Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
On the face of it, Piestewa, from the Hopi tribe, does not fit the bill for the all-American war hero or heroine. She was a single mother of two who left her four-year-old son, Brandon, and three-year-old daughter, Carla, with her parents who live in a trailer in Tuba City, Arizona while she went to fight in the Middle East. But, in more ways than one, hers is the other American face of this war, fought by a military whose ranks have been swelled by poor, non-white women. A volunteer army comprising recruits who, whatever their patriotic credentials, have few other choices.
Moreover, the army's sensitivity to native American culture leaves much to be desired, says Johnson. "They still talk about 'going into Indian country', meaning enemy territory," he says. They continue to dwell on the stereotype of native Americans as warriors, giving their missiles names like Apache and Tomahawk. "On the one hand they think of us as fierce warriors and on the other they refer to us as being hostile to American interests."