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[Read] ➲ Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto ➮ Vine Deloria Jr. –

In His New Preface To This Paperback Edition, The Author Observes, The Indian World Has Changed So Substantially Since The First Publication Of This Book That Some Things Contained In It Seem New Again Indeed, It Seems That Each Generation Of Whites And Indians Will Have To Read And Reread Vine Deloria S Manifesto For Some Time To Come, Before We Absorb His Special, Ironic Indian Point Of View And What He Tells Us, With A Great Deal Of Humor, About US Race Relations, Federal Bureaucracies, Christian Churches, And Social Scientists This Book Continues To Be Required Reading For All Americans, Whatever Their Special Interest

10 thoughts on “Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto

  1. says:

    I read this when I was about 16 and it changed my life I know that sounds hokey, but this book, God is Red, and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, flipped a switch in my head that I have never wanted to turn off I was raised by civil rights activists, and my dad was born on an Indian reservation in the Midwest he is not Indian so I had some sort of context for what Deloria was talking aboutwhere my dad grew up he said the word Indian was like the N word in the southDeloria lit the fire of Indian Pride, Brown Power and AIMand while it took me a few years and a lot of conversations with indigenous friends to decide to spend my life studying indigenous cultures prior to European contact rather than the modern periodthese three books are where it all began P.S The pre contact period is easier to manage than the modern history Deloria recountsI choose the easier context because its so beautiful and less painfulbut I will always love an angry brown person and Deloria is at the top of that list.

  2. says:

    Hilarious and truthful, you never knew history could be this entertaining and this horrifying Vine Deloria is a Native American author who explains why American Indians are not quietly vanishing the way conquered people are supposed to The absolutely horrible things that are still happening to Native Nations in the United States are repetitions and replays of what has been going on for hundreds of years, and if one is gifted with a dark and surrealistic sense of humor, it s incredibly funny, too, in the way that it s funny when you watch somebody crack his nuts on the board when he flubs a dive off the high board You have to laugh but ow If you want to know about Native Americans than the highly sanitized and stereotyped images on greeting cards and t shirt, start here It s a Must Read Before You Die Book.

  3. says:

    I went in looking to understand the Native American, and finished with a greater understanding of the world.I got something different out of this book that I wasn t expecting Jane Elliot, the creator of the infamous Green Eye Blue Eye test look it up if you on YouTube haven t already, be ready though, it gets rough has a recommended reading list on her website, and this book was on it Going in, I wasn t sure what the meat and bone of the book would detail, and I certainly didn t know the nuances of modern Native American culture On one hand, I had the vague knowledge that Native American culture, above western culture, understands that there is a spiritual aspect to life that transcends monetary value The earth is not so much ours, so much as WE belong to it This, along with a few other impactful statements, quotes and general history thank you Mr Howard Zinn had been the extent of my knowledge before being introduced to Vine Deloria Jr .For anyone reading this, Custer Died for Your Sins will inform you on a number of topics These range from disseminating the real and unreal perceptions of Native Americans dismantling the The Anthropologist laugh out loud chapter breaking down the Native view on western religion and the missionary situation understanding the government agencies dealing with the tribes shedding light on Native humour contrasting the civil rights movement with the wants and needs of natives and, last but not least, how Native Americans can move forward from their current situation However, the most astonishing realisation the reader will have as he she explores the native world, is how the above mentioned will have the profound ability to make you simultaneously understand the native view, and see your world in a completely different light I marked the below quote out as an example But the understanding of the racial question does not ulti mately involve understanding by either blacks or Indians It in volves the white man himself He must examine his past He must face the problems he has created within himself and within others The white man must no longer project his fears and in securities onto other groups, races, and countries Before the white man can relate to others he must forego the pleasure of denying them The white man must learn to stop viewing history as a plot against himself.It was than religious intolerance that drove the early colonists across the ocean More than a thousand years before Columbus, the barbaric tribes destroyed the Roman Empire With utter lack of grace, they ignorantly obliterated classical civiliza tion Christanity swept across the conquerors like the white man later swept across North America, destroying native religions and leaving paralyzed groups of disoriented individuals in its wake Then the combination of Christian theology, superstition, and forms of the old Roman civil government began to control the tamed barbaric tribes Gone were the religious rites of the white tribesmen Only the Gothic arches in the great cathedrals, sym bolizing the oaks under which their ancestors worshiped, re mained to remind them of the glories that had been A note on all of the above mentioned topics especially the final one It s a shame this book hasn t received an update on the various issues discussed in its pages Apart from a preface written in 1987 from the author something I would recommend reading before AND after finishing there s little to find that will sate the interest of the reader believe me, you ll want to know how certain aspects of the communities spoken of are doing now I do feel this is important specifically to this book it is a manifesto after all , as I felt at times I was reading something solely stuck in it s time period, with no additional notes added in it s pages As such, this does make for slower reading as you feel you may be taking in information that actually doesn t hold precedent in the now.The only other reason this has four stars is due to a disagreement I had with Delorias on the concept of Corporations, and how he believed the infusion of a Native American tribalism could be combined with the concept of the White Mans attempt at tribalism to make Indian lives better I won t go into detail seeing that as a white male living in London, I really can t judge concepts being thought up by a man 4,477 miles away, who was trying to better the lives of his people, and who, in turn, were very well aquatinted with the difficulties experienced and still experienced on a daily basis with the once imported, now mutated capitalist juggernaut that is the United States government However, I will say that I found it weirdly contradictory that he mentions Native Americans rising again to their former glory in some form , only to then talk about the above concept, which, to my eyes, seems like a massive compromise on the behalf of the Native American people to take a white concept, and turn it into something good for the original people of the American land Another discussion for another time I think.However, this will not ruin the effect this book will have on the reader, and you will come out a better person for having opened it.

