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This article examines how the Delawares responded to the challenges that living among the Cherokees posed to their identity. It also focuses on the question of how this forced co-residence developed and what the United States role in the matter was. The multifaceted threats to Delaware identity are at the center of the article, as are the responses and strategies applied by various factions of the Delaware tribe in reaction to those challenges. The different strategies and their motivations are analyzed, along with the effects they had on the tribe, its unity, and its communal identity. By focusing specifically on matters of land tenure, legal identity, internal strife between modernists and traditionalists, the article explains why Delaware tribal identity managed to survive after having been at the brink of disaster and why both of these developments are intrinsically linked to the forced co-residence with the Cherokees.
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