In South Dakota, the Lower Brule Sioux have found a way to promote their heritage and culture without the trappings of Native American cliches and kitsch. Now the tribe waits to see who will come.
Which spiel Jones gives depends on a form you fill out, indicating what you're interested in: Geology? History? Treaty issues? Reservation life circa 2007? And so on.
Jones, who directs the tribe's cultural protection and tourism efforts, is a big, pear-shaped man with a trim salt-and-pepper beard who doesn't look particularly native. As we drove west in his huge white truck, he chain-smoked and ate Doritos and corn nuts while he talked about Frank Herbert's Dune, the science fiction epic in which he sees some hope for Native America--a way to blend old and new, ancient and modern, into a new way to live.