Council on Anthropology and Education
Oral Presentation Session
I am a Mvskoke Creek descendant, Scottish and German. I am a Native advocate and ally, with degrees in Native American Studies and Education, and a desire to radically improve the educational experiences for and about Native Peoples. Being phenotypically white, it seemed I was merely a white girl coming to study Indians. However, my worldview was not mainstream. It never had been. Many people assumed that through my newfound knowledge I had discovered my own Cherokee princess in the closet. In any case, I never quite fit in. Academic experiences, relationships with faculty, campus demonstrations, projects, and pow wow cleanups provided narrow in-roads to fleeting connections that evaporated in the light of day. But I understood. I got it. I really did. Trust, gone with the theft of Indigenous lands and loss of life, might never be established. These “in-betweener spaces” (Diversi and Moreira, 2009) make for a lonely existence. Yet, the loneliness has galvanized my dedication, purpose, and intentions. I discuss this impassioned, and lonely fight and why it is so meaningful on both personal and academic levels. As I have stayed the course, the anti-colonial war that I waged was also within me as my ancestors fought a battle 200 years ago that ignited the Creek Civil War. Those bloody battles over race resulted in the cultural rupture that I exist in today. I am left with this question - is there space for Indigenous mixed-race scholars to fully enact social justice advocacy within the academy?