Title

A Move Towards Farming: How Indian Agents Sought to Convince Yakamas to Accept Allotment

Presenter Information

Scott Miller

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 137A

Start Date

17-5-2012

End Date

17-5-2012

Abstract

My research focused on the actions and policies of the Yakima Indian Agency in the 1890s when the Bureau of Indian Affairs “allotted” family farms to Yakama heads of family. By exploring contemporary newspapers and agency records I seek to understand how the Agency planned to convince Yakamas to become farmers, a practice, unlike many other Indian peoples, the Yakama had not engaged in to any great degree before. The BIA agents, I argue, tried to convince Yakamas to take up allotments and become farmers by promoting Christian ideals, and by resolving problems that threatened to hinder farm productivity, such as the lack of irrigation ditches. Agents also dealt with fishery rights issues with other settlers in the area, a problem that inhibited their ability to afford the improvements needed to begin farming.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Daniel Herman

Additional Mentoring Department

History

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May 17th, 3:00 PM May 17th, 3:20 PM

A Move Towards Farming: How Indian Agents Sought to Convince Yakamas to Accept Allotment

SURC 137A

My research focused on the actions and policies of the Yakima Indian Agency in the 1890s when the Bureau of Indian