The Delaware Tribe of Oklahoma is an American Indian tribe currently incorporated as part of the larger Cherokee Nation. Originally from the Hudson and Delaware River valleys, the Delawares are neither socially r historically related to the Cherokees and were incorporated with them simply because they were forced to move to the Cherokee Nation in 1867. The Delawares never assimilated into Cherokee society and culture and today seek federal recognition as a separate tribe to protect their particular cultural and political identity. However, Delaware efforts to achieve federal recognition are complicated by the Cherokee Nation, which does t support Delaware independence as it could potentially compromise Cherokee jurisdiction. Delaware Tribe in a Cherokee Nation is an ethgraphic study of the Delaware Tribe and its struggle for federal recognition and political separation from the larger Cherokee Nation. Brice Obermeyer details the Delawares' struggle for self-determination, revealing important insights into the process and politics of federal recognition. This perceptive ethgraphy of a tribe trying to assert its right to sovereignty and its independence from a larger and more powerful tribe complicates accepted tions of how the federal recognition process works and the effects it has on tribal members and tribal relations. Although many tribes exist today as constituent parts of a larger American Indian tribe, Delaware Tribe in a Cherokee Nation is the first book to study this phemen in Native North America.
Brice Obermeyer is an assistant professor of anthropology at Emporia State University.