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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating photo journey of the Arctic peoples, July 22, 2002
This review is from: Imaging the Arctic (Paperback)
This book derived from a conference in which both Alaska Natives and non-Natives participated. The book is full of photos and drawings over the past two centuries of Inuit peoples. You see men, women, and children. Many photos show them in traditional dress; many in modern clothing. Most importantly, the propaganda with/against them is portrayed. So you see manipulated images encouraging the forced Western schooling of Alaska Native children, or whites parading in Native furs, etc. I am glad to see the focus on people as well. With Africa, for example, people show the animals and jungles more than the people, thus reinforcing ideas that Africa is just a place for wildlife and not humans. This book does have some pictures of landscapes and seals, but they are kept to a minimum. Thus, the (non-Native?) reader is not left with the idea that Alaska is just some wasteland with which American policymakers can just do anytything. Too often, Alaska Natives and Hawaiian Natives get left out in discussions of indigenous peoples in the US. Further, given a recent disappointing case from the US Supreme Court, this book on Alaska Natives is a very important contributions to Native history, American history, and the histories of people of color. (I also think Canadians should be interested in this book.) My one criticism of the book is that none of the photos are in color. I am sure that was done to reduce costs; still it re-inforces the image of Natives as being a thing of the past when they are always portrayed in black-and-white grainy photography.
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