This dissertation, Trickster Skins: Narratives of Landscape, Representation, and the Miami Nation, reinterprets sites of Miami history through the lenses of narrative and landscape. It combines Miami and Western forms of knowledge to reinterpret the complex relationships of landscape and representation within the Miami struggle against colonization and the narratives that have arisen from this struggle. It tells several stories of a small tribe that remained east of the Mississippi River after the era of Indian removal who have been neglected by the Federal Government and often misunderstood by academia and the general public.
The Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana (MNI) has about 5,500 enrolled citizens. Remaining in their homeland after removal of nearly half of the Miami Nation in 1846, the Miami of Indiana struggled to retain their reserve lands and identity in the face of Federal, State, and local governmental efforts to systematically dissolve their land base and their inherent and reserved rights. These efforts hinged upon representations of the Miami people and landscape that worked to ignore and erase their continued presence in Indiana through various cultural and legal narratives ultimately denying their identity as American Indians and their recognition as a sovereign nation. Despite these efforts, this dissertation demonstrates the creative and continued resistance of the Miami in various ways.
Drawing upon a myriad of sources, this dissertation focuses upon Miami narratives, pictorial and textual representations, efforts to retain their land base, public performance, museum collections and display, and legal battles. This focus examines how the relationships of the Miami people to land takes many forms and are integral to discussions of tribal sovereignty. The findings in this investigation provide alternative interpretations of these sites of Miami history and are informed by Miami narrative traditions.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2011. Major: American studies. Advisor:Dr. Brenda Child. 1 computer file (PDF); iv, 345 pages, appendix p. 345.
Shoemaker, Scott Michael.
Trickster skins: narratives of landscape, representation, and the Miami Nation..
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