Faculty member in Geography and Native American Studies, The Evergreen State College
Lab 1, Room 3012, 2700 Evergreen Pkwy. NW,
Olympia, WA 98502 USA
Tel. (360) 867-6153
(forthcoming from University of Washington Press Indigenous Confuences series, Spring 2017)
Foreword, by Winona LaDuke
Part I: Running Upstream
1. Fish Wars and Co-management (Western Washington)
2. Water Wars and Breaching Dams (Northwest Plateau)
Part II: Militarizing Lands and Skies
3. Military Projects and Environmental Racism (Nevada & Southern Wisconsin)
Part III: Keeping It in the Ground
4. Resource Wars and Sharing Sacred Lands (Montana & South Dakota)
5. Fossil Fuel Shipping and Blocking (Northern Plains & Pacific Northwest)
Part IV: Agreeing on the Water
6. Fishing and Exclusion (Northern Wisconsin)
7. Mining and Inclusion (Northern Wisconsin)
As Native nations have asserted their treaty rights and sovereignty, they have confronted a "white backlash" from their neighbors fearful of losing control over the land and natural resources. Farmers, ranchers, and fishers have at times been virtually at war with Native peoples over treaty resources such as fish and water. Yet faced with an outside threat to the common environment--such as a mine, dam, bombing range, coal train, or oil pipeline---some communities unexpectedly joined to protect the same resources. Strong rural alliances of Native peoples and their white neighbors, such as the Cowboy Indian Alliance, came together in areas of the U.S. where no one would have predicted or even imagined them. Some regions with the most intense and violent conflict were even transformed into the areas with the deepest cooperation to defend sacred lands and water.
Unlikely Alliances explores this evolution from conflict to cooperation through place-based case studies in Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Montana, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, from the 1970s to the 2010s. They suggest how a deep love of place can overcome the most bitter divides between Native and non-Native neighbors, but only through challenging white privilege and upholding tribal sovereignty. They offer lessons about the complex interplay of particularist differences and universalist similarities in building social movements across lines of racial and cultural identity. They also show how "outsiders" can be transformed into "insiders" by redefining a contested local place as common ground. In our times of polarized politics and globalized economies, many of these stories offer inspiration and hope.
Zoltán Grossman is professor of geography and Native studies at The Evergreen State College. He is a longtime community organizer and coeditor of Asserting Native Resilience: Pacific Rim Indigenous Nations Face the Climate Crisis.
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Unlikely Alliances: Treaty conflicts and environmental cooperation between Native American and rural White communities
Zoltan Charles Grossman, Ph.D. , University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2002 (Adviser: William Cronon) 529 pages; ISBN: 0-493-76089-X
SELECTED DISSERTATION-RELATED ARTICLES / PRESENTATIONS
Winona LaDuke interviews Zoltan Grossman on Unlikely Alliances, KKWE Niijii Radio, White Earth, MN (7/2/14).
Quinault Nation Builds Bridge to Stop Grays Harbor Oil Terminal, Works in Progress (12/16)