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History of Social Welfare Policies & Programs Up to the 1930s: Native Americans

This guide focuses on resources that you can use when seeking information on the history of social welfare policies and programs in the U.S. up to the 1930s.

Target Populations: Native Americans

A Bibliographical Guide to the History of Indian-White Relations in the United States.
Francis Paul Prucha. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1977. 
"An Indian's View of Indian Affairs,"
Young Joseph. North American Review 128, April 1879, 412-433.
Young Joseph was a chief of the Nez Percé.
A Century of Dishonor: A Sketch of the United States Government's Dealings With Some of the Indian Tribes
Helen Jackson. New Edition. Boston, Little Brown, and Company, 1909 [c.1885].
Hunt's 1881 publication about the unjust treatment that Indians were receiving at the hands of the federal government triggered pressure for reform of Indian policies which resulted in the 1887 Dawes Act.
Dawes Severalty Act (1887)
Under the Dawes Act Indian tribes lost their legal standing and all tribal lands were converted to individual ownership. Note: Select "document transcript" to see the actual text of the Act.
"Remaining Causes of Indian Discontent,"
John M. Oskison. North American Review 184, March 1, 1907, 486-493.
"Transformations in Supreme Court Thought: The Irresistible Force (Federal Indian Law & Policy) Meets the Movable Object (American Indian Tribe Status),"
David E. Wilkins. Social Science Journal 30(2), April 1, 1993, 181-207.
Analyzes "107 federal court cases involving American Indian tribal sovereignty and federal pleary [sic] power rendered between 1870 and 1921...[with a] focus on the Court's role in formulating public policy towards American Indian tribes in four major issue areas: congressional power, criminal law, allotment and membership, and natural resources." Rutgers-restricted Access.
"Lewis Meriam, Expertise, and Indian Reform,"
Donald T. Critchlow. Historian 43(3), May 1981, 325-344.
After years of criticism of the U.S. Indian Service, in the Spring of 1926 Lewis Meriam of the Institute for Government Research was asked to investigate the prevailing social conditions among American Indians. His subsequent report, The Problem of Indian Administration (1928) is considered a major turning point in federal Indian policy. Rutgers-restricted Access.
A New Deal for the American Indian.
Literary Digest April 7, 1938.
Indian Reorganization Act [Wheeler-Howard Act]. June 18, 1934.
Part of the "Indian New Deal," the Indian Reorganization Act reversed the Dawes Act of 1887 by returning lands to tribal control.

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