By James Robert Allison III
James Allison makes a major contribution to ethnic, environmental, and effort reviews with this distinctive exploration of the impression of America’s indigenous peoples on strength coverage and improvement. Allison’s interesting heritage records how yes federally supported, frequently environmentally harmful, strength tasks have been perceived by means of American Indians as in all likelihood disruptive to indigenous lifeways. those perceived threats sparked a pan-tribal resistance stream that finally elevated local American autonomy over reservation lands and enabled an extraordinary increase in tribal entrepreneurship. whilst, the writer demonstrates how this flow generated nice controversy inside of local American groups, inspiring severe debates over culturally actual kinds of indigenous governance and the right kind administration of tribal lands.
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Extra resources for Sovereignty for Survival: American Energy Development and Indian Self-Determination
12 By the mid-1970s, these depressing statistics moved Congress to create the American Indian Policy Review Commission to make the first full accounting of Indian policy since the 1920s. Among its many tasks, the commission catalogued the substantial natural resources contained on Indian reservations and investigated how these assets were being used. The results confounded the commissioners. According to the BIA’s head of Trust Services, in 1975 Indian reservations contained 50 of the nation’s 434 billion tons of recoverable coal.
The second aspect of federal Indian law guiding BIA actions was the 1938 Indian Mineral Leasing Act, which gave federal officials the authority to decide the fate of Indian minerals. Dating back to the 1790 Non-Intercourse Act, Congress had prohibited tribes from transferring interests in real property without its express consent. This meant, in theory, that the only way Indian property—including resource rights—could legally change hands was through a congressionally created process overseen by federal officials.
10 Recognizing the utter failure of the system to meet the original intent of the leasing legislation, the Department of the Interior halted further federal coal leasing in 1971. 11 * But the moratorium did not extend to tribal lands. Despite the fact that the Indian mineral development program was built on the same leasing template used for public minerals, and thus suffered the same problems, tribal leasing continued apace. In the eyes of many, it simply had to. Federal officials, energy executives, and even tribal leaders portrayed the tribes’ vast energy reserves as the answer to crippling reservation poverty.