Breaking the Iron Bonds Indian Control of Energy Development

ISBN-10: 0700605185

ISBN-13: 9780700605187

Edition: 1990

Authors: Marjane Ambler

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It is, perhaps, not well known that Indian people own about one-third of the country's western coal and uranium resources, as well as vast quantities of oil and natural gas. In the early 1960s, lurid news accounts about the Black Mesa strip mine in Arizona and the manipulation of the Navajos and Hopis shocked the American public, Indian and non-Indian alike. The mine became a symbol of the exploitation of Indian people and Indian resources to satisfy the nation's energy demands. In this book, Marjane Ambler explores the strides that both tribes and individual Indian mineral owners have made since that time, gaining crucial control over oil, gas, coal, and uranium development on their lands. Breaking the Iron Bond focuses on the quiet revolution of the 1970s and 1980s. It traces the steps taken--both forward and backward--as tribes and individual Indian mineral owners asserted control over energy development, from monetary returns and water rights to off-reservation development and environmental regulations. In a final chapter, the author describes how some tribes have taken over some wells completely or joined with corporate partners to direct development. Ms. Ambler, who has covered these issues for fifteen years as a journalist, offers firsthand accounts, numerous interviews with major players, and lively descriptions of the heroics of some Indian leaders. Much of the writing about American Indian issues has focused on either policies adopted by federal government or on the results of those policies on a single reservation. By contrast, this book shows the effects of tribal and federal energy policies on fifteen western reservations and untangles the complicated legal and technical issues. "Ambler provides a very perceptive analysis of the historical problems which have retarded economic development on Indian lands--the iron bonds of paternalism, exploitation, and dependency. It is a classic case study of the federal government's neglect of its trust responsiblity to Indians. Amber's balanced perspective and brilliant synthesis of issues, personalities, and events gives it all the right stuff of superlative history."--Michael Lawson, author of Dammed Indians: The Pick-Sloan Plan and the Missouri River Sioux. "Ambler is a fair and impressively lucid observer of contemporary Indian affairs. She understands the real and potential impacts of energy development on tribal cultures and reservation life, and she is outstandingly knowledgeable about Indian backgrounds."--Alvin M. Josephy, Jr., author of Now That the Buffalo's Gone.
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Book details

List price: $29.95
Copyright year: 1990
Publisher: University Press of Kansas
Publication date: 2/26/1990
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 368
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.144
Language: English

List of Illustrations, Maps, and Tables
List of Acronyms
Out of the Mainstream: The Importance of the Reservation
The Rubber-Stamp Era: Early History of Indian Mineral Leasing
Early Horse Trading: Tribes Begin Setting the Terms
Indian OPEC? The Council of Energy Resource Tribes
Who's Minding the Store? Indian Royalty Management
The Forgotten People: Indian Allottees
After the Contract Is Signed: The Tribe as Regulator
No Reservation Is an Island: Water and Off-Reservation Energy Development
Into the Boss's Seat: The Tribe as Developer
Indian Land and Mineral Timeline
Council of Energy Resource Tribes (CERT) Reservations, 1988
Charles Lipton's Eighteen Points
Suggestions for Industry
Selected Bibliography
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