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American Indian Women of Proud Nations

Essays on History, Language, and Education

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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This multidisciplinary collection of nine previously unpublished essays presents new research in three interlocking domains: tribal history with a special emphasis on Native women in the Southeast, language revitalization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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Foreword as Story: I Am Not the Problem

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Foreword AS Story

I Am Not the Problem

CHERRY MAYNOR BEASLEY



I was born in the lap of luxury—that is, the luxury of a large family. My parents were young high school graduates who farmed my grandparents’ farm. This set of grandparents were not landowners, but mortgage payers who had been forced to start over a year or two before I was born. There was “debt to work off the place.” My other set of grandparents, a skilled but uneducated carpenter and homemaker, owned a small farm and a house in town. I had family who allowed me to grow. My family believed in hard work, education and family ties. Everyone, even my elderly great-grandfather had a job in the household and embraced his or her purpose. He would pray for us and rock me during the night. As the first grandchild for one side of my family, I was the gift of the future, adored and loved by many.

Life was rough from the beginning. I was born too early (they always did say that I was driven), weighing every ounce of four pounds eight ounces. My survival was doubtful. My mother was not allowed to see me until I was two days old, because my dad, on the advice of the doctor, didn’t want to upset my mom. (It was a nurse who brought my mother to see me late...

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