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Title: Becoming Indians? : indigenous identity in early twentieth century Oklahoma
Author: Magrath, Emily
ISNI:       0000 0004 6498 2111
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2017
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The rise of organised pan-Indianism in the early twentieth century has been well documented by scholars. However, this body of scholarship has been predominantly 'top down' occupied with the pan-Indian movement at a national level, and the Native Americans who were at the forefront of it. Conversely, this thesis takes a 'bottom up' approach through examination of grassroots Native Americans, and through a local lens in Oklahoma, and adds their voices to the dialogues about Indian identity in this period. A systematic examination of oral history sources held in the Doris Duke Collection reveals who these grassroots individuals were and how they expressed their identities. Moreover, it explores how they formed shared pan-Indian identities in this period. These sources underline the complex process of identity for indigenous individuals and ultimately show that identity was multi-layered for them. This layered identity was a reflection of the need indigenous people had to maintain and protect their indigenous identities. They did not respond to this period by merging the different facets of their identity to one synthesised identity. They did not want to fully assimilate into America and yet also did not fully reject America or White lifestyles. Instead, they used “survival strategies” to keep these different elements alive. This thesis demonstrates that Indian identities did emerge from Oklahoma in the early twentieth century amongst this grassroots group. They were influenced by the circumstances of Oklahoma and national pan-Indian ideas. The individuals who expressed such identities heard these influences in different ways and ultimately, constructed their own layered identities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Identity (Psychology) ; Indigenous peoples ; Oklahoma