This week’s readings by Goeman, Ramirez, Barker, Clark and Johnson all share a resonant idea on the effects of historical displacing of Indian communities. These authors discuss “genocidal programs of termination and relocation” and how the Indian communities are trying to create their own spaces in which they can develop spatial discourse and make connections with other Indians alike, helping strengthen the overall community identity thought by many to have been erased. Equally important Barker discusses how the U.S. negotiates the identities of Indian tribes and reinstates them as it pleases, implicating its continued power as the colonizer. Clark and Johnson focused on the contemporary violence suffered by Indian women caused by the historical violence on the entire Indian community.
Goeman is looking at the “mapping of the body polity and nation state” (170). She does this through an examination of both the historical and contemporary politics that have continuously displaced Native communities geographically as well as culturally. A focal point of her research is on the Relocation program. She discusses how the Relocation program removed Indians from their native land and how the push to make the Native community assimilate caused still heartfelt by the community today. Clearly there is now a need to recreate this space from which these communities were forcibly removed from and “Native women authors are not just representing a space as a return to an “original” land or an “original” past/nation/being and thus erasing the layers of time geography and history but also are mediating multiple relationships and, by doing so, navigating ways of being in the world that reflect contemporary Native experiences” (183). Goeman’s emphasizes on these poets who have used their creative language to reconstruct spaces for discourse that involve dialogue between colonialism and its relocation of Indians with its political, emotional and spiritual impact on the community. Through Goeman’s analyzing of poetry not based on what is being said but rather the silences between the words, the subliminal implications of poetic style, this can be related to the way Indian culture must also sometimes be understood between the lines. Ramirez looks at the importance of hubs, or any spaces in which Indians may gather and help support their identity. Ramirez alike Goeman comments on how Indians have been continuously erased, and portrayed as extinct but that spaces such as powwows enable Indians to practice their culture and strengthen their sense of community. “Despite—or maybe because of—the mixtures of tribes and approaches to life represented in this room, the powwow appeared to provide a place where Indians could come together to share their feelings of common identity” (Ramirez 4). Ramirez also talks about the sweat lodge ceremony as an example of creating a sacred space through singing, prayer and sage. Ramirez then compares sweat lodges to powwows in that they both not only revitalize Indian culture but that it creates connections between Indian communities. “This spiritual unmapping of the white world gives Indian people the time and the space to reconnect to a physical and spiritual reality where Indian people truly belong” (Ramirez 7). Ramirez here is inferring alike Goeman some of the practices by Indians that have come as a result to the oppressive policies such as that of relocation. The powwows and sweat lodges similar to the poems explored by Goeman are all forms of resistance and are methods to challenge the government’s attempts of assimilation and erasure. Barker talks about the tribes having to be subjugated as legal entities by the U.S. government. Barker explores how recognition policies are used to legitimize an “Indian tribe.” Moreover, Barker argues that the recognition of “Indian tribes” was not about a genuine attempt on behalf of the state to