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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Barry Nakell, October 1, 2003. Interview U-0012. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Political parties angle for Native American votes

Nakell tries to explain Native Americans' political power, which in the interviewer's opinion, appears to contradict their poverty. Nakell thinks Republicans gave Native Americans some clout to take their votes from Democrats.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Barry Nakell, October 1, 2003. Interview U-0012. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

MM: It’s interesting I think to some historians the fact that Indians obviously a large number of them, but still fairly isolated regionally and economically from sort of the mainstream, would carry that kind of political weight on a state level. Do you have any thoughts about that? BN: Well, I think the explanation is that actually there was a fellow running for Attorney General at the same time that Jim Holshouser was running for governor. He didn’t win. I don’t remember his name now. I’m trying to think of his name. He was a good fellow. He was very interested in and supportive of the Indians. He and I became good friends at that time because he talked to me about legal issues involving the Indians, and he went to Robeson County and campaigned among the Indians. So I think my sense is that the Republican Party saw an opportunity for an inroad into the Democratic control of the county. I think they did achieve some success in that respect although the county is still largely Democratic, and I think the number of Republicans among the Indians to my sense has diminished.