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Framing Chief LeschiNarratives and the Politics of Historical Justice$
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Lisa Blee

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781469612843

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469612843.001.0001

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Leschi Stories

Leschi Stories

(p.80) Chapter 3 Leschi Stories
Framing Chief Leschi

Lisa Blee

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter explores the dynamic and cooperative nature of oral traditions by analyzing an account of Leschi's life as told by several Native storytellers over the course of a century. Nisquallies claimed to have maintained a story of Leschi over generations that served as a counter narrative to non-Indians' history while transmitting unique values. From Native perspectives, Leschi's story can impact people and teach them how to fulfill responsibilities to their ancestors and children. The assertion of a counter narrative, despite the significant amount of borrowing and reciprocal influences in histories of Leschi, represents a claim to a separate Nisqually identity. The chapter shows how “history” and “justice” are culturally situated in Native memory traditions and can function as a crucial element in tribal political action.

Keywords:   Nisqually Indians, Chief Leschi, oral tradition, Nisqually identity, oral history

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