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Wǝ́xa Sxwuqwálustn: Pulling Together Identity, Community, and Cohesion in the Cowlitz Indian Tribe

Wheeler, Leah (2017) Wǝ́xa Sxwuqwálustn: Pulling Together Identity, Community, and Cohesion in the Cowlitz Indian Tribe. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

In the last 30 years many changes have taken place within the Cowlitz Indian Tribe. These changes involve the tribe’s sovereignty and have greatly impacted the emic identity of the tribe. Previous identity research with the Cowlitz predates these changes and no longer accurately describe the Cowlitz. The question for this research was how have these changes affected the emic identity of the Cowlitz today as seen in their community and interactions? And how does their identity now compare with their identity in the times of pre-contact and initial contact with whites? This research uses Manuel DeLanda’s assemblage theory to assess and compare the emic identity of the contemporary and historical tribe in terms of sovereignty, identity, and cultural rejuvenation. When the structure, relationships, activities, and purposes of the tribe and groups within the contemporary tribe were analyzed, there was a striking resemblance to the community system described in early settler journals and histories of the Cowlitz. The research was cross-sectional, including ethnographic study, interviews of tribal members, document analysis, and historical analysis. In an attempt to allow the Cowlitz people to speak for themselves rather than project ideas onto the tribe, each section of the research first allows tribal members to voice their opinions and then relies on Cowlitz voices to confirm the analysis. The final dissertation was then submitted to the tribe for comment.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: The data used for this dissertation belongs solely to the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and may not be used without the express written permission of the Cowlitz Tribal Council. Submit enquiries to the Cowlitz Tribal Offices.
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D051 Ancient History
D History General and Old World > D History (General)
E History America > E11 America (General)
E History America > E151 United States (General)
F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F001 United States local history
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)
J Political Science > JL Political institutions (America except United States)
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
J Political Science > JX International law
K Law > KF United States Federal Law
K Law > KZ Law of Nations
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Leah Wheeler
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2017 08:36
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2017 08:36
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/19230

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