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The Cherokee DiasporaAn Indigenous History of Migration, Resettlement, and Identity$
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Gregory D Smithers

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300169607

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300169607.001.0001

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(p.261) Epilogue
The Cherokee Diaspora

Gregory D. Smithers

Yale University Press

This book has explored the origins of the Cherokee diaspora and the reasons for the Cherokee people’s movement, migration, and relocation after World War II. Among these reasons were the impact of the federal government’s termination and relocation program. Through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, government officials tried to complete the work of assimilation by relocating Native Americans to urban centers and integrating them into the labor force. They also sought to liquidate tribal assets. Some Cherokees worked within the American political system to change the relationship between the Cherokee people and the U.S. government. In 1971, the Cherokee Nation achieved sovereignty and self-government. Political success, cultural revitalization, and language immersion programs resulted in increased visibility for Cherokees and Cherokee culture, with significant implications for Cherokee identity. This epilogue discusses the challenges faced by Cherokees in the twentieth century, including political controversies over questions of identity and tribal membership.

Keywords:   migration, Cherokee diaspora, Cherokee, relocation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, assimilation, sovereignty, self-government, Cherokee culture, Cherokee identity

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