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America Needs Indians, The World's Worst Book, Itkomi Lila Sika 1937, Bradford Robinson: Denver




Itkomi Lila Sika [pseud],1937, Bradford Robinson: Denver, Colorado. Some pages uncut. Lengthy dedication to J. H. Martin on last free endpaper with hand drawn glyph and signature. Also laid in is a Re-America Life Membership Card for James H. Martin dated October 26, 1938.

Desirable large, folded map, annotated in the author’s hand and present in map pocket rear inside cover. "Lilawaste Lake Country Refuge To Be?", a highly detailed and imaginary pictorial map of an ideal model refuge for America's indigenous people. Lilawaste means ‘best’ in the Lakota language and this map represents a comprehensive proposal for justice and reparations.

Written in the voice of the Lakota trickster and cultural hero, Itkomi, this is a declaration of misdeeds of the white civilization against the native peoples and a powerful statement of the reconciliation necessary to heal the nation’s wounds along with a comprehensive plan to establish ideal new homelands in the US for the disenfranchised native people.

However, it is most likely that America Needs Indians and the map are the creations of Ivan Drift, a Caucasian man with no apparent Native American heritage who lived most of his adult life on the Oglala Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Identified by Paula Wagoner, in her essay, “The Search for an Honest Man: Iktomi Hcala as an Ethnohistorical and Humanistic Conundrum” *, identifies

Itkomi Lila Sika (also Hcala) as Ivan Drift, c. 1930 – 1940. A student of the Lakota language and culture as well as a strong advocate for the rights of the Native peoples, he adopted the persona of the Lakota mythological trickster figure. It has also been suggested that Drift was using his enmeshment with and support of the Lakota people as part of a campaign for his appointment of superintendent at Pine Ridge reservation.


*Transforming Ethnohistories: Narrative, Meaning and Community, The Search for an Honest Man, Iktomi Hcala as an Ethnohistorical and Humanistic Conundrum, Paula Wagoner, Associate professor of anthropology, Juniata College, Huntington PA, University of Oklahoma Press, 2013


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