Date of Award


Degree Type

Closed Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Rosalind Chou

Second Advisor

Jung Ha Kim

Third Advisor

Griff Tester


American Indians occupy numerous social and cultural intersections. These intersections shape the ways in which each are subjected to systemic racism. In the case of Indigenous people, each of its manifestations is inextricably linked to the settler motivation to dispossess Indigenous Peoples of their lands. However, the resulting dispossession goes far beyond the relationship between tribes and their lands or political sovereignty. Native people are ultimately dispossessed of personhood and the sovereignty of self, body, mind, and spirit. They are dismembered through physical, spiritual, psychological, and cultural strategies by a pervasive settler culture, the consequences of which affect the self- and community-appraisals internalized by Native people themselves. This is a story of Indigenous people and their communities seeking to heal from the traumas of systemic racism and colonialist dispossession and dismemberment in the ways that they (re)member how to do, drawing on the brilliance of Indigenous wisdom and tradition. This is a study about Indigenous Americans seeking to thrive, to be whole.


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