TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary of the Collection

Administrative Information

History of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Indian Relocation Program

Scope and Content of the Collection

Organization

Selected Search Terms

Container List

Series 1: Reservation Agencies, 1936-1963, bulk 1956-1958

Series 2: Urban Field Offices, 1955-1975

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Inventory of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Indian Relocation Records, 1936-1975, bulk 1956-1958


The Newberry Library
Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections
60 West Walton Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610
Phone: 312-255-3506
E-Mail: specialcolls@newberry.org
URL: http://www.newberry.org

Finding aid encoded by Martha Briggs, October 2002.

2002


Descriptive Summary of the Collection

Creator United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs
Title Bureau of Indian Affairs Indian Relocation Records,
Dates 1936-1975, bulk 1956-1958
Extent 1.3 linear feet (3 boxes)
Abstract Photographs, promotional brochures, statistics, clippings, etc., dating mainly from 1956 to 1958, from album / notebooks compiled by Bureau of Indian Affairs agencies and relocation program field offices at reservations and schools (Cheyenne River, Fort Peck, Great Lakes, Intermountain School, Menominee, New Mexico Pueblos, Pierre, Sisseton including Flandreau, Turtle Mountain, Winnebago), and in cities (Chicago, St. Louis).
Language Materials are in English.
Repository Newberry Library, Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections
Collection Call Number Ayer Modern MS BIA Relocation
Collection Stack Location 3 60 14

Administrative Information

Cite As

Bureau of Indian Affairs Indian Relocation Records, The Newberry Library, Chicago.

Provenance

The Bureau of Indian Affairs' Chicago Field Office donated the Indian Relocation Records to Fritz Jennings of the Newberry Library, ca. 1975.

Processed by

Jodi Morrison, 2001; Karyn Goldstein, 2002.

Access Restrictions

The Bureau of Indian Affairs Indian Relocation Records are open for research. They are available one box at a time in the Special Collections Reading Room (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Bureau of Indian Affairs Indian Relocation Records are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Literary rights, including copyright, may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns.

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History of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Indian Relocation Program

Indian commissioner Glenn L. Emmons started the Bureau of Indian Affairs' (BIA) relocation program in 1948. Migration to urban areas became a general trend in the post World War II years. By 1953 placements had reached 2600, and they peaked in 1957 with 6964. By 1960 a total of 33,466 Indians had been relocated.

Government relocation started as a part of Navajo-Hopi rehabilitation in 1948 when the BIA recruited Navajo and Hopi men for agricultural and railroad work. Soon they demanded better jobs, so the BIA established job placement offices in Denver, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles. The Navajo relocation program began on a small scale but quickly gathered momentum.

By 1950 the BIA had extended relocation services to other Indian tribes. Congress soon expanded the program by appropriating funds for additional offices. In 1951 there were Field Relocation Offices in Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Offices were later added in other cities, including Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco, Dallas, Cleveland, and St. Louis.

The BIA relocation program originally provided transportation, job placement, subsistence funds until the first paycheck, and counseling. In 1956 Public Law 959 added vocational training to the program. Participants, mostly between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five, received two years of benefits for either on-the-job experience or vocational classes. Typically, Indians working in factories on the reservation received apprenticeship provisions, and relocated individuals received vocational training. The 1956 legislation also increased counseling services.

The BIA relocation program was controversial. Some believed that industrial jobs freed Indians from BIA control, exposed them to improved education, and provided a means to end Indian poverty. Others believed that the program forced Indians to leave reservations without improving living conditions or the quality of job training.

The BIA relocation program continued until at least 1979.

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Scope and Content of the Collection

Photographs, clippings, maps, employment brochures, and statistics compiled in albums / notebooks by Bureau of Indian Affairs agencies and offices on reservations and in urban areas, 1936-1975, bulk 1956-1958. The materials were prepared by each office to provide information to other relocation offices and potential residents. In addition to numerous photographs of Indians, Indian families, reservation buildings, vocational classes, etc., there are promotional brochures describing educational opportunities, entertainment, and shopping in the cities, and employment brochures from companies that hired Indians.

Narrative descriptions of the subject matter, types of material, and arrangement of each series are available through the Organization section of the finding aid.

