Sunday, December 9, 2012

PL93-620 N. Jun-Sep 1973: Havasupai Action During Senate Consideration.

This series of posts on S.1296 described what the Havasupai had to say at the Senate hearing. My 16 Jul 2011 post on the Havasupai repatriation, based on my notes made on materials in the Truxton Canyon Agency files, sketches out from that perspective the situation of the Havasupai and their allies during Senate consideration. I have inserted a copy of that post in the table of contents under the tab PARK.
  Even sketchier is Hirst's account (pp 264-70,), though it does offer officials' excuses for why the Havasupai expansion got dropped from the bill. Given what happened when their cause finally acquired a competent and connected lobbyist in March 1974, however, Havasupai lack of action in May-Sep 1973 provides a nice lesson in legislative sausage-making: you have got to keep furnishing meat and grinding that handle around if you want to get attention from Congress.
 Sketchiest of all are the pro-Havasupai secondary accounts such as those listed below; they largely ignore Senate action. 
 In any case, the Great Havasupai vs. Sierra Club head-butt took place in 1974, and I will recount it in order as the major event it became.

I have gone through the Spamer bibliography, hoping to find some account of the Havasupai effort that I had missed. Hirst ( Hirst, Stephen,  Life in a Narrow Place, 1976) remains basic. We will know there is a more definitive account when one appears that includes an interview with Joe Sparks.

In these accounts, it is not just the errors, omissions, mis-characterizations, and overall tendentiousness that grates on me, but the reminder of just how hard history is. I have written about mis-steps I have made both in memory and in sources, and even tried to correct some. Imagining what would be required to analyze accounts such as those cited here is daunting to the point where I can only urge anyone interested to read as much as you can stand, and  judge it all for yourselves. Or maybe, just pick the sausage flavor you like and stick with it.

Keller, R. H. & M. F. Turek, American Indians & National Parks, 1998
Morehouse, B. J., A Place Called Grand Canyon: Contested Geographies, 1996
Miller, Kristen

The story of the Havasupai: A look at their claim to the Grand Canyon National Park. Wittenberg History Journal (Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio), 39(Spring):55-70.

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