AUTHORS: Darian-Smith, Eve - ©2004
This case study examines the impact of casino gaming on Native American reservations, and also explores why the idea of "rich Indians" and their participation in corporate America disrupts dominant assumptions and attitudes about indigenous peoples, their cultural authenticity, and their place in mainstream urban society. Taking an anthropological approach to studying gaming on Indian reservations, the case study explores the implications and challenges of historically marginalized peoples now participating in a corporate entertainment industry. The study also raises broader questions about the nature of capitalism and the enduring stability of predominant cultural constructs about Indians that have dominated the country’s political and economic arenas. The impact of Indian gaming in the United States is discussed against a backdrop of globalization and other capitalist endeavors by native peoples in Canada and Australia who are increasingly demanding greater rights to participate in the formal institutions and governments of modern western societies. The book aims to: 1. Introduce students to the legal, political, economic and cultural tensions surrounding casino operations on Native American reservations. 2. Explore why gaming has become such a politically and emotionally charged issue. 3. Emphasize how these tensions existing between Indian and non-Indian communities are representative of wider cultural conflicts and identity politics increasingly confronting many countries.