The Native Carolinians and Indian Elders Collection began when Vail Carter (Lumbee), UNC Charlotte's first Native American alumnus and member of its Alumni Hall of Fame, served as Director of the Metrolina Native American Association in the 1970s. In 1994, Susan Gardner of the English Department at UNC Charlotte designed a graduate course on Native American autobiographical theory. She wanted to supplement the theory with a fieldwork component, so she and Mr. Carter combined forces and he linked her graduate students with his project. Graduate students who conducted interviews as part of Dr. Gardner's class also wrote separate reflection papers which are available by request. Between 1995 and 1997 Mr. Carter and Dr. Gardner conducted further interviews with American Indians over the age of 80, including members of the Catawba, Cherokee, Lumbee and Occaneechi-Saponi tribes. Dr. Gardner also wrote a 1996 article about this project published in Studies in American Indian Literature, which is available on JSTOR. Only a fraction of the total interviews conducted have been published here. A retrospective interview with Mr. Carter and Dr. Gardner was conducted in July 2013 and is also part of this collection.
Homepage: Jesse Smith Maynor. Photograph by Mark Wagoner. http://www.markwagoner.com