Growing up Indian : an Emic perspective
Wasson, George B.
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Wasson, George B.
My dissertation, GROWING UP INDIAN: AN EMIC PERSPECTIVE describes the historical and contemporary experiences of the Coquille Indian Tribe and their close neighbors (as manifested in my oven family, in relation to their shared cultures, languages, and spiritual practices. I relate various tribal reactions to the tragedy of cultural genocide as experienced by those indigenous groups within the "Black Hole" of Southwest Oregon. My desire is to provide an "inside" (emic) perspective on the history and cultural changes of Southwest Oregon. I explain Native responses to living primarily in a non-Indian world, after the nearly total loss of aboriginal Coquelle culture and tribal identity through decimation by disease, warfare, extermination, and cultural genocide through the educational policies of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Government, and over zealous Euro-Americans. After removal from their homelands, there was little opportunity for the remaining survivors to continue living in their traditional ways. Hence the adoption of living primarily by White man's standards and practices became standard for the Indians of southwest Oregon and their descendants. My resources have been, in part, the Southwest Oregon Research Project (SWORP) archives housed in Special Collections of the UO Knight Library, along with works of Harrington, Chase, Waterman, Frachtenberg, Jacobs, and others. Additional sources include some personal papers on the Coastal Land Claims work by my father, George B. Wasson Sr. (1916 to 1947), my childhood relationships with older relatives and tribal elders, and my own experience navigating both Native American and White worlds in the 20 th century. This dissertation includes both my previously published and co-authored materials, as well as previously unpublished essays.