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PRINT Summer 1988

THE GROUND HAS BEEN COVERED

(The passages of this essay that are printed in boldface were written by Jimmie Durham, those in lightface by Jean Fisher.)

Don’t worry—I’m a good Indian. I’m from the West, love nature, and have a special, intimate connection with the environment. (And if you want me to, I’m perfectly willing to say it’s a connection white people will never understand.) I can speak with my animal cousins, and believe it or not I’m appropriately spiritual. (Even smoke the Pipe.)

I’m assuming there is an audience interested enough in American Indians to read this. Like V. S. Naipaul, I imagine the possibility of there existing at least a few readers with a detached intelligence and sympathy rather than ulterior motives. If there are such readers, however, they will probably already have “covered” American Indians. Maybe they’ll pass over this article without reading it. So actually, I make the assumption only

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