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This Flickr photostream connects to pictures of our recent field trip to the Lumbee, Catawba, and Eastern Band Cherokee communities for our NEH Summer Seminar.

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Recently I’ve been fortunate to have been asked to participate in the National History Education Clearinghouse’s “Ask a Historian” Program. In 2009 I contributed a document-analysis exercise featuring a Cherokee Supreme Court document to the “Historical Thinking” section of their website, teachinghistory.org. Below are links to both posts and I’m proud to be part of a project that is a resource to history educators.

African and Native Americans in Colonial and Revolutionary Times

Cherokee Law of Blood (Video)

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Thank you to Gary Moss (author) Dan Sears (photographer), and the UNC-CH University Gazette for publishing this terrific story, highlighting my course in Lumbee History. It wouldn’t be possible without my terrific students and Graduate Assistant Brandon Winford, the folks at the Center for Faculty Excellence and the Lenovo Instructional Innovation Grants, and Jeff VanDrimmelen at OASIS!

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Being born in the United States confers an automatic right of citizenship.

There is no official requirement to be born in Robeson County to be considered a Lumbee Indian, yet Malinda Maynor Lowery’s parents understood that a tie to their ancestral lands is as much a part of Lumbee identity as a blood connection.

That is why 37 years ago they drove some 100 miles from their home in Durham to the hospital in Lumberton where Lowery was born.

Understanding the Lumbee history became Lowery’s driving force – first as an undergraduate at Harvard, then at Carolina where she earned her Ph.D. in history in 2005. That drive gained greater intellectual force in 2006 when she returned to Harvard to become the first of two Native American tenure-track professors hired there.

And it was that same appreciation of tribal history that Lowery sought to pass on to her unborn daughter in 2007 when she was wheeled to a delivery room down the same hallway in the same Lumberton hospital where Lowery was born.

“My husband and I just didn’t feel comfortable having her born up in Cambridge, Massachusetts,” Lowery said.

(more…)

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