Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2008


Great Plains Quarterly Volume 28, Number 4, Fall 2008, pp. 332.


Copyright 2008 by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


In New Indians, Old Wars, Elizabeth CookLynn delivers a sometimes scorching critique not only of the United States' pursuit of colonization through warfare (comparing it, in Iraq, to the Plains Indian wars), but also of superficial thinking and fuzzy argumentation that prevents scholars of Native American Studies from drawing a tight focus on the central issues of their discipline.

Cook-Lynn, professor emerita of Native American Studies at Eastern Washington University, argues that the central focus of study in Native law, history, and literature should be colonialism and exploitation of resources. Hailing from a warrior family that reaches to the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Cook-Lynn also sears the rubric of "trust" and "wardship" as a precursor of later wars far from the Great Plains. "We continue to lose our resources and riches stolen from us by our greedy benefactor," she writes, "the very thieves who have given us the reputation in history as being beggars."