We’re closing out our theme of race as a social construct by exploring the phenomenon of White men purchasing Native American identity prevalent in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Dr. Lezli is joined by Dr. Gregory Smithers, a professor of American history at Virginia Commonwealth University and author of Reclaiming Two-Spirits. His book is a sweeping history of indigenous traditions of gender, sexuality, and resistance. The two converse about what set the train of $5 Indians in motion, why it was so easy and lucrative for White men to purchase Indigenous identity, and why present-day Indigenous tribal leaders are grappling with what to do with the descendants of those who purchased Indigenous identity and are currently on tribal rolls.
Relevant and Recommended Reads:
Paying to Play Indian: The Dawes Rolls and the Legacy of $5 Indians
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Pod Team = Lezli Levene Harvell (Host & Executive Producer) / Justin Bates (Sound Engineer)
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