  4. says:

    Recently I read an interview with a Native American academic The interview, written by a white journalist, was all about the ways Native Americans appreciate the earth, in other words, the kind of bullshit that drove Vine up the wall Here we go romanticizing the Indian again When I worked as a biologist in Alaska and we went to Tongass, there were sections of Tongass that were clearcut to nothing, including the riparian areas down to dirt, nothing left It looked like a nuclear bomb I thought it was the USFS that did it but it wasn t It was the native Alaskan tribal corporation that raped the forests on this island It is the Native Americans that have put heinous and horrible casinos all over San Diego County including one massive hotel and parking lot IN the floodplain of the San Luis Rey River They destroyed acres and acres of pristine habitat, endangered species Native American tribes in Montana mine and damage their lands and their relationships with one another for coal I had a native American woman in my ecology class a few years ago that talked to me about it It was tearing the res apart and still is.Vine was ahead of his time, ahead of these developments, but he foresaw the inevitable capitalistic conversion of the Native American and in this book sets us up for it What our ancestors did was cultural genocide They wiped out the indigenous people of this continent in the most brutal of ways and now we want to go back and appreciate the Indian wayafter we stripped the Native Americans of everything they had their land, their way of life, their languageand yea, now they are capitalists too What the hell choice do they really have at this point Maybe whites need the myth of the Indian way for some reason but how fair is this How dare we hold the Indian to higher standards than we hold ourselves is what Vine would say, did say I had the chance to hear him speak a few times He had a way too of making us all laugh at ourselves Vine had a huge influence on me Mention of this book, along with the TMWGang, is in my own novel.Vine was a Truth Teller How I miss our Truth Tellers.

  5. says:

    Meandering and often vague Along with the wit, there is a heavy dose of theory, which is not particularly compelling I learned a lot about Indian culture, but I also learned that white culture either doesn t exist or is founded on violence and exploitation A good chunk of the book is taken up with Deloria Jr s elevation of Indian culture above white and specifically, American culture For him, there is little really, nothing wrong with Indian culture, which is infinitely wise, holistic, and eternal On the other hand, America and American culture are meaningless and have accomplished nothing It s not that I mind criticism of America I just mind it when it isn t based on facts and history but rather, theory and ideology Deloria Jr essentially declares himself arbiter of culture and philosophy, with the power to crown Indian culture as the greatest of all human cultures in history.Along with this is his less than subtle, somewhat prophetic declarations that Indians will one day drive whites out of America and retake their land Again, I don t have a problem with the sentiment But it s the evidence Deloria Jr uses to back it up that is problematic For example, he cites the restoration of Israel to the Jews as evidence that, like them, Indians will eventually retake their homeland Not only is this an obviously fallacious argument, but it also relies upon white culture s artificial creation of Israel So the violent, destructive, possibly non existent culture seems to have produced at least one thing upon which Deloria Jr can hang his hat Zionism.

  6. says:

    My feelings are very mixed on this book Deloria is an interesting thinker, and his view of how the future would work out, and his contemporary situation was interesting His scathing humor was often enjoyable, including his section on anthropologists At the same time, I disagree with much of what he says, especially his feelings about separatism and certainly his characterization of whites Certainly he had reasons for feeling that way, but prejudice towards the majority isn t exactly commendable than prejudice towards the minority I suppose its wholesome to see how being prejudged based on your color feels every now and then.At times I would think that the book is now outdated, which would make it less important, but some of his points are still very relevant Definitely not everyone s cup of tea.

