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3. Native American Literature and the Canon A l t h o u g h the rich and various literatures of Native Ameri- can peoples, apart f rom their inherent interest and excellence, by virtue of their antiquity and indigenousness, have a strong claim to inclusion in the canon of American literature, this claim, as I have noted, has not yet been granted with any fullness. [Most of the account that follows was first published in Critical Inquiry's special issue on the canon of September 1983 (I thank CI for permission to reprint). That same year, Michael Castro

175 The story of Freemasonry and Native Americans begins in 1776, when the Mohawk leader Joseph Brant joined an English Masonic lodge.1 As an Indian leader and Loyalist ally, Brant traveled several times to Eng- land, where he discussed the role of the Iroquois in the Revolutionary War. While in London, he was entertained by the Prince of Wales, had his portrait painted, and joined a Masonic lodge. In his lifetime, the Mohawk chief learned English, gained a Western education, joined the Anglican Church, and translated the Bible into his native language. At

becomes the distinc- tion between being a student and becoming an or- ator. In studying a religious art, where breath has overtones of "strength" and "spirit," this ground must be traversed cautiously. — D O N A L D B A H R In order for criticism to be responsible, it must always be addressed to someone who can contest it. T A L A L A S A D The criticism of Western literatures, as is wel l known, is more than two milennia old, extending at least from Plato to the present. Criticism of Native American literatures, 174 / E T H N O C R I T I C I S M however, is

the displacement of the continent’s inhabitants. If the Indians became extinct, whether physically or culturally, they could have no ongoing collective rights to land or self-government that Europeans, and later Americans, would be obliged to respect. The narrative also mistak- enly ignores the continued survival and adaptation of Native American tribes to this very day—legally, politically, and culturally. Despite losses of land and population, as well as concerted U.S. government eff orts to A Counterstory of Native American Persistence carole goldberg

religion and create a basis for claim- ing that peyotism, even if new, was somehow very old. This would allow them to insist that they were engaged in the recovery of some- thing that had been lost, something that was essential to the indigenous experience and therefore ultimately inaccessible to whites. Moreover, if it was an ancient practice, it might be somehow safe for the Indian, who was rooted in a racial heritage that made them immune to the dangers of a drug that was otherwise dangerous. chapter five 1918 The Native American Church It was given exclusively

X I Sunflowers—The One Native American Crop E V E R SINCE I FIRST SAW acres of wild sunflowers blossoming in gold and green confusion all down the back slopes of Dago Hill in Saint Louis, I have been intoxicated with sunflowers. They happen to be of key significance in the story of plants and man; if they were not I should be tempted to tell you about them any- way. I wish it were possible fully to communicate my enthusiasm for these lusty brilliant flowers, these coarse and resinous weeds which have been so closely tied up with man during his varied

6 THE TRIUMPH OF THE NATIVE AMERICAN CHURCH CELEBRATING THE FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION Frank Dayish Jr. delivering the opening prayer at the Parliament of World Religions, Cape Town, South Africa, 1999. Photograph by Phil Cousineau. Used by permission of Phil Cousineau. F rank Dayish Jr., Navajo, is a lifelong member of the Native Amer-ican Church of North America and has served two terms as its pres-ident. Dayish is currently the vice president of the Navajo Nation and serves as co-chairman of the Sovereignty Protection Initiative. He is active on issues of

7 THE FIGHT FOR NATIVE AMERICAN PRISONERS’ RIGHTS THE RED ROAD TO REHABILITATION Lenny Foster, 1999. Photograph by Phil Cousineau. Used by permission of Phil Cousineau. L enny Foster, a Dine/Navajo from Port Defiance, Arizona, has beeninvolved in the struggle for prisoners’ rights for the last thirty years.He is the director of the Corrections Project of the Navajo Nation Department of Behavioral Health Services and spiritual advisor to ap- proximately two thousand Native American inmates in ninety-six state prisons and federal penitentiaries across the United

CHAPTER FIVE Person and Nature in Native American Worldviews Asian ideas and practices raise important questions but offer no clear- cut answers regarding the links among human nature, nonhuman na- ture, and ethics. To clarify the questions, raise further issues, and suggest some tentative and partial answers, I turn now to indigenous cultures, particularly in North America. Though Native American cultures were never without internal and external conflicts and complications, prior to European contact most indigenous Americans managed to make a living

4. Monologue and Dialogue in Native American Autobiography i. B e c a u s e of the relation between critical paradigms and the literary canon—some texts being more visible and more inter- esting to certain procedures than to others—I have proposed the importance of a historicist emphasis for American litera- ture as far more likely than any formalist turn for the purpose of noting the contribution of indigenous, Native American literature to American literature (as well as to see what it might mean to value Native productions in their own right). The