John describes himself as a New West historian, joining other writers in reassessing the western expansion of America so as to give voice to a silenced dissent against the glamour of cowboy and Indian movies which so many of us grew up with. In numerous web pages dating back to the 1990’s, John provided information and commentary on contemporary issues involving native Americans. Many of these focused on the Chumash people of California and the Kalispel people of Idaho, Montana, and Washington states.
The issues featured in this commentary included the modern refusal of federal, state, and local governments to legally recognize all of the Chumash bands. They explore the failure to allocate land on the mainland and on the islands off of California coast, the need for non-federally recognized Chumash bands to participte in the administration of the Point Conception nature reserve and in planning for the national seashore project, etc.