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Organization

The papers are organized in the following series:

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Selected Search Terms

Names

  • Flandreau Indian Vocational High School
  • Intermountain School
  • United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Cheyenne River Agency
  • United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Fort Peck Agency
  • United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Great Lakes Agency
  • United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Menominee Agency
  • United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Pierre Agency
  • United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Sisseton Agency
  • United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Turtle Mountain Agency
  • United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Winnebago Agency

Subjects

  • Indians of North America -- Missouri -- St. Louis -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Indians of North America -- Montana -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Indians of North America -- Nebraska -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Indians of North America -- New Mexico -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Indians of North America -- Education
  • Indians of North America -- Employment
  • Indians of North America -- Illinois -- Chicago -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Indians of North America -- North Dakota -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Indians of North America -- South Dakota -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Indians of North America -- Urban residence
  • Indians of North America -- Utah -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Indians of North America -- Wisconsin -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Manuscripts, American
  • Photographs

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Container List

Series 1: Reservation Agencies, 1936-1963, bulk 1956-1958

Contains albums of reservation agency offices including: Cheyenne River Agency, Fort Peck Agency, Great Lakes Agency, Menominee Agency, New Mexico Pueblos, Pierre Agency, Sisseton Agency, Turtle Mountain Agency, and Winnebago Agency. Albums contain photographs of reservation buildings, photographs of Indians, clippings, histories of tribes, maps, and statistics. The Winnebago Agency notebook also includes 1936 constitutions and corporate charters for the Omaha, Ponca, and Santee Sioux tribes. There is also an album prepared by the relocation agent at the Intermountain School in Utah that contains syllabi and photographs of vocational classes.
Arranged alphabetically by agency.

Box Folder Contents
1 1-2 Cheyenne River - Photographs
1 3 Fort Peck Agency - Fort Peck Facts, 1963
1 4-5 Great Lakes Agency - Photographs
1 6-7 Intermountain School 1957
1 8 Menominee Agency - History, Statistics, Travel Itineraries, 1957
1 9 Menominee Agency - Photographs, 1957
1 10-11 New Mexico Pueblos - Histories, Photographs
1 12 New Mexico Pueblos - Taos Pueblo School, 1957
1 13 New Mexico Pueblos - Suggested Reading
1 14 New Mexico Pueblos - Map, 1956
1 15 Pierre Agency - History, Statistics, Maps, Photographs, 1956
2 16-17 Sisseton, Flandreau Sioux - Photographs
2 18 Turtle Mountain Agency - History, Statistics, Photographs
2 19 Turtle Mountain Agency - History
2 20 Winnebago Agency - History, Statistics, Photographs
2 21 Winnebago Agency - Omaha Tribe Constitution and Corporate Charter, 1936
2 22 Winnebago Agency - Ponca Tribe Constitution and Corporate Charter, 1936
2 23 Winnebago Agency - Santee Sioux Tribe Constitution and Corporate Charter, 1936

Series 2: Urban Field Offices, 1955-1975

Includes records of the Chicago Field Office and the St. Louis Field Office. There are photographs, clippings, maps, employment brochures, and statistics. Much of the material is promotional in nature, describing education, shopping, and entertainment for each city. Most of the employment brochures are from companies in the St. Louis area that hired Indians. Many of the photographs are of families who relocated to the Chicago area.
Arranged alphabetically by city.

Box Folder Contents
2 24 Chicago Field Office - Employment, Photographs, Misc., 1956
2 25 Chicago Field Office - Photographs, Misc., , 1956 1975
2 26 Chicago Field Office - General Information, Photographs,
2 27 Chicago Field Office - Zephier Family, Photographs, 1956
2 28 Chicago Field Office - Hardy and Gonzales Families, Photographs
2 29 Chicago Field Office - Conklin Family, Photographs, 1957
2 30 Chicago Field Office - Burns Family, Photographs
2 31 Chicago Field Office - Harlan Family, Photographs, Clippings 1957
2 32 Chicago Field Office - Raper Family, Photographs,
2 33 Chicago Field Office - Miscellaneous, 1957
3 34 St. Louis Field Office - Staff, Employment, Photographs, Clippings
3 35 St. Louis Field Office - Employment, 1956
3 36 St. Louis Field Office - Education, Entertainment
3 37 St. Louis Field Office - Relocatee Information
3 38 St. Louis Field Office - Employment
3 39 St. Louis Field Office - Clippings, 1956, 1958
3 40 St. Louis Field Office - Urban Renewal Clippings, 1956