Laura Cornelius Kellogg was an eloquent and fierce voice in early twentieth century Native American affairs. An organizer, author, playwright, performer, and linguist, Kellogg worked tirelessly for Wisconsin Oneida cultural self-determination when efforts to Americanize Native people reached their peak. She is best known for her extraordinary book Our Democracy and the American Indian (1920) and as a founding member of the Society of American Indians. In an era of government policies aimed at assimilating Indian peoples and erasing tribal identities, Kellogg supported a transition from federal paternalism to self-government. She strongly advocated for the restoration of tribal lands, which she considered vital for keeping Native nations together and for obtaining economic security and political autonomy.
Although Kellogg was a controversial figure, alternately criticized and championed by her contemporaries, her work has endured in Oneida community memory and among scholars in Native American studies, though it has not been available to a broader audience. Ackley and Stanciu resurrect her legacy in this comprehensive volume, which includes Kellogg’s writings, speeches, photographs, congressional testimonies, and coverage in national and international newspapers of the time. In an illuminating and richly detailed introduction, the editors show how Kellogg’s prescient thinking makes her one of the most compelling Native intellectuals of her time. 336 pages, 21 black and white illustrations.