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Monuments to AbsenceCherokee Removal and the Contest over Southern Memory$
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Andrew Denson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469630830

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469630830.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 13 October 2019

The Remembered Community

The Remembered Community

Public Memory and the Reemergence of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma

(p.159) 6 The Remembered Community
Monuments to Absence

Andrew Denson

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the roles played by public history and historical memory in the reconstruction of the Cherokee Nation in twentieth-century Oklahoma. The United States dismantled the Cherokee political system at the turn of the twentieth century, when it forced Cherokees to accept the allotment policy. By the middle twentieth century, however, Cherokees began to reestablish a tribal administration, creating new institutions to represent and provide services to Cherokee communities. The memory of the nineteenth-century Cherokee Nation contributed to these developments in several ways. Tribal leaders invoked their people's nineteenth-century achievements to promote political cooperation in the present. They also used the memory of the Indian republic to bolster their own legitimacy as tribal representatives, offering themselves as heirs to the leaders of the old Nation. They depicted their work as an effort to restore the Cherokees' nineteenth-century greatness, applying tribal history to the task of building a modern Cherokee Nation.

Keywords:   Cherokee Nation, Allotment Policy, Oklahoma, Commemoration, Historical Memory

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