Federal Fathers and Mothers: A Social History of the United States Indian Service, 1869-1933 (First Peoples: New Directions in Indigenous Studies (University of North Carolina Press Hardcover))

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9780807834725: Federal Fathers and Mothers: A Social History of the United States Indian Service, 1869-1933 (First Peoples: New Directions in Indigenous Studies (University of North Carolina Press Hardcover))

Established in 1824, the United States Indian Service (USIS), now known as the Bureau of Indian Affairs, was the agency responsible for carrying out U.S. treaty and trust obligations to American Indians, but it also sought to "civilize" and assimilate them. In Federal Fathers and Mothers, Cathleen Cahill offers the first in-depth social history of the agency during the height of its assimilation efforts in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Cahill shows how the USIS pursued a strategy of intimate colonialism, using employees as surrogate parents and model families in order to shift Native Americans' allegiances from tribal kinship networks to Euro-American familial structures and, ultimately, the U.S. government.

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Book Description:

"Cathleen Cahill's extraordinary book examines the functioning of the Indian Service unlike any previous book. Her superb research makes important contributions not only to the history of American Indians but also to the history of U.S. development, understandings of internal colonialism, and the complex gendered and racial dimensions of Indian-white relations."--Linda Gordon, New York University

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Cahill offers the first in-depth social history of the United States Indian Service (now the Bureau of Indian Affairs) during the height of its assimilation efforts in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The USIS pursued a strategy of intimate colonialism, using employees as surrogate parents and model families in order to shift Native Americans' allegiances from tribal kinship networks to Euro-American familial structures and, ultimately, the U.S. government.

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