Southern Indians and Anthropologists: Culture, Politics, and IdentityMay 15th, 2005 | By Al Kuslikis | Category: 16-4: International Indigenous Education, Media Reviews
Edited by Lisa J. Lefler and Fredieric W. Gleach
University of Georgia Press (2002)
Review by Al Kuslikis
An underlying theme in this fairly eclectic collection is the evolving relationship between anthropologists and their subjects. This relationship has been a source of resentment for many American Indians who have seen it as the academic expression of European political and cultural domination.
The authors in this collection suggest a partnering approach to the anthropological enterprise in which research can provide “value added” to the community and where the community stakeholders participate in defining, and answering, the research questions.
This is exactly the role being filled by many community-based research programs at tribal colleges, and so it seems that anthropologists don’t need to look very hard to find the new paradigm for “participatory anthropology.” Although the focus is on Southeastern tribes, each paper discusses important issues that should be of general interest, such as the role of tribally-controlled museums in cultural preservation.
Al Kuslikis worked and taught at Diné College for 8 years. He currently is the STEM program development coordinator for the American Indian Higher Education Consortium.