Although research on the history of the eugenics movement in the United States is legion, its impact on state policies that identified and defined American Indians has yet to be fully addressed. The exhibit, Our Lives: Contemporary Life and Identities (ongoing until September 21, 2014) at the National Museum of the American Indian provides a provocative vehicle for examining how eugenics-informed public policy during the first quarter of the twentieth century served to “remove” from official records Native peoples throughout the Southeast. One century after Indian Removal of the antebellum era, Native peoples in the American Southeast provide an important but often overlooked example of how racial policies, this time rooted in eugenics, effected a documentary erasure of Native peoples and communities.

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