Non-Indians have amassed extensive records of Shawnee leaders dating back to the era between the French and Indian War and the War of 1812. But academia has largely ignored the stories of these leaders’ descendants—including accounts from the Shawnees’ own perspectives. The Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma focuses on the nineteenth- and twentieth-century experiences of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe, presenting a new brand of tribal history made possible by the emergence of tribal communities’ own research centers and the resources afforded by the digital age.
Offering various perspectives on the history of the Eastern Shawnees, this volume combines essays by leading and emerging scholars of Shawnee history with contributions by Eastern Shawnee citizens and interviews with tribal elders. Editor Stephen Warren introduces the collection, acknowledging that the questions and concerns of colonizers have dominated the themes of American Indian history for far too long. The essays that follow introduce readers to the story of the Eastern Shawnees and consider treaties with the U.S. government, laws impacting the tribe, and tribal leadership. They analyze the Eastern Shawnees’ ways of telling the tribe’s stories, detail Shawnee experiences of federal boarding schools, and recount stories of their chiefs. The book concludes with five tribal members’ life histories, told in their own words.
The Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma is the culmination of years of collaboration between tribal citizens and Native as well as non-Native scholars. Providing a fuller, more nuanced, and more complete portrayal of Native American historical experiences, this book serves as a resource for both future scholars and tribal members to reconstruct the Eastern Shawnee past and thereby better understand the present.
This book was made possible through generous funding from the Administration for Native Americans.