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American Indian Women of Proud Nations

Essays on History, Language, and Education


Edited By Cherry Maynor Beasley, Mary Ann Jacobs and Ulrike Wiethaus

This multidisciplinary collection of nine previously unpublished essays presents new research in three interlocking domains: tribal history with a special emphasis on Native women in the Southeast, language revitalization efforts and the narrative knowledge inherent in indigenous oral culture, and traditional educational systems in the context of the ongoing colonization of American Indian educational practices and values. This volume highlights Southeastern Indian issues and demonstrates the unique situation of women in tribes lacking (full) federal recognition or a more inclusive and multidisciplinary discussion of Native women in more than one tribal nation. Southeastern themes are linked with topics of concern by other tribal nations to show commonalities and raised awareness about the central experiences and contributions of Native women in the encounter and ongoing struggle with Euro-American systems of oppression and cultural erasure.
This book spans the full gamut from naming women’s experiences of historical trauma to their ongoing efforts at preserving and rebuilding their Native nations. The collection of essays is distinctive in its Indigenous hermeneutics in that it insists on a holistic view of time and place-based knowledge – the past still fully affects the present and gives the present depth and meaning beyond the linear flow of time.
This book also features American Indian and non-American Indian scholars who are well known in American Indians studies, scholars beginning their career and scholars who, while not experts in American Indians studies, are considered experts in other disciplines and who recognize the unique attributes of Southeastern American Indian nations.
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Lumbee Indian Women: Historical Change and Cultural Adaptation


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Lumbee Indian Women

Historical Change and Cultural Adaptation


American Indian women confront the inevitable winds of change with a steady fire, the fire of cultural stability. As the roles of men and women changed, as outsiders invaded our territory and we adopted new tools of survival, women used family attachments, religion, and their economic influence to moderate these changes and keep the community intact. As we know with the controlled forest fires our ancestors practiced in our vast pine forests, wind can often make fire more powerful, and the fire maker can adapt and control the fire to meet the forest’s—or in our case, the community’s—needs. The story of Lumbee women is like managing a forest fire in this way. That story is best represented through the lives of three women and their generations, who moderated change by adapting their fires, their tools, of continuity.

Historians yearn for a fuller documentary record about the Lumbee people, and the written record of Lumbee women is especially sparse. Few documents mention them by name, yet women have played an extraordinary role in the historical narrative of this unique group. The Lumbees consider Sally Kearsey to be one of their founding mothers, an ancestor of many of the tribe’s present-day citizens.1 Sally was a member of the Tuscarora group that remained in what is now North Carolina, following the Tuscarora War...

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