indigenous peoples 2283

increased 37 percent (to 1,878,285); and from
1990 to 2000, the American Indian population
increased 26 percent (to 2,366,639). The increase
is due to improved enumeration techniques, a
decrease in death rates, and an increasingly will
ingness of individuals to identify themselves as
Native American. Native Americans intermarry
with other groups more than any other ethnic
group, giving rise to three different categories of
Indians: (1) American Indians, persons
who claim to be Indian racially and have a spe
cific tribal identification; (2) American Indians
of multiple ancestry, persons who claim to be
Indian racially, but who have significant non
Indian ancestry; and (3) Americans of Indian
descent, who do not claim to be Indian racially,
but who report an Indian component in their
background (Snipp 1986). This gives rise to
questions about membership in Indian tribes
and definitions of who is and is not Indian
by tribal governments, federal officials, and
Indian communities and individuals. The finan
cial successes of some native communities (e.g.,
due to gaming or natural resources) makes iden
tity an economic issue as well.
Urbanization, intermarriage, education, and
increased participation in the paid labor force
since World War II have spurred the most
politically active period in American Indian
history: formation of activist organizations such
as the American Indian Movement and Women
of All Red Nations, legal defense organizations
such as Native American Rights Fund and
Native Action, and lobbying groups such as
National Congress of American Indians and
National Tribal Chairmens Association. These
organizations comprised a backdrop and, in
some cases, the infrastructure for Indian rights
movements in cities and on reservations that
took root and blossomed in the fertile political
soil of the civil rights era in the US. Beginning
in the 1960s, American Indians staged a variety
of protest events: fish ins in the Pacific
Northwest in the mid 1960s, the 19 month
occupation of Alcatraz Island beginning in
1969, the 71 day siege at Wounded Knee on
the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota in
1973, the occupation of Camp Yellow Thunder
in the Black Hills in the 1980s, and protests
against Indian athletic mascots since the 1980s.
Out of such protests and the legal battles they
gave rise to came a new self determination
era in federal Indian policy. This opened the
way to increased tribal control of budgets and
decision making, to the development of tribally
owned natural resources, to the establishment
of casinos and gaming on tribal land, and to
opportunities for self rule and economic devel
opment by Indian communities. These changes,
in turn, have raised questions about how Native
Americans fit into United States society.
In the twentieth century, access to wealth
from mineral resources, gaming, and tourism
has helped economic development on reserva
tions and in American Indian communities.
Although Snipp (1988) has shown that the dif
ferences between energy resource Indian nations
and those without such resources tend to be
minimal, gaming has brought profits and change
to many native communities (Jorgensen 1998;
Napoli 2002). A key problem facing Native
American nations has been how to participate
in economic development without undermining
traditional Indian values (Cornell & Kalt 1992,
2005). The tension between development and
tradition also are central to debates in many
indigenous communities globally (Wilmer
1993; Gedicks 2001).
Economic development and the practice
and preservation of traditional cultures are
enmeshed in two important contemporary issues
facing American Indians: the internal and exter
nal consequences of gaming as a strategy of
economic development in Indian communities
and non native interest in American Indian
spiritual practices. Because of their special rela
tionship with the US federal government, reser
vation governments are able to sponsor gaming,
to sell gasoline and cigarettes without paying
local and state taxes, and to sell other typically
locally or state interdicted or regulated products
such as fireworks. The growth of Indian casinos
and the desire of non Indian governments
and businesses to compete with Indian enter
prises, which they see as having unfair tax
advantages, has spawned social movements that
are nominally anti gaming, but are often thinly
disguised anti Indian movements. In some cases
they reflect conflicts of interest among local
non Indians, Indians, and local and state gov
ernments. Similar non Indian opposition has
resulted from renewed Indian land claims (such
as by the Passamaquoddies in Maine in the 1980s
and the Oneidas in New York in the 1990s).