Book Review: Encounter on the Great Plains: Scandinavian Settlers and the Dispossession of Dakota Indians, 1890-1930 by Karen V. Hansen
In Encounter on the Great Plains, Karen Hansen investigates Scandinavian immigrants and settlers who came to live on the post-allotment Spirit Lake Reservation in North Dakota. She does so through examining stories by Scandinavian as well as Dakota residents. As the subtitle indicates, Hansen is interested in the question of dispossession: Did the Scandinavians, among whom were her ancestors, contribute to the dispossession of the Dakotas? As she writes, “[w]hat does it mean when one group’s acquisition of land is predicated on the dispossession of the other?” (3). Her answer is multifaceted and reveals the complexities of lives and narratives in a situation of rapid social, economic, and political change.
This book review is published as Braun, S. Book review: Encounter on the Great Plains: Scandinavian Settlers and the Dispossession of Dakota Indians, 1890-1930 by Karen V. Hansen. North Dakota History 2016; 81(3); 35-36. Posted with permission.