A Review of <em>Becoming Indian: The Struggle Over Cherokee Identity in the Twenty-first Century</em>

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Suzan A. M. McVicker


Twenty-first century United States Census results stoke a wildfire racial conversation that sweeps far beyond Kituwah, the ancient mother town of the Cherokee People in the Great Smoky Mountains.  The Cherokee People of the Fire and their hidden descendants who passed as white are engaged in an expanding talking circle over questions of identity and belonging.  Circe Sturm, an interdisciplinary anthropologist with Sicilian, German, and Mississippi Choctaw ancestry, is quick to state that she was not raised on tribal land or in tribal community.  Though her readers do not know how she checked boxes indicating her race on the US Census form, she is clear about her aspiration for the book, Becoming Indian: The Struggle over Cherokee Identity in the Twenty-first Century.  Sturm invested over fifteen years of research toward realization of her vision for greater political understanding about a topic that arouses a conflagration of polarized perspectives.


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Suzan A. M. McVicker, Fielding Graduate University

Suzan A. M. McVicker balances clinical healing work with doctoral studies. She is a PhD candidate at the Fielding Graduate University in California where she is researching indigenous conceptualization of self-in-relationship. Her passion involves support for a working crosswalk between indigenous and other knowledges. She is a certified Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapist/consultant and teaches at Edgewood College. As a Cherokee descendant, Suzan is an enrolled member of the Appalachian American Indians of West Virginia, a state-recognized intertribal tribe. Comments and questions for Suzan are welcome at smcvicker@email.fielding.edu.



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