White Earth Land Recovery Project

Winona LaDuke Explores The Militarization of Indian Country From Geronimo to Bin Laden

Excerpts of a Huffington Post article by Georgianne Nienaber (Investigative journalist, author, Haiti relief worker), posted 5/12/2011  

bookcover for Militarization of Indian Country (Author: Winona LaDuke)

“…Completed in February 2011, the book is currently at press and comes on the heels of the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden, also known as “Geronimo EKIA” (Enemy Killed in Action).

“…In it she uses considerable scholarly prowess to examine how and why Native culture has become inextricably entwined with military institutions.

“…In a transcript of an interview with Amy Goodman of ‘Democracy Now,’ LaDuke charges this terminology and the use of the code name ‘Geronimo’ for bin Laden represent ‘the continuation of the wars against indigenous people.’

“…The Militarization of Indian Country examines in dreadful detail how the military has poisoned, murdered, and exterminated parts of indigenous populations. It is carefully organized into sections examining the deep ties between the military and indigenous people, how the economy drives the military and vice-versa, the military’s appropriation of Indian lands, and a somewhat hopeful prognosis for future relations if America rethinks her priorities.

“…LaDuke challenges the reader to grasp the disconnect inherent in the stereotype of Indian warriors as ‘bloodthirsty killers.’ “There are critical differences, however, between a war fought to defend the people and the land, and a war fought to create or sustain an empire, to impose colonial rule on an unwilling population,” LaDuke says.

“…In LaDuke’s narrative, the broken treaties, poisoned waters, rivers of tears, forced death marches and massacres such as the one at Wounded Knee serve to riddle the reader with guilt. It is not the guilt of immediate responsibility, but guilt that comes from realizing that ignorance breeds culpability.


The Militarization of Indian Country reflects a resurgence of the classic warrior perspective in the great spiritual traditions of Indigenous warriors. While "The Art of War" is unmatched in its Taoism principles... (this is) a book about Winona LaDuke's love for the Warriors of Peace -- Indigenous ways of understanding the roots of racism, violence, conflict, resolution and reconciliation.

LaDuke credits Portland editor Sean Cruz with providing valuable research and editing skills.

For more information and to order advance copies of The Militarization of Indian Country, please contact Honor The Earth at info@honorearth.org.


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