This War is for a Whole Life





This War is for a Whole Life


This War is for a Whole Life is a book that talks of the war between Southern California’s Native Indians and the Europeans (Hanks 14). The book has five chapters describing the events that took place between 1850 and the year 1966. The origin of the war is attributed to the cold wars, which had existed and included the Pan Indian activities responsible for the events of 1919. The main issue, which faced the groups, had been from the termination of trust protection for the tribal and foreign lands. Based on cultural grounds, the Europeans had despised the Indians of Southern California and therefore had not accepted them into their society. As a matter of self-defense, the Indians on their part countered all actions the Europeans had taken against them. The actions taken focused on the Indians’ religion, culture, ways of life, land, and their families. Hanks in the book suggested that assimilation of the natives would enable justice, peace, and equality in the society as deemed.      


Chapter 1

The chapter focuses on the reorganization act and reinforcement period of the Indians according to the reforms that they had established as means of response to the Europeans. The author takes the mantle of introducing and developing the implemented act of Indian reorganization. The act is also referred to as the Indian New Deal and its establishment was meant to strengthen the history and culture of the tribe. The act was also purposed to help the Indians regain their original ability and mandate to control their lands as well as other assets. In addition, the act was championed in order to help the Indians have a better chance of surviving and having comfortable lives within California. The author also enables understanding of distrust that came about when Indian offices arose as opposed to the government agencies (Hanks 36). Since communism and socialism were allowed within the Indian Territory, intense criticism from other settings is then reviewed within the chapter. Conflicts within the tribal lands are also depicted in the chapter while the lesser development of significance on the case is highlighted in the years 1930s and 1940s.  

Chapter 2

In chapter two, the World War II had commenced while the government created room for varied warfare operations and deliberations. The Indian office was moved to Chicago as the resultant efforts from the government are witnessed by the heightening of political temperature in the national context. Directly, this caused a division in governance consequently. At the initial basis, governance was meant to ensure harmony, peace, understanding, as well as sanity was delivered all round. The chapter also indicates the efforts aimed at eradication of Bureau of Indian Affairs, which is one of the United States federal government’s agencies. As part of its jurisdiction, the agency was supposed to facilitate management of the Indian trust lands for the tribe. The chapter also delves into exploration of the efforts by the Indians to protect themselves from such federal actions. Their argument was that the government was in conjunction with the local and state authorities in denying them their constitutional rights as well as discrimination (Champagne and Goldberg 16). The chapter is thus able to display the efforts by the Indians in retracting of their trust protection from the federal government.   

Chapter 3

In this chapter, the Indians are relentless in fighting against the federal termination of the Bureau of Indian Affairs with consulted efforts. From the grassroots level, the Indians carry out activism in protest towards such efforts. The policy in reformation was not favored in both congress and respective state of California. Due to the Indians’ ability to vote their representatives, the termination process as discussed in the chapter indicates the strength of their actions. As a matter of irony, the elected Indian officials display pretentious and questionable behavior in not advocating for the termination of the policy. The chapter is then succinct on the efforts taken by the mission of Indians towards sensitization and informative steps on the problems they faced at the time. Without much proper attention based on the efforts, some of the proceeds appear futile. It is due to the intent of stalling the process of termination that the chapter shows the innate desire. Hope is restored when the congress orders for termination of Californians and Indians reservation between them during 1950s. The termination as new formal law is through the introduction of Public Law 280 after the reservation. In 1953, it is fully established as a law (Champagne and Goldberg 19). The author indicates the intricate details pertains the transfer of federal law in specified communities of tribal nature to local and state governments.     

Chapter 4

Chapter four discusses the several steps taken by the Indians to communicate to the federal government on their concerns and grievances. The Indian spokespersons together with their accompanied missions engage in all efforts trying to explain the need for termination process to the government. They detail the negative effects attributed towards the American Indians to little avail. They also communicate their opposition towards the congress directive on termination. In addition, the missions push for justice in order to compel their allocation of space within the tribal land in order to avoid being sidelined at all costs. In the details of the chapter, the author voices informative procedures that were used in implementation of the Public Law 280 by the congress as part of Indian Reservation elimination. It is then at the end of the chapter that the various steps taken by the missions in countering any termination proceeds are accounted.    

Chapter 5

The major highlight of the chapter is the concurrent resolution of 108, which was passed by the house. It allowed for the state of California to take charge of all issues regarding the Indians. The above mandate is quite positive especially as the state government is tasked with reviewing the termination process and the subsequent impact it had on the tribe. On the national agenda, it was welcome to the government as it sought means of promoting unity and harmony between the white majority and the Indians in Southern California. The chapter also delves into roles of the state and federal bodies in dispensation of power as well as promotion of equity in governance. In 1954, leaders from South and North California meet at a summit aimed at signifying peaceful coexistence among the Americans and the tribes in addition to well-being of the state (Hanks 112). As the events are unfolded in the chapter, the government questions the details of the termination process, leading to its delay. The house’s purpose within the concurrent resolution 108 aims at promoting the termination process and seeing its success. The Indian mission and other similar vested entities have their hopes of stalling the process resuscitated due to the governmental intervention. As the chapter ends, the process is dragged and with the resistance enabled, it is stopped altogether.    

Overall Analysis

One of the major importances of the book is the delivery of the plight faced by the native Indian tribes within Southern California through informative details and articulation of the whole process. The book is systematic in delivering chronological sequences of historical events, leading to the present day American setting and documentation on the injustices witnessed. The Indian Reorganization Act is deliberated with clarity as means of explaining the natives’ right towards according of freedoms and culture strengthening. The author is circumspect in explaining the under siege basis of Bureau of Indian Affairs during the Second World War. Despite being at risk of losing their rights to tribal land, the Indians forge ahead especially with conscious efforts on the termination process. The termination of California-Indian reservations gives rise to passing of the Public Law 280. Later on, the current jurisdiction on resolution by the congress is achieved in 1954. All the impacts of the termination process are explained as means f educating the reader on the attributed effects towards the natives as witnessed in the events.   

            The delivery of the systematic chapters is logical in outlining the achievement of peace, unity, and harmony in the Californian state. Apart from owing up to the Indians’ problems, they were considered as part of the state citizens with their rights protected. One of the books’ impact shows that the Bureau of Indian Affairs stood still within the framework up to date and the efforts were victorious. The book also deliberates on all the intervention procedures for the tribal inclusion. Not all the above measures discriminated according to race, ethnicity, socio economic classes, and will power of the involved tribes.

Works Cited:

Champagne, Duane, and Carole E Goldberg. Captured Justice. Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 2012. Print.

Hanks, Richard A. This War Is for a Whole Life: The Culture of Resistance Among Southern California Indians, 1850-1966. , 2006. Print.

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