  7. says:

    I don t think that many would argue that the United States has repeatedly and violently suppressed and lied to Native Americans over hundreds of years Land was stolen, treaties were broken and even to this day Native American land is still expropriated and exploited The question is for any group with this history, what are you going to do about it Treaties that were broken aren t going to be retroactively honored Land that was stolen isn t going to be given back So what are you going to do about it Reading Vine Deloris s Custer Died for Your Sins , I didn t get any sense that there was any real ideas about what needed to be done to right historical wrongs He cites a litany of injustice and seems slightly envious of other minority groups such as African Americans who organised and saw some advancement during the the 1960 s when this book was written He criticises the March on Washington and the Poor People s March as being pointless so he keeps his people at home and chooses not to participate But surely being there and the visibility it would have given the issues he discussed would ve been productive than staying at home and sulking He argues that demonstrating for middle class rights from the White Power structure is meaningless because Native Americans don t want any part of the White world They are as he writes, nationalists As nationalists, Indians could not, for the most part, care less what the rest of society does They are interested in the progress of the tribe When he sees a few young Native Americans at the Poor People s March on TV discussing Native fishing rights, he is dismissive of them But why Surely raising awareness of this issue, a vital one to the Native American community, can only be a positive rather than retreating into isolation Indicative of this isolation is his support for Barry Goldwater He writes Politically, most minority groups have shifted to the Democrats and remained loyal through thick and thin Margins compiled by blacks, Indians, and Mexicans for Democratic candidates have been incredible In 1964 it took a strong Indian to support Goldwater in spite of his publicized heroic flights to the Navajo and his superb collection of Hopi Kachina dolls Leaving aside the bizarre idea that because Goldwater collects Hopi dolls he would be sympathetic to Native issues, he supports Goldwater because unlike LBJ, he won t make unpredictable changes, good or bad, to Native American policy It s such shortsighted and almost selfish attitude of not caring what the War on Poverty might do for Black, Hispanic, or other minority groups in the cities We don t live in the city so screw everyone else It s all well and good to argue that your land was stolen and trying to get that land back from the thief is outrageous and demeaning But what is the alternative Delorias s whole argument seems to be leave us alone Which is fine But then he is highly critical that the federal government doesn t do enough to provide money to the reservations In an ideal world yes, the government would give you money with zero oversight and never interfere But we didn t live in an ideal world in 1968 and we don t live in one now You can accept federal money and accept that there will be some input as to how it s spent, or you can eschew all funds and go on your own You can t have it both ways Ultimately that was what I found frustrating about this book He is sarcastic about the feds abandoning Native Americans on one hand, then sarcastic about just wanting them to go away There are some interesting chapters here on history which I enjoyed and found interesting, but the mental gymnastics and inconsistencies in his arguments are frustrating and ultimately extremely short sighted.

  8. says:

    This book shed alot of light on the history of Native Americans in the U.S I learned quite a bit that I didn t know previous Deloria s mix of humor and factual information had me laughing and nodding my head as I read many of the chapters.He s brutally honest about European white treatment of Native Americans but the truth hurts.

  9. says:

    Deloria s perspective on U.S history was both discomforting and eye opening Whenever someone clearly caucasian tells me about their Cherokee princess great great grandmother, I think of Vine Deloria s book.

  10. says:

    I picked up this book at the home of my aunt right before taking a week long beach vacation The same aunt gave me Deloria s God Is Red for my birthday, and I hadn t read it yet, so I figured this might be a good primer before taking on the other book.Deloria hits the nail on the head with a lot of things in this book The Indian Humor The rise of traditional religions With his scathing sarcasm, his voice radiates off of the page He also gets a lot of things wrong, however, in a way that almost made me want to stop reading several times.His treatment of black militants and the Black Power movement in general leaves something to be desired Do I understand what he s saying Yes It s not that I don t get it, it s that I don t think we should use words like ape when discussing the way black people in the 1960s attempted to gain rights and recognition in the settler state Additionally, I don t think the corporate mindset is good for indigenous communities Yes, holding property in common while keeping personal property is good Yes, working towards the greater good of the community is good But I think the word Deloria was looking for and was probably adverse to using during the time the book was written was something along the lines of communism I disagree with his capitalistic outlook on how tribes can advance themselves, especially when it s coupled with his own knowledge that Indians tend to be removed from US politics and economy In but not of the settler state Why dive headfirst into settler economy if the goal is recolonization and eventually a red North American continent Deloria contradicts himself quite a few times, but the book was still a good read I finished Nick Estes Our History is the Future the same day I started this book, so I was primed for the talk of treaty rights, especially with regard to the making and breaking of specific treaties, as well as talk of Task Force reports, that the average reader may not be prepared for Even with my qualms, I think I will still read Deloria s other works, especially considering how large of an impact he has had on so called Indian Affairs.