Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS)



First Advisor

Dr. Russell Skowronek

Second Advisor

Dr. Thomas Britten

Third Advisor

Dr. Frank Dirrigl


The findings presented in this study are based on a series of semi-structured interviews, focused on racial, ethnic and cultural identity, with 20 registered members of the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas. Analysis of the interviews show that while members are spread across the country the basic cultural identity still remains the same: they are all cultural and tribal ambassadors to future generations and the world around them. Results indicate that interviewed members share the same aspirations of becoming federally recognized by the United States government, not for any type of benefits but to be seen as real Indians through “authentication.” This thesis identifies three key factors that play a large part in the overall formation of identity within tribal members and tribe as a whole and those are: community, environment/land, and culture.


Copyright 2016 Ashley S. Leal. All Rights Reserved.

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