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Legal Codes and Talking TreesIndigenous Women's Sovereignty in the Sonoran and Puget Sound Borderlands, 1854-1946$
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Katrina Jagodinsky

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300211689

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300211689.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 21 January 2022

Juana Walker’s “Legal Right as a Half-Breed”

Juana Walker’s “Legal Right as a Half-Breed”

Arizona, 1864–1916

(p.93) Chapter 4 Juana Walker’s “Legal Right as a Half-Breed”
Legal Codes and Talking Trees

Katrina Jagodinsky

Yale University Press

This chapter examines the efforts of the children of Indigenous women to claim and retain family ties and land rights by focusing on the case of Juana Walker in Arizona Territory during the period 1864–1916. Juana Walker was born on September 17, 1873, in the small village of Shuckma hudag (Blackwater), an Akimel O'odham settlement in the eastern portion of the present-day Gila River Indian reservation in Arizona. This chapter discusses Juana Walker's attempt to establish her “legal rights as a half-breed” by filing an inheritance claim against the estate of her deceased father Captain John D. Walker, challenging the rights of her American uncles and asserting her rights in the face of Arizona Territory's miscegenation laws. It argues against passive interpretations of the relatively unimpinged access to sex and property that Arizona's territorial laws granted men like John D. Walker.

Keywords:   land rights, Indigenous women, Juana Walker, Arizona Territory, Akimel O'odham, John D. Walker, inheritance claim, miscegenation laws, sex, property

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