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Dr. Florence C. Shipek is acknowledged as the nation's leading authority on the Kumeyaay People of San Diego County and a trusted friend to the Kumeyaay themselves. Dr. Shipek's 50-year association with local Indians began with an invitation to a church coalition meeting to assist Indians in negotiating government bureaucracies. Dr. Shipek became a relentless advocate for American Indian rights and fair treatment. Beginning in the 1950's, she traveled across San Diego County and the backcountry taping interviews with Kumeyaay Elders, many whose memories went back into the 19th century. Her work has not only been used to revise inaccurate information about local Indian groups, but has also been used to reestablish lost traditions including music, dance, arts, ethno-botany and family histories. Because of her scholarship, use of primary records and documents to properly present the past, and dedication to developing accurate accounts of the culture and heritage of the Kumeyaay and other Southern and Baja California Indians.
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