Indians on the Move: Native American Mobility and Urbanization in the Twentieth Century

Indians on the Move: Native American Mobility and Urbanization in the Twentieth Century

by Douglas K. Miller

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In 1972, the Bureau of Indian Affairs terminated its twenty-year-old Voluntary Relocation Program, which encouraged the mass migration of roughly 100,000 Native American people from rural to urban areas. At the time the program ended, many groups--from government leaders to Red Power activists--had already classified it as a failure, and scholars have subsequently positioned the program as evidence of America's enduring settler-colonial project. But Douglas K. Miller here argues that a richer story should be told--one that recognizes Indigenous mobility in terms of its benefits and not merely its costs. In their collective refusal to accept marginality and destitution on reservations, Native Americans used the urban relocation program to take greater control of their socioeconomic circumstances. Indigenous migrants also used the financial, educational, and cultural resources they found in cities to feed new expressions of Indigenous sovereignty both off and on the reservation.

The dynamic histories of everyday people at the heart of this book shed new light on the adaptability of mobile Native American communities. In the end, this is a story of shared experience across tribal lines, through which Indigenous people incorporated urban life into their ideas for Indigenous futures.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469651392
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 02/20/2019
Series: Critical Indigeneities
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
File size: 15 MB
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About the Author

Douglas K. Miller is assistant professor of history at Oklahoma State University.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

This book represents a paradigm shift on how we understand Native mobility and spatiality within the field of American Indian and Indigenous studies.—Daniel M. Cobb, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Miller's impressively researched new history of Native urban migration privileges Indigenous experience that can't be reduced to the vagaries of federal Indian policy.—Colleen O'Neill, Utah State University

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