Shaping Whiteclay: Agency and Desire in the Preservation of American Indian Sites
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Historic preservationists have struggled with how to best interpret the diverse history of the United States. This is especially true when faced with sites that represent the continued colonization of American Indian populations. While preservationists are continually striving to provide a more inclusive history, historic sites remain where preservationists are omitting Native voice, perpetuating stereotypes, and telling history with an emphasis on damage within communities. Whiteclay, Nebraska offers a case study of a site with a complex history where multiple cultures have embedded the same place with different meaning. This thesis argues that through the incorporation of agency, the challenging of stereotypes, and the addition of desire-based research into the historic preservation field, a re-interpretation of Whiteclay, as well as other sites with multifaceted pasts, can emerge and places of colonization can become places of healing.