Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Anthropology Dept.




One of the most pressing issues facing Indigenous groups today, especially in the intimate New Engl'and communilties of the northeastern United States, is their ongoing struggle to reclaim and preserve sovereignty on land they once cultivated as stewards but now live on under the encroachment of larger States. In recent years, the United States government has sought to deal with issues of Native American sovereignty through granting federal recognition to tribes, thus creating a relationship of "nation-to-nation status" between a tribal government and the national government. This relationship generates a complex power structure on global, national, regional, and tribal levels, and, as Professor Ward Churcbill noted in a talk on the Colby campus this past spring, relations between Native American populations and the federal government are invariably stil structured around a dichotomy of empowerment-disempowerment. Claims made by those in power do not always reflect historical realities, and disagreements often revolve around conceptions of "the truth."


Indians of North America-- Land tenure, Environmental protection -- Massachusetts, Human ecology -- North America, Indians of North America -- Legal status, laws, etc, Aquinnah (Mass.) -- History, No Mans Land (Island) Mass. -- History, Wampanoag Indians -- History, Power (Social sciences) -- Cross-cultural studies, Massachusetts-- History -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775

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Anthropology Commons