Laughing Buffalo: A Tall Tale from the Half-Breed Rez

Lecture Description

My father was born on the Omaha Indian Reservation fifteen years after the U.S. Supreme Court decided that his mother was not an Indian. Neither am I, but like many “part Indian” families with “Indian grandmother complexes” (in Vine DeLoria’s diagnosis), mine traces to an Indian woman and a fur trapper. Their progeny spent four generations on Nebraska’s forgotten “Half-Breed Reserve” and on the Omaha Reservation, where the anthropologist and allotment agent Alice Fletcher finally determined that they were not Indians. This lecture tells and takes apart this complicated story, to explore how bureaucratic, legal, political, anthropological, and tribal narratives combine to shape racial identity across generations.


American Indian Race

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