Honors Theses

Urban Indigenous Self-Expressionism from 1960s to Present and its Impact on Indigenous Identity

Author Full Name
Brentley Sandlin


This paper aims to study how urban North American Indigenous communities represent their identities and cultures; specifically, it will analyze how these practices have evolved since the rise of Native activism in the mid-20th century, catalyzed by the creation of the American Indian Movement (AIM) in the late 1960s. As there is little existing research in this field, especially by Indigenous scholars, my argument will be primarily circumstantial and will advocate for further development of the analysis. Furthermore, as my research is interdisciplinary, I will utilize multiple theoretical frameworks and contextual analyses to develop my argument and subsequent close visual analysis. More specifically, I will utilize the frameworks from the fields of visual studies and Native studies in formulating my work. I assert that AIM and the rise of Native representation has forced the American public to reconcile with contemporary self-representation which has subsequently shaped modern Native and urban Native identity.

View final Honors Thesis here.