American Indians in World War I: at home and at war by Thomas A. Britten

By Thomas A. Britten

In the course of international conflict I, approximately 10,000 local americans both enlisted or have been drafted into the yank Expeditionary strength. 3 comparable questions are tested extensive for the 1st time during this booklet: What have been the battlefield stories of local american citizens? How did racial and cultural stereotypes approximately Indians have an effect on their tasks? Did their wartime contributions result in alterations in federal Indian coverage or their usual of living?Many American Indians uncommon themselves combating at the Western entrance. And compared to black and Mexican American squaddies, Indians loved close to common appreciate while in uniform. To have a good time their patriotism in the course of and after the warfare, Indians may even practice a number of conventional ceremonies another way proscribed. either in strive against and of their help roles at the homefront, together with volunteer contributions by means of Indian ladies, local americans was hoping their efforts could lead to a extra full of life program of democracy. however the Bureau of Indian Affairs persevered to chop overall healthiness and teaching programs and to suppress Indian cultures. "This is a prime ebook and an important contribution to twentieth-century Indian history."--Professor Donald L. Parman

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Finally, military officials believed that the enlistment of Native Americans might improve Anglo-Indian relations by conveying the army's trust and respect for Indians. 16 The movement for Indian military service continued to evolve during the 1880s. In an article published in The United Service (a military-service maga- Page 15 zine) in the fall of 1880, Captain H. C. Cushing, Fourth Artillery, advocated the "military colonization" of Native Americans, whereby Indians would be organized into military settlements under the supervision of white officers.

Some accused the Native Americans of feigning misunderstanding so as to avoid performing tasks they found distasteful or unnecessary (such as saluting). When an Indian soldier failed to obey an order he found himself in the guardhouse, pulling kitchen patrol, or perhaps cleaning out the post stables. 39 There were other culture-based problems. Native Americans were reluctant to adopt military-style haircuts, live in frame dwellings, or undergo routine physical examinations, which some found to be uncomfortable and humiliating.

Historians who have written on twentieth-century Native American topics have, instead, concentrated their studies on the long-term impact of the Dawes Act of 1887, the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, or the Indian reform movements of the 1960s and 1970s. "4 An examination of Native American roles in World War I is essential if one hopes to understand the evolution of Indian societies, cultures, and federal Indian policy in the early decades of the twentieth century. Providing a broad survey of Indian contributions during World War I, both at home and in Western Europe, is the major aim of this study.

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