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Why, during the past thirty years, has there been a dramatic change in architecture by and for Native Americans? How does it reflect the revival of language and the renewal and invention of dance, music, and other performance, and the remarkable burst of creativity in Native American novels and poetry? And since architecture requires technical expertise and money, how does this change reflect alterations in the economic, legal, and political situation of American Indians in the past decades?
At no other time since the European invasions have the Native nations been as determined to set their own agendas for building or been as successful in reaching their architectural goals. They now claim authority in planning what they need for modern life - office buildings, schools, clinics, religious and community structures, urban cultural centers, houses, and museums, even commercial buildings and casinos. Those agendas often include strategies for making sure that the buildings are culturally appropriate or focus on collective decisions that embody community values brought from the past to the present. In Contemporary Native American Architecture, Carol Herselle Krinsky examines the historical and legal background of this movement of cultural regeneration through the medium of architecture, and records responses of Native Americans to ever-changing cultural situations.