- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (August 25, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316896896
- ISBN-13: 978-0316896894
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #750,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Coyote Warrior: One Man, Three Tribes, and the Trial That Forged a Nation
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From Publishers Weekly
Raymond Cross is a Yale-educated attorney and the youngest son of Martin Cross, an American Indian tribal chairman who spent the bulk of his life fighting a losing battle against the construction of a post–WWII dam near the upper Missouri River that would forcibly remove hundreds of families from their ancestral lands. VanDevelder's exhaustively researched book uses the Cross family story—and Raymond Cross's eventual transformation into Coyote Warrior, the term given to a growing group of Ivy League–trained lawyers working on American Indian rights issues—to help trace the century-long struggle of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara tribes to protect their North Dakota homelands. The author, an investigative reporter and documentary filmmaker, provides a glimpse into the vagaries of federal Indian law and its effects that avoids preachiness, preferring to let research and recollections by the Cross family tell the story. "It doesn't take long with Indian law before you realize you're breathing a different kind of air," notes one attorney who oversaw legislation to terminate federal wardship over American Indian tribes. The book is at its most accessible when it chronicles the personal struggles of the Cross family, but its sometimes tedious descent into legal jargon and switchback chronology may put off general readers.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This enlightening chronicle by investigative reporter VanDevelder takes on the complex issue of Indian law as it's being molded by a new generation of Native American lawyers, called coyote warriors, who are part of the Indigenous Environmental Network. Beginning with three landmark decisions made by Chief Justice John Marshall in the 1820s, Indian tribes were recognized as "domestic dependent sovereign nations." When Martin Cross, the great-grandson of the Mandan chief who befriended Lewis and Clark, brought his passionate yet uneducated protest against the proposed Garrison Dam to the Senate floor in 1945, his argument that the land where three tribes had lived "from time immemorial" would be destroyed was overridden. But then his son, Raymond, a Yale-educated lawyer whose life was shaped by the dam's deleterious effect, took up the fight. Returning to North Dakota as the lawyer for the Three Affiliated Tribes, he successfully argued before the Supreme Court for reparations for those tribes who suffered ill effects caused by the dam's destructive environmental impact so that finally justice was done. Deborah Donovan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Even if you know quite a bit about what our political leaders did (and continue to do) to the native Americans, reading this book and its companion book Savages and Scoundrels, also by Paul VanDevelder, provide in depth coverage of not only the "Indian situation" throughout the years, but also of many of our country's early leaders. These two books cover many of the same facts but do so in different ways and I highly recommmend purchasing and reading both.
On a personal note, I was thrilled to read Paul's tributes in both books to his Parents Frank and Mary who have been our dear friends for many years.