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We Will Always Be Here: Native Peoples on Living and Thriving in the South

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“The Southeastern Indian people found their voices in this work. They are alive and well—still on their land!”—Hiram F. Gregory, coauthor of The Historic Indian Tribes of Louisiana: From 1542 to the Present

“This collection fills a major void in our understanding of recent southern history by offering a wide-ranging selection of southern Indians a chance to speak for themselves, unfiltered, as they strike at the heart of identity: Indian identity, southern identity, and, ultimately, American identity.”—Greg O’Brien, editor of Pre-removal Choctaw History: Exploring New Paths

The history of Native Americans in the U.S. South is a turbulent one, rife with conflict and inequality. Since the arrival of Spanish conquistadors in the fifteenth century, Native peoples have struggled to maintain their land, cultures, and ways of life. In We Will Always Be Here, contemporary tribal leaders, educators, and activists speak about their own experiences fighting for Indian identity, self-determination, cultural survival, and community development. This valuable collection portrays the lives of today’s Southern Indians in their own words.

Reflecting on such issues as poverty, education, racism, cultural preservation, and tribal sovereignty, the contributors to this volume offer a glimpse into the historical struggles of southern Native peoples, examine their present-day efforts, and share their hopes for the future. They also share examples of cultural practices that have either endured or been revitalized. In a country that still faces challenges to civil rights and misconceptions about Indian identity and tribal sovereignty, this timely book builds a deeper understanding of modern Native peoples within a region where they are often overlooked.

Contributors: Nanette Sconiers Pupalaikis | Stan Cartwright | Patricia Easterwood| Wanda Light Tully| Framon Weaver| Nancy Wright Carnley| Otha Martin| Marie Martin| Pauline Martin| Nathan Martin| Karla Martin| Kaci Martin| Marvin T. Jones| Shoshone Peguese-Elmardi| Lars Adams| Doug Patterson| Kenneth Adams| Hodalee Scott Sewell| Tony Mack McClure| Cedric Sunray| Brooke Bauer| Donna Pierite| Jean-Luc Pierite| Elisabeth Pierite-Mora| Harold Comby| Tom Hendrix| Michael "T. Mayheart" Dardar| Marcus Briggs-Cloud| Marvin "Marty" Richardson| Dana Chapman Masters| Robert Jumper| Robert Caldwell| Megan Young| Jessica Osceola| Ernest Sickey| Jeanette Alcon| Charles “Chuckie” Verdin| Phyliss J. Anderson| David Sickey| Stephanie Bryan| Malinda Maynor Lowery| Ahli-sha Stephens| Elliott Nichols

ISBN-13: 9780813062631

Media Type: Hardcover

Publisher: University Press of Florida

Publication Date: 05-17-2016

Pages: 248

Product Dimensions: 9.10(w) x 6.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Series: Other Southerners

Denise E. Bates is an historian and assistant professor in leadership and interdisciplinary studies at Arizona State University. She is the author of The Other Movement: Indian Rights and Civil Rights in the Deep South.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

1 Growing Up Indian in a Southern Context 7

The Ballad of the Choctawhatchee River: Ripples from Our Past Nanette Sconiers Pupalaikis 11

Muscogee Lifeways in Central Georgia Stan Cartwright 15

My Family's Legacy Patricia Easterwood 16

Hiding My Indian Identity Wanda Light Tully 19

Growing up MOWA Choctaw Framon Weaver 24

The Sacrifices We Made for Our Education Kenneth Adams 28

Showdown at Bayou Pointe-aux-Chien Charles "Chuckie" Verdin 33

Racism in New Brockton, Alabama Nancy Wright Carnley 34

One Poarch Creek Family's Educational Journey over Three Generations Otha Marie Pauline Nathan Karla Kaci Martin 38

We Will Forever Remain Coushatta and We Will Always Be Here Ernest Sickey 45

2 The Politics of History and Identity 51

A Rebirth on the Chowan Marvin T. Jones 56

Speaking for My Ancestors Shoshone Peguese-Elmardi 61

From Cherokee to Chowanoke: Discovering the North Carolina Algonquians Lars Adams 65

The Chowanoke Indian Resurgence Doug Patterson 72

Jamestown 2007: A Native American Perspective Kenneth Adams 78

Eastern Creeks and the Persistence of Identity Hodalee Scott Sewell 81

To Be or Not to Be a "Wannabe" Tony Mack McClure 87

Jim Crowfeather in Indian Country Cedric Sunray 93

3 Cultural Grounding 104

In My Mother's Hands Brooke Bauer 109

Nerataya: Spirit of the Deer and Passing the Gifts of the Tunica-Biloxi Donna Pierite Jean-Luc Pierite Elisabeth Pierite-Mora 113

Reawakening Our Warrior Tradition Harold Comby 118

Te-Lah-nay's Wall Tom Hendrix 121

In the Eye of Isaac Michael "T. Mayheart" Dardar 123

Being the Indians We Were Made to Be Marcus Briggs-Cloud 125

Generations within the Circle Marvin "Marty" Richardson 131

Putting the "Community" Back into My Jena Choctaw Community Dana Chapman Masters 139

Finding My Sense of Place in My Ancestral Homeland Robert Jumper 143

Native People Should Tell Their Own Stories Robert Caldwell 147

Vpuecetv (To Dream): My Journey to Becoming Tribal Royalty Megan Young 151

At War with Herself: Artistic Reflections of Culture and Identity Jessica Osceola 159

4 Moving Forward 164

A Reflection on a Lifetime of Leadership Ernest Sickey 171

Initiating Intertribal Efforts in Louisiana Jeanette Alcon 177

The Oil Companies Stole Our Land Charles "Chuckie" Verdin 182

Finishing What I Started Framon Weaver 184

Looking South Michael "T. Mayheart" Dardar 189

Inauguration Speech, First Woman Chief of the Mississippi Choctaw Phyliss J. Anderson 192

Building an Entrepreneurial Spirit within Tribal Nations David Sickey 196

Seeking Prosperity and Self-Determination Stephanie Bryan 200

Defining Moments Malinda Maynor Lowery 205

Working Toward a Healthy Future for the Cherokee Nation Ahli-sha Stephens 210

Native Youth in Agriculture Elliott Nichols 212

Notes 217

Bibliography 221

Index 227