Standing Up to Colonial Power: The Lives of Henry Roe and Elizabeth Bender Cloud

Renya K. Ramirez. Univ. of Nebraska, $29.95 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4962-1172-9
Ramirez (Gender, Belonging, and Native American Women) employs her professional skills as an anthropologist to tell the story of her grandparents, Native American activists whose work helped pave the way for the 1960s Red Power movement, with the aim of decolonizing the family legacy. Ramirez’s grandfather Henry, a member of the Ho-Chunk tribe of what is now Wisconsin who was adopted by a white Christian family after his own died in a flu epidemic, gained national attention for his work on the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 and for founding a Native American school that embraced—rather than eradicated—Native traditions. His wife, Elizabeth, worked as a partner in the school and as an activist, and also received the 1950 American Mother of the Year Award. Ramirez takes an explicitly decolonizing perspective; she declines to use the portion of Henry’s name that he voluntarily took from his adoptive family and labels Elizabeth’s conception of parenting problematic because it was influenced by settler-colonial culture. The academic anthropological analysis meshes somewhat uneasily with the personal stories that movingly convey similar ideas. Given this style, this work is best suited for scholarly readers, but Ramirez tells a valuable story of indigenous resistance and a family legacy of activism. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/22/2018
Release date: 12/01/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 978-1-4962-1270-2
Book - 978-1-4962-1269-6
Ebook - 978-1-4962-1268-9
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