Blog Posts - Indian Tribes



Another Take on Rarity

Insanity did not seem to be rampant among the Indian population at any time since Europeans came to the continent (see last two posts). An asylum especially for insane Indians was difficult to justify, except for the fact that it would save Indian pa...

Insanity is Rare

Field researchers found that insanity among Native Americans was rare (see last post) and this finding was backed up by many individual observations over time. In An Account of the History, Manners, and Customs of the Indian Nations written in 1819,...

The Question of Insane Indians

Many early explorers had observed that the Native American population held few insane members. Most of these observations were based on personal experience by individuals, but the federal government eventually made the same observation. In a bulletin...

Who Stayed at Canton Asylum?

Admissions to the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians were routed through reservation Indian agents (later superintendents), who performed much of the administrative and supervisory functions concerned with running these population centers. The asylum u...

Another Noteworthy Achievement

Susan La Flesche Picotte was born in 1865 to the last recognized chief of the Omaha Indian tribe, Chief Joseph La Flesche (Iron Eye). She went to the Elizabeth Institute for Young Ladies in New Jersey and then returned to her reservation to teach at...

School and Work

The Indian Office liked to hire Native Americans who had been educated in its boarding school system, figuring that graduates would be more familiar with white American culture than people who had stayed on reservations. Unfortunately, many boarding...

Jobs for Indians

When Dr. Harry Hummer found himself understaffed as a result of the manpower shortage created by WWI, he asked the Indian Office to approve higher wages to help him fill positions. (See last post.) Otherwise, he would have to look at hiring Indian wo...

Indian Health Programs

The Bureau of Indian Affairs tried to address the many health issues developing among tribes who had lost their traditional lands, lifestyles, and occupations. However, funds were always far too short to do much good, and healthcare was not provided...

Indian Agencies

Native Americans were initially a greater threat to colonists than colonists were to them. The British Crown recognized this, and also realized that good relationships were important both to its trade economy and its position with France, which also...

Rights Versus Reality

Though the four primary groups of people settling in the New World (Spanish, French, English, and Dutch) recognized the rights of Native Americans to their land, their relationships with Native Americans developed differently. The French, who were he...

Any Rights?

Settlers to the New World had a lot to mull over when they discovered that the land they had discovered was already inhabited. What rights would these inhabitants have, since colonists did not consider native peoples to be as advanced as European cit...

Language Barriers

As asylums grew larger and lost their ability to integrate mentally ill or temporarily distraught citizens back into society, they became warehouses for people who could not cope with or mesh into the current culture. Most asylums assumed a custodial...

Another Contrast

It perhaps isn’t quite fair to compare a federal insane asylum like the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians with a private institution catering to the wealthy. (See last post about McLean Asylum for the Insane.) However, the government did have an...

Character and Caricature

Native Americans fought in WWI for many reasons: proof of their loyalty to America, a desire to go overseas, ties to friends and family who volunteered, a desire to fight and prove their manhood (as many young men at the time wanted to do), and for a...

Unbreakable Codes

Navajo Code Talkers in WWII have received at least a measure of recognition for their great contributions to that war effort, but the Choctaw Code Talkers of WWI have received far less recognition. In 1917, a group of young Choctaw men began to use t...

Native Americans And WWI

Many people are familiar with the military contributions of Native American Code Talkers during WWII, but don’t know about Native American contributions to the Great War. Over 17,000 males registered for the draft, but many other men volunteere...

The Nation at War

In the early 20th century, Americans tended to be isolationists when it came to foreign policy. For the most part, WWI looked like a European conflict into which America need not enter, and president Woodrow Wilson pledged to keep the country out of...

Doing Their Part

During WWI, the U.S. government raised money to support its war efforts through Liberty Bonds. Private citizens could purchase bonds, and after the war redeem them for the purchase price plus interest. The government issued four sets of bonds: * The...

Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving holiday does not have the same significance for Native Americans as it does generally for others in this country. The fact that European pilgrims survived their first harsh winter boded ill for native peoples who suffered death, dise...

TB and Native Americans

Though TB existed in the pre-Columbian Andean population, there doesn’t seem to be any definitive proof that TB existed in the continental U.S. before Europeans arrived. (Some skeletal remains indicate that it could have existed, however.) What...


Trending Topics

Close