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Week Four: Contest of Culture: Dawes Severalty Act and Indian Education

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This week we deal with the topic of the “management” of Indians by the federal and local governments. Professor Wiltse’s Lecture (approximately 56 minutes) focuses on the allotment of Indian lands and the federal policy on education of Indians, as well as the Indian reactions to these developments.

Maps & Cityscapes presents the tribal homelands that once covered our region and a graphic look at the shrinking reservations. Also featured is a close look at the effects of allotment on the Indian land base for two reservations. A large Tribal Perspectives for this week includes stories of time spent at Indian boarding schools and attempts at “Americanizing” (read “Whitening”) Indian children through language suppression, culture manipulation, and even renaming. People and the Humanities focuses on the impressions various people have had of the Indian education project, and Joe Dixon. Research deals with allotment and reasons for the need for more land in this region, as well as our top reading and viewing tips.

Assignment suggestions for this week’s content include:

  • consider contests over control of land
  • remember that allotment and “Americanizing” Indian children were progressive, liberal ideas at the time
  • how and why does historical hindsight change what we think about our past actions.