sioux Paperback – February 1, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 397 pages
  • Publisher: South Dakota State Historical Society (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979894018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979894015
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,073,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael L. Lawson is the President of MLL Consulting, LLC., an historical and public policy consulting firm in Annandale, VA. He also is Of Counsel to Morgan Angel & Associates, LLC in Washington, DC, where he formerly was a partner. During a 20-year career in the federal government, he served as an historian for the National Park Service, the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Lawson earned bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a doctorate in American history at The University of New Mexico. He is a three-time recipient of the South Dakota State Historical Society's Governor's Awards for History and has also been honored by the Western History Association and the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society for his writing on Native American topics. Lawson has been a visiting lecturer at several colleges, including New York University, the College of William and Mary, the U.S. Naval Academy, and George Washington University.
Lawson's classic work, Dammed Indians: The Pick-Sloan Plan and the Missouri River Sioux, 1944-1980 (University of Oklahoma Press, 1982, 1994), provided the factual basis for Congressional legislation establishing tribal recovery trust funds totaling $385.8 million for five Sioux tribes in compensation for reservation infrastructure lost to Federal dam projects. What began as a purely academic exercise for Lawson in the 1970s, to meet the requirements of writing a thesis and dissertation, eventually found a real world application between 1996 and 2002 that has significantly benefited the Sioux people. The accrued income from the tribal recovery trust funds will eventually total billions of dollars. Lawson has recently updated his original work with six new chapters, including two that describe the process by which the tribes were able to gain recovery trust funds from Congress. Entitled Dammed Indians Revisited: The Continuing History of the Pick-Sloan Plan and the Missouri River Sioux, this revised edition was published in 2010 by the South Dakota State Historical Society Press. This book includes a new foreword by Senator George McGovern in addition to the original foreword by the late Sioux scholar Vine Deloria, Jr. received a 2011 Independent Publishers Silver Medal Award ("IPPY") in the category of "Best Regional Nonfiction." The book received a 2011 Independent Publishers Silver Medal Award ("IPPY") in the category of "Best Regional Nonfiction. In 2012 it was honored by the South Dakota Humanities Council as the 2012 One Book South Dakota selection. This is a program that encourages everyone across South Dakota to read and discuss the same book throughout the course of a year.


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Dammed Indians Revisited: The Continuing History of the Pick-Sloan Plan and the Missouri River Sioux examined the negative repercussions of the 1944 Pick-Sloan plan, which created economic opportunities but also flooded more than two hundred thousand acres of bottomlands that sustained the Sioux, requiring entire communities to relocate. Drawing upon new information to revise and revamp his original work, author Michael L. Lawson reveals the lasting impact of the plan upon tribal-federal relations. A thoughtful, heavily researched and soberly presented scholarly accounting, Dammed Indians Revisited is a welcome addition to Native American studies shelves.
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Michael Lawson has written and updated the definitive work on how the Missouri River Pick-Sloan Flood Control act impacted and continues to impact the Native American Tribes of the Upper Missouri River Basin! A modern day American tragedy of epic proportions and a great read!
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This book is an update of an earlier work that started as a doctoral thesis on the effects of the Pick-Sloan water projects that built large dams on the Missouri River in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. Oddly enough, the land that needed to be taken for the reservoirs was generally Indian reservation property belonging to various branches of the Sioux nationa. The book is packed with facts, dates, and names of people involved as the tribes struggled to negotiate restitution and resettlement money for the many people who lost their homes and often their livlihoods due to these projects. The projects include the Fort Peck dam in Montana, Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota, the Oahe dam and several others in South Dakotaa. Initially the government claim was that water from these reservoirs would be shared by the tribes for irrigation, etc., but in actual fact the main purpose seems to have been to protect the cities farther down the Missouri (Kansas City, St. Louis, etc).

It is also a particularly sad book when one begins to realize that the tribes who are hurt by the projects have not really recovered in the 50 plus years since the projects were done. Whole villages and entire lifestyles were drowned out with the rising waters.

For general reading purposes the book covers interesting material in about as boring a manner as possible. Occassionally whole paragraphs are repeated word for word in separate chapters that cover similar material. It is well researched, but not the kind of book one usually chooses to read for pleasure.

The book was chosen as a community read project for the state of South Dakota this past year, otherwise I would never have picked it up.
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