Brenden W. Rensink
Native but Foreign
Indigenous Immigrants and Refugees in the North American Borderlands
Texas A&M University Press 2018
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Latin American StudiesNew Books in Native American StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in the American WestNew Books Network December 13, 2018 Tim Heise
In his new book Native but Foreign: Indigenous Immigrants and Refugees in the North American Borderlands (Texas A&M University Press, 2018), Brenden W. Rensink asks the question “How do national borders affect and react to Native identity?” To answer this question he compares indigenous peoples who traversed North American borders in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries–emphasizing migrations of Crees and Chippewas who crossed the border with Canada into Montana and Yaquis from Mexico who migrated into Arizona. Countering the popular myth otherwise, Dr. Rensink employs experiences of the Yaquis, Crees, and Chippewas to depict Arizona and Montana as an active and mercurial blend of local political, economic, and social interests pushing back against and even reshaping broader federal policy. Despite opposition, Crees, Chippewas, and Yaquis gained legal and permanent settlements in the United States, and successfully broke free of imposed transnational identities.