All Indians Do Not Live in Teepees (or Casinos)
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by Catherine C. Robbins
Both a tribute to the unique experiences of individual Native Americans and a celebration of the values that draw American Indians together, All Indians Do Not Live in Teepees (or Casinos) explores contemporary Native life.
Based on personal experience and grounded in journalism, this story begins with the repatriation of ancestral remains to the Pueblo peoples of New Mexico. The 1999 return to Pecos of the skeletal remains of two thousand bodies excavated during an archaeological expedition nearly a century earlier was the largest repatriation in American history. In a united, purposeful, and energizing quest, the Pecos and Jemez Indians brought their ancestors home. This event, along with subsequent repatriations, has accelerated similar momentum across much of Native America.
In All Indians Do Not Live in Teepees (or Casinos), Catherine C. Robbins traces this restorative effect in areas such as economic development, urbanization, the arts, science, and health care. Through dozens of interviews, Robbins draws out the voices of Indian people, some well-known and many at the grassroots level, working quietly to advance their communities. These voices speak against the background of the narrative’s historical context. The result is a rich account of Native American life in contemporary America, revealing not a monolithic “Indian” experience of teepees or casinos, but rather a mosaic of diverse peoples existing on a continuum that marks both their distinctions and their shared realities.