Southern Indians and Anthropologists
Culture, Politics, and Identity

Edited by Lisa J. Lefler and Frederic W. Gleach

Documents the relationship between researchers and their subjects

Ranging in setting from a children's summer school program to a museum of history and culture to a fatherhood project, these eleven papers document some of the many ways in which anthropologists and Native Americans are striving to work together at higher levels of accountability, reciprocity, and mutual enrichment. The Native American groups discussed in the volume include the Yuchi of Oklahoma, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in western North Carolina, the Powhatans of Virginia, the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and the Waccamaw Siouan community of coastal North Carolina.

The volume's contributors consider such issues as education, community development, funding, and the preservation of languages, sacred texts, oral traditions, and artifacts. At the same time, they offer personal insights into the pressures that can bear on working relationships between anthropologists and Native Americans. Not only must all concerned find a balance between their official and informal, individual and group selves, but Native Americans, especially, often feel caught between history and the present. One contributor, for instance, discusses the problems that arose from the discovery of Native American graves on land owned by the Cherokees—on the site of a planned casino parking lot.

The anthropological work discussed here suggests strong potential for continuing research partnerships. It also illustrates the potential benefits of such partnerships, for anthropologists and for Native Americans.

Southern Anthropological Society Proceedings

Page count: 160 pp.
Trim size: 6 x 9


List price: $23.95

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Lisa J. Lefler is a research associate in the Department of Anthropology at Wake Forest University and an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Western Carolina University. Her work in the Native American community currently focuses on wellness and healing, adolescence, and fatherhood. Frederic W. Gleach, visiting scholar at Cornell University, is a historical anthropologist working in North America, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. He is author of Powhatan's World and Colonial Virginia: A Conflict of Cultures.