Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The American Indian in the White Man's Prisons pdf (1993) is now online at's home page

...with thanks to webmaster Ken Mentor.  Here is the text of the book's back cover/last page:

"'America' needS tO read this book/ It is as compelling as Peter Matthiessen' s In the
Spirit of Crazy Horse, Vine Deloria's God is Red and Custer Died for Your Sins, and Churchill
and Vander Wall's Agents of Repression. The American Indian in the White Man's Prisons: A
Story of Genocide is the most comprehensive documentation of human rights abuses in this
country that I have ever seen ..•. •
Deborah Garlin
Human/Indian rights attorney activist,
author, former legal research and
writing professor
"This book is excellent. It was written collectively by brothers and sisters inside the
prisons, and from their hearts. It is a painfully loud cry for justice. My friend, Bishop
Remi Deroo, wrote a book a few years ago called Cries of Victims, Voice of God, which would
be a good subtitle for this one. The American Indian in the White Man's Prisons: A Story of
Genocide is a book that has been needed for a long, long time, and now it is done.•
Arthur Solomon, Anishnabe
Traditional Elder/Spiritual Leader
author, and prisoners' rights activist
"This book is wonderful, POWERFUL! ...
. .. The writers in this volume, most of whom are present or former Native American prisoners
and spiritual leaders, are masters at portraying the pain and suffering of their people
through the written word. They are spread out in so many networks and so routinely
transferred across prisons and prison systems as 'security risks,' that by legal mail and any
other available means, they have among them a knowledge of prison conditions in North America
far surpassing any other news network or body of literature I have seen. They are pressing
the federal and state governments on a variety of issues such as having nuclear waste dumped
on treaty grounds; and the prison awareness of these writers is matched by their global
awareness of the confrontation between fundamentalist white Christian North America, and
indigenous spiritualism. As we enter the second quincentennial of white European invasion of
the Americas, the first peoples are united as never before on what is at stake for themselves
and for mother earth in this basically religious struggle.
Nowhere on this continent is the battle ground bloodier and more raw than in u.s. prisons,
in 'control units' for activist prisoners in particular. Indian activists are routinely
receiving extended imprisonment, getting beaten and assassinated in prisons across the United
States and Canada for no good reason. Here for the first time, Standing Deer Wilson himself
describes how he agreed to help the fads assassinate American Indian Movement leader and
political prisoner Leonard Peltier. Miraculously, both of them live today. That is not true
of many of their brothers and sisters. If you think George Orwell's ~984 is bad, wait until
you read The American Indian in the. White Man's Prisons: A Story of Genocide.
The most remarkable and revealing part of this clash is that Indian prisoners are asking
only to establish culturally relevant rehabilitation programs designed by and for their own
people (if their suggestions in this book were to be taken seriously by policy makers, I
believe the recidivism rates across the U.S. would decrease significantly for all racial and
ethnic groups -- their suggestions are a substantial constructive response to the prison
crisis); and they ask to be allowed visits with their spiritual advisors ('ministers' we
Anglos call them) and to celebrate worship in their own way. They may, like Peltier and
Standing Deer, go on a prolonged hunger strike to obtain these rights; they may go to courts
and legislatures; but perhaps most exaspe.ratingly to their keepers, they are concertedly nonviolent
and open. The strong ones among them, like these writers, follow a moral code so
demanding, and remain serenely themselves in their commitment so steadfastly, as to terrify
their keepers. To understand this terror of the keepers is to understand how we outside
prison walls continue to accept the attempted genocide of the indigenous spirituality in
ourselves, to say nothing of those who would live by it in our midst.
It is true I come to this book as one whose career in teaching and research takes me to
prisoners and into their worlds, but this book is not only for criminologists, it is for nonnative
peoples across the face of this continent, and indeed on behalf of aboriginal rights
Harold E. Pepinsky
Author, editor,
Chair, Division of Critical Criminology

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