One of the focal points of my work is to identify and analyze American Indian agency in the course of tribal history. I am a historian with research interests in federal Indian policy, twentieth century American Indian history, tribal sovereignty, and urban Indian history. I have studied these fields in relation to the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, the southwest Oregon coast, and the Chicago American Indian community.
In City Indian, Rosalyn R. LaPier and David R. M. Beck recount the engaging story of American Indian men and women who migrated to Chicago from across America. During the Progressive Era, more than at any other time in the city’s history, American Indians could be found in the company of politicians and society leaders, at Chicago’s major cultural venues and events, and in the press, speaking out. They voiced their opinions about political, social, educational, and racial issues. City Indian tells the story of how Chicago became the epicenter of this new movement in American Indian activism.
Seeking Recognition examines the history of the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians. From 1855, when they signed a treaty that the U.S. Senate failed to ratify, tribal leaders fought battle after battle to gain full recognition. This battle to overcome their status of quasi-recognition was dealt a major blow in 1954 when their relationship with the federal government was officially terminated. Tribal leaders persevered, however and gained full recognition in a legal process known as restoration. Using archival sources and oral history, this book tells that story.
Drawing on meticulous archival research and a close working relationship with the Menominee Historic Preservation Department, The Struggle for Self-Determination picks up where Siege and Survival ended. The story begins with the establishment of a small reservation in the Menominee homeland in northeastern Wisconsin at a time when the Menominee economic, political, and social structure came under aggressive assault. For the next hundred years the tribe attempted to regain control of its destiny, enduring successive policy attacks by governmental, religious, and local business sources.
The Menominee Indians, or “wild rice people,” have lived for thousands of years in what is now Wisconsin and are the oldest Native American community that still lives there. But the Menominee’s struggle for survival and rights to their land has been long and hard. Siege and Survival draws on interviews with tribal members, stories recorded by earlier researchers, and exhaustive archival research to provide a full account of the Menominee’s early history , adding Menominee voices to the story and showing how numerous individuals and leaders in the trading era and later worked diligently to survive.