Mixed-blood Indians have occupied a strategic role in American history since Europeans first reached this continent. However, the concept of a mixed-blood Indian is too complex to be limited to a biological construct; the mixed-blood Indian represents a class, as well as a race, of people. This analysis of the social construction of the mixed-blood Indian is conducted on three levels, (1) an historiographical approach which examines the study of the mixed-blood topic, (2) a historical analysis, using federal Indian policy and Indian literature as indicators of the mixed-blood social experience and (3) the case study of Mickey Free, the socially-constructed mixed-blood Apache.
The study of mixed-blood Indians comprises a study in race, gender and power relations. It is also a study on the final American frontier.