Chapter 26

Bea Medicine: Culture Broker among Indians and Anthropologists
Thomas Weaver

American Indians and Anthropologists: Issues of History, Empowerment, and Application
Bea Medicine

Lakota anthropologist Bea Medicine (1923–2005) began her teaching career in schools sponsored by the U.S. Indian Service and has promoted ethnic studies programs and urban Indian centers in Canada and the U.S. With a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, she taught at many universities, retiring from California State University, Northridge, to continue her work from her natal reservation in South Dakota. In addition to studying such topics as contemporary religious movements, pan-Indianism, Dakota ethnohistory, and reservation culture, she has acted as a go-between for tribes and governments and served as a representative for American Indian and women’s interests in many national and international meetings. In her 1996 Malinowski Award address, Medicine explored the often ambivalent relationship between anthropologists and American Indians, a relationship that she devoted much of her career to mediating.

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