Book Discussion with Justin Gage

West Texas A&M university Canyon Campus Alumni Banquet Hall 204 North 26th Street, Canyon, TX 79016

In celebration for winning the 2021 Center for the Study of the American West’s Outstanding Book Award, OUP author Justin Gage, will discuss his book We Do Not Want the Gates Closed Between Us: Native Networks and the Spread of the Ghost Dance in a lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, in the Alumni Banquet Hall on the Canyon campus of West Texas A&M University. The lecture also will be streamed; to register, visit

“We Do Not Want the Gates Closed Between Us: Native Networks and the Spread of the Ghost Dance” examines Native American social and cultural networks on the Great Plains in the late 1800s, especially in the years of the Ghost Dance and its violent suppression in 1890. The Outstanding Western Book award, now in its third year through WT’s Center for the Study of the American West, is a juried prize recognizing books that demonstrate excellent scholarly or creative insight concerning the American West or some aspect of its history, culture, society, or environment. Of particular interest are books geographically relevant to the Southern Plains region and/or the concerns of a Southern Plains regional readership, as well as works that balance scholarly and creative excellence with accessible style or popular appeal.

Published by the University of Oklahoma Press in 2020, Gage’s book shows how Native Americans wrote letters and traveled throughout the Plains to build resistance to federal policies.

“Gage’s critically important book illuminates how Native Americans coordinated across reservation boundaries to deal with U.S. Indian policy during the early reservation period,” said Dr. Tim Bowman, head of WT’s Department of History and associate professor of history.

The book shows how Native Americans responded to U.S. western expansion in the 19th century, forming the early antecedents of “pan-Indianism in the Red Power movement of the 1960s and 1970s,” Bowman said.

“CSAW is fortunate to have this opportunity and responsibility of recognizing new books of importance to our region and the greater American West,” said Dr. Alex Hunt, CSAW director, Regents Professor of History and Haley Endowed Professor of Western Studies. “I was fascinated by Gage’s discussion of Kiowa, Comanche, and Southern Plains tribes. His book is the latest awardee in what I think over time will become a great list of important western scholarly and creative work.”

Learn more about Gage’s book here.