New South Indians: Tribal Economics and the Eastern Band of Cherokee in the Twentieth Century lecture by Dr. Christopher Oakley
The Kirk Keller Memorial Lecture provided by the Foundation of Wayne Community College
The Eastern Band’s struggle for economic autonomy and financial stability throughout the 20th century was an integral part of the history of western North Carolina. The Eastern Band formally incorporated under North Carolina law in the 1880s, and their economic policies evolved as the country experienced Jim Crow segregation, the Great Depression, World War II, and the civil rights movement. During the 20th century, members of the Eastern Band embraced tourism and much later casino gaming. Their story is one of adaptation to advance the well-being of their
nation’s economy and community.
Dr. Christopher Oakley is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of History at East Carolina University. Oakley specializes in North Carolina History and Native American History. He received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Tennessee in 2002 and has published scholarly articles in “The North Carolina Historical Review,” “Mississippi Quarterly,” “The Native South,” and “Southern Cultures” and two books: Keeping the Circle: American Indian Identity in Eastern North Carolina 1885-2004 and New South Indians: Tribal Economics and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in the Twentieth Century.