Wag(er)ing Histories, Staking Territories: Exhibiting Sovereignty in Native America

John Bodinger de Uriarte, Melissa Biggs


Based on research carried out in 2009–2010, this article suggests that gaming revenues created new possibilities for Native peoples to take control of their own public histories as expressions of cultural and political sovereignty. It recognizes museums and cultural centers as parallel spaces for cultural self-representation. Casino-generated funds allow many tribal nations to create or expand existing exhibitionary spaces for repatriated objects—including museums, casinos, resorts, and public attractions—that publicly articulate stories about history, identity, and the practice(s) of sovereignty. Seemingly disparate spaces—casinos thematic and generic, museums old and new, garden and memorial sites, village greens and hotel lobbies—can best be understood as an array of responses to the challenges of articulating Native identities to mostly non-Native publics. Such sites exemplify particular strategies of Native curation in a variety of spaces actively shaped for public attention.

Full Text:


Copyright (c) 2015 John Bodinger de Uriarte, Melissa Biggs

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
We use both functional and performance cookies to improve visitor experience. Continue browsing if you are happy to accept cookies. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.

Museum and Society

ISSN 1479-8360

University Home