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Professor Crandall's book These People Have Always Been a Republic has won more awards and professional recognition. Spanning three hundred years and the colonial regimes of Spain, Mexico, and the United States, Maurice S. Crandall's sweeping history of Native American political rights in what is now New Mexico, Arizona, and Sonora demonstrates how Indigenous communities implemented, subverted, rejected, and indigenized colonial ideologies of democracy, both to accommodate and to oppose colonial power. The work reimagines and redefines Native American politics and power, arguing that these structures can act as templates to hold off the modern political cynicism throughout the Americas.
Focusing on four groups--Pueblos in New Mexico, Hopis in northern Arizona, and Tohono O'odhams and Yaquis in Arizona/Sonora--Crandall reveals the ways Indigenous peoples absorbed and adapted colonially imposed forms of politics to exercise sovereignty based on localized political, economic, and social needs. Using sources that include oral histories and multinational archives, this book allows us to compare Spanish, Mexican, and American conceptions of Indian citizenship, and adds to our understanding of the centuries-long struggle of Indigenous groups to assert their sovereignty in the face of settler colonial rule.
The awards include the 2020 Caughey Western History Association Prize from the Western History Association, the 2020 David J. Weber-Clements Prize from the Western History Association, and an Honorable Mention from 2020 Erminie Wheeler-Voegelin Book Award, American Society for Ethnohistory.
Professor Crandall is a citizen of the Yavapai-Apache Nation of Camp Verde, Arizona.