Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




This dissertation argues that the foundation and development of tribal museums in the Great Lakes region is a form of activism -- a deliberate action performed for the purpose of inciting positive political, social, cultural, and/or economic change -- and that the functions of tribal museums enable Native activism to continue and evolve to reflect and address new historical understandings and contemporary circumstances. I argue that in the Great Lakes region, Native activism continued beyond the highly publicized movement of the 1960s and 70s, and manifested in ways suited to address regionally and tribally-based needs. Control over interpretations of the past have been used as a means of oppression. This dissertation demonstrates how, through the development of tribally-run museums, tribal communities in the Great Lakes region have utilized the past as a weapon for regaining power.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.