Allotment Stories

Allotment Stories

Indigenous Land Relations under Settler Siege

Edited by Daniel Heath Justice and Jean M. O’Brien

More than two dozen essays of Indigenous resistance to the privatization and allotment of Indigenous lands

376 Pages, 7 x 9 in



Allotment Stories

Indigenous Land Relations under Settler Siege

Series: Indigenous Americas

Edited by Daniel Heath Justice and Jean M. O’Brien

ISBN: 9781517908768

Publication date: March 29th, 2022

376 Pages

26 black & whilte illustrations

9 x 7

"At times devastating and at others deeply hopeful, every essay in the collection carries a weight atypical in scholarly anthologies; readers are made to feel a sense of responsibility and gratitude for the often-personal narratives."—Transmotion

More than two dozen stories of Indigenous resistance to the privatization and allotment of Indigenous lands

Land privatization has been a longstanding and ongoing settler colonial process separating Indigenous peoples from their traditional homelands, with devastating consequences. Allotment Stories delves into this conflict, creating a complex conversation out of narratives of Indigenous communities resisting allotment and other dispossessive land schemes.

From the use of homesteading by nineteenth-century Anishinaabe women to maintain their independence to the role that roads have played in expropriating Guam’s Indigenous heritage to the links between land loss and genocide in California, Allotment Stories collects more than two dozen chronicles of white imperialism and Indigenous resistance. Ranging from the historical to the contemporary and grappling with Indigenous land struggles around the globe, these narratives showcase both scholarly and creative forms of expression, constructing a multifaceted book of diverse disciplinary perspectives. Allotment Stories highlights how Indigenous peoples have consistently used creativity to sustain collective ties, kinship relations, and cultural commitments in the face of privatization. At once informing readers while provoking them toward further research into Indigenous resilience, this collection pieces back together some of what the forces of allotment have tried to tear apart.

Contributors: Jennifer Adese, U of Toronto Mississauga; Megan Baker, U of California, Los Angeles; William Bauer Jr., U of Nevada, Las Vegas; Christine Taitano DeLisle, U of Minnesota–Twin Cities; Vicente M. Diaz, U of Minnesota–Twin Cities; Sarah Biscarra Dilley, U of California, Davis; Marilyn Dumont, U of Alberta; Munir Fakher Eldin, Birzeit U, Palestine; Nick Estes, U of New Mexico; Pauliina Feodoroff; Susan E. Gray, Arizona State U; J. Kēhaulani Kauanui, Wesleyan U; Rauna Kuokkanen, U of Lapland and U of Toronto; Sheryl R. Lightfoot, U of British Columbia; Kelly McDonough, U of Texas at Austin; Ruby Hansen Murray; Tero Mustonen, U of Eastern Finland; Darren O’Toole, U of Ottawa; Shiri Pasternak, Ryerson U; Dione Payne, Te Whare Wānaka o Aoraki–Lincoln U; Joseph M. Pierce, Stony Brook U; Khal Schneider, California State U, Sacramento; Argelia Segovia Liga, Colegio de Michoacán; Leanne Betasamosake Simpson; Jameson R. Sweet, Rutgers U; Michael P. Taylor, Brigham Young U; Candessa Tehee, Northeastern State U; Benjamin Hugh Velaise, Google American Indian Network. 

Raised in traditional Ute territory in Colorado and now living in shíshálh territory in British Columbia, Daniel Heath Justice (Cherokee Nation) is professor of Critical Indigenous Studies and English at the University of British Columbia, xwməθkwəy̓əm territory. He is author of Why Indigenous Literatures Matter and Our Fire Survives the Storm (Minnesota, 2005).

Jean M. O’Brien (White Earth Ojibwe) is Distinguished McKnight and Northrop Professor in the Department of History at the University of Minnesota within Dakota homelands. Her books include Dispossession by Degrees and Firsting and Lasting (Minnesota, 2010).


Introduction: What’s Done to the People Is Done to the Land

Daniel Heath Justice and Jean M. O’Brien

$85 an Acre

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

Part I. Family Narrations of Privatization

tʸiptukɨłhɨ wa tʸiptutʸɨˀnɨ, where are you from and where are you going?: patterns, parcels, and place nitspu tiłhin

Sarah Biscarra Dilley

Narrated Nationhood and Imagined Belonging: Fanciful Family Stories and Kinship Legacies of Allotment

Daniel Heath Justice

Making Mahnomen Home: The Dawes Act and Ojibwe Mobility in Grandma’s Stories

Jean M. O’Brien

The World of Paper, Restoring Relations, and the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe

Nick Estes

“What should we do?”: Returning Fractionated Allotments Back to the Tribes, One Family’s Story

Sheryl Lightfoot

Allotment Speculations: The Emergence of Land Memory

Joseph M. Pierce

Interlude: Kinscape

Marilyn Dumont

Part II. Racial and Gender Taxonomies

Blut und Boden: “Mixed-Bloods” and Métis in U.S. Allotment and Canadian Enfranchisement Policies

Darren O’Toole

Extinguishing the Dead: Colonial Anxieties and Metis Scrip at the Fringe of Focus

Jennifer Adese

Makhoìčhe Khiìpi: A Dakota Family Story of Race, Land, and Dispossession before the Dawes Act

Jameson R. Sweet

Anishnaabe Women and the Struggle for Indigenous Land Rights in Northern Michigan, 1836–1887

Susan E. Gray

ᎪᎩ ᎤᏗᏞᎩ ᏗᏛᎪᏗ ᎾᏂᏪᏍᎬ ᎶᎶ: You can hear locusts in the heat of the summer

Candessa Tehee

Interlude: Amikode

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

Part III. Privatization as State Violence

Itinerant Indigeneities: Navigating Guåhan’s Treacherous Roads Through CHamoru Feminist Pathways

Christine Taitano DeLisle and Vicente M. Diaz

Settler Colonial Purchase: Privatizing Hawaiian Land

J. Kēhaulani Kauanui

The Enduring Confiscation of Indigenous Allotments in the National Interest—Pōkaewhenua 1961–1969

Dione Payne

“Why does a hat need so much land?”

Shiri Pasternak

Stories of American Indian Freedom: The Privatization of American Indian Resources from Allotment to the Present

William Bauer

The Incorporation of Life and Land: The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act

Benjamin Hugh Velaise

Interlude: Long Live Deatnu and the Grand Allotment

Rauna Kuokkanen

Part IV. Resistance and Resurgence

Indigenous and Traditional Rewilding in Finland and Sápmi: Enacting the Rights and Governance of North Karelian ICCAs and Skolt Sámi

Tero Mustonen and Pauliina Feodoroff

Settler Colonial Mexico and Indigenous Primordial Titles

Kelly S. McDonough

“Our Divine Right to Land”: The Struggle against Privatization of Nahua Communal Lands

Argelia Segovia Liga

After Property: The Sakhina Struggle in Late Ottoman and British-ruled Palestine, 1876–1948

Munir Fakher Eldin

How to Get a Home, How to Work, and How to Live

Khal Schneider

Petitioning Allotment: Collectivist Stories of Indigenous Solidarity

Michael Taylor

I do what I do for the language: Land and Choctaw Language and Cultural Revitalization

Megan Baker

Tse Wah Zha Zhi

Ruby Hansen Murray

Afterword: Indigenous Foresight Under Duress and the Modern Applicability of Allotment Agreements

Stacy L. Leeds