Gambling on Authenticity

Gaming, the Noble Savage, and the Not-so-New Indian

Becca Gercken (Editor), Julie Pelletier (Editor)


In the decades since the passing of the Pamajewon ruling in Canada and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in the United States, gaming has come to play a crucial role in how Indigenous peoples are represented and read by both Indians and non-Indians alike. This collection presents a transnational examination of North American gaming and considers the role Indigenous artists and scholars play in producing depictions of Indigenous gambling.

In an effort to offer a more complete and nuanced picture of Indigenous gaming in terms of sign and strategy than currently exists in academia or the general public, Gambling on Authenticity crosses both disciplinary and geographic boundaries. The case studies presented offer a historically and politically nuanced analysis of gaming that collectively creates an interdisciplinary reading of gaming informed by both the social sciences and the humanities.

A great tool for the classroom, Gambling on Authenticity works to illuminate the not-so-new Indian being formed in the public’s consciousness by and through gaming.

About the Authors

Becca Gercken is an associate professor of English and American Indian studies at the University of Minnesota Morris. She has published in the areas of identity and representation, masculinities, and pedagogy.

Julie Pelletier is an associate professor of Indigenous studies at the University of Winnipeg. She has published in the areas of identity and representation, and the indigenization of the academy.

Table of Contents

Columbus Day 2092
Dedication to Susan Applegate Krouse
Ch. 1 Raised Stakes: Writing and/on the New Game of Chance
Ch. 2 An Interview with Jim Denomie
Ch. 3 The “Noble Savage” as Entrepreneur: Indian Gaming Success
Ch. 4 (Re)Imagining First Nations Casinos: A Necessary Response to Ensure Economic Development
Ch. 5 How Casinos Have Enabled a Revival of Tribal Culture
Ch. 6 Question of Fairness”: Fee-to-Trust Opposition to Haudenosaunee Land Rights and Economic Development
Ch. 7 Masking Anishinaabe Bimaadiziwin: Uncovering Cultural Representation at Casino Rama