SOCIAL SCIENCES

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

Univ. of North Carolina. Apr. 2019. 272p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781469651385. pap. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9781469651392. HIST
COPY ISBN
OrangeReviewStarIn 1952, the Bureau of Indian Affairs inaugurated the Volunteer Relocation Program (VRP), which was intended to encourage Native Americans to move from rural reservations to cities. Approximately 100,000 Natives were relocated over the program's 25-year existence. Although the author acknowledges that the VRP was a failure and caused harm to many who participated in the initiative, Miller (history, Oklahoma State Univ.) argues that some of its impacts were transformative. Rather than succumbing to the problems they encountered in urban areas, many Natives utilized their ingenuity and determination to chart their own futures. Some used educational opportunities to become academics, doctors, lawyers, or politicians. Others returned to their home communities to assume leadership roles, such as Wilma Mankiller, who rose to principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. It is not coincidental that Pan-Indian organizations, including the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the National Congress of American Indians, emerged from the urban milieu.
VERDICT Miller's narrative expands significantly beyond the VRP in order to contextualize it within the broader scope of Native American migration over the course of the 20th century. In doing so, he has created a fascinating monograph highly recommended for anyone interested in Native American studies or American history.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month