Native Agency: Indians in the Bureau of Indian Affairs

Univ. of Minnesota. Jan. 2023. 344p. ISBN 9781517914530. pap. $27. SOC SCI
Lambert’s (anthropology, UNC-Chapel Hill; Choctaw Nation) book focuses on the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) in Washington, DC. Lambert, a citizen of the Choctaw Nation, depicts a fascinating history that includes the transformation of the BIA from an institution set out to control and assimilate Indigenous populations, to an underfunded institution that is now nearly comprised of an all Indigenous workforce. The book discusses critical moments in the history of the BIA, including the 1972 takeover of the South Interior Building in Washington, DC. Lambert once worked at the BIA, and she draws from her experiences within the agency to illustrate the personal and lifelong connections many of the Indigenous employees have with the people they serve.
VERDICT A critical addition to sociological, historical, and anthropological collections, this book provides a multifaceted account of working within the BIA. Lambert has a rich perspective as a citizen of the Choctaw Nation, anthropologist, and former United States government employee.
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