The Great Confusion in Indian Affairs
Native Americans and Whites in the Progressive Era
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: University of Texas Press
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This study has spent a long time in scholastic limbo. Its first materialization was as my doctoral dissertation, done in 1978 under the able direction of Professors Arrell M. Gibson, H. Wayne Morgan, JonathanW. Spurgeon, and Norman Crockett at the University of Oklahoma. ...
Chapter I: The Vanishing Policy
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Before dipping a toe into the murky waters of the late nineteenth- century movement to assimilate Native Americans into mainstream American society, it is necessary to explain Indian-white relations in a larger context. First, it must be recognized that the many and various “tribes” in North and South America were autonomous peoples. ...
Chapter II: Persistent Peoples: Native American Social and Cultural Continuity
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Despite their overwhelming confidence, the Christian reformers who provided the ideological basis for the vanishing policy undoubtedly expected the greatest resistance to assimilation to come from the more traditional members of tribal societies. Chiefs like Sitting Bull and Red Cloud of the Lakota, or Lone Wolf of the Kiowa, ...
Chapter III: The New Indians
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“Indian” was an invented term. Robert F. Berkhofer, Jr., in his classic book, The White Man’s Indian, made the case that the term “Indies” was already in use by the time Columbus made his voyage to find King Prester John and that it was given generally to those lands east of the Indus River, except for China and other known nations. ...
Chapter IV: Symbols of Native American Resiliency: The Indian Art Movement
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At the first conclave of the Society of American Indians in 1911, a Winnebago (Ho-Chunk) woman named Angel DeCora rose to deliver a talk on the need to protect Native American arts from becoming corrupted in the modern commercial market.1 As much as anyone else at the conference, DeCora was devoted to promoting “race progress,” ...
Chapter V: Preserving the “Indian”: The Reassessment of the Native American Image
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The twentieth century’s realization of the importance of Indian art stood not only as a symbol of Native American resiliency but also as a warning sign that the theoretical underpinnings of the vanishing policy were mere assumptions rather than unvarnished truths. ...
Chapter VI: Progressive Ambiguity: The Reassessment of the Vanishing Policy
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The notion of completely assimilating the Native American population into American society was grounded in a set of beliefs that were at the same time complex, confusing, and all too often conflicting. Old reformers like Richard Henry Pratt, Albert Smiley, and Henry L. Dawes, who more or less provided the theoretical basis for the vanishing policy, combined nationalism, ...
Chapter VII: The “Great Confusion” in Indian Affairs
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By 1910, when McKenzie wrote his review of The Indian and His Problem, the vanishing policy was under attack from all sides. The New Indians had outflanked it by refusing to give up their Native American roots and continuing to demand the rights their ancestors had fought for over the years. ...
Chapter VIII: Epilogue: John Collier and Indian Reform
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Because it lacked a clear theoretical foundation, Indian policy in the first quarter of the twentieth century developed into a series of troubleshooting measures designed to deal with particular problems. Simply put, it was not a single, all-encompassing policy, and so it failed to satisfy nearly everyone interested in the conduct of Indian affairs. ...
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Page Count: 264
Publication Year: 2005