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Indigenous VisionsRediscovering the World of Franz Boas$
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Ned Blackhawk and Isaiah Lorado Wilner

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300196511

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300196511.001.0001

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“A New Indian Intelligentsia”: Archie Phinney and the Search for a Radical Native American Modernity

“A New Indian Intelligentsia”: Archie Phinney and the Search for a Radical Native American Modernity

Chapter:
(p.258) Chapter 11 “A New Indian Intelligentsia”: Archie Phinney and the Search for a Radical Native American Modernity
Source:
Indigenous Visions
Author(s):

Benjamin Balthaser

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300196511.003.0012

This chapter considers the thought of midcentury Nez Perce activist and anthropologist Archie Phinney, which offers a glimpse into Native practices of modernity through the lens of Marxism and Soviet policy. Phinney posited that a modern Native sovereignty could arise and be realized via a dialectical engagement with the very forces by which Indians experienced their dispossession. He argued that indigenous people had no choice but to take the ideas imposed upon them by modernity and convert them to their own purposes. He contended that Indians must claim for themselves and proudly inhabit their modern racial identity. What distinguished Phinney from other pan-Indian intellectuals was his insistence that modernity is not simply a possession of industrial society. For him, modernity is a historical inheritance, a form of belonging to which indigenous people may lay claim and which they must refashion in their own image to survive.

Keywords:   Native Americans, indigenous people, modernity, Archie Phinney, Marxism, sovereignty

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