Research Programs: Summer Stipends

Period of Performance

6/1/2012 - 7/31/2012

Funding Totals

$6,000.00 (approved)
$6,000.00 (awarded)

Labor and Sovereignty: The Transformation of Wage Work in Indian Country, 1890-1990

FAIN: FT-59614-12

Colleen Marie O'Neill
Utah State University (Logan, UT 84322-1400)

Labor and Sovereignty examines the changing meaning of wage work for American Indian communities from the 1890s through the 1990s. This book begins with an examination of the ways that non-Indian reformers used work to encourage American Indians to leave their reservation homes, to sever their tribal loyalties and to turn away from their cultures. Yet, by the end of the 20th century American Indians remained despite (or perhaps because of) the sometimes disorienting impact of wage work on their cultures and traditions. By the late 20th century, jobs had become a sovereignty right; resources that tribal governments, unions and Native men and women struggled to define. This grant will support oral history research to document the experience of American Indian workers during the relocation era of the 1950s and 1960s (chapter of 5 the book) and American Indian and Non Indian Casino workers and tribal officials (chapter 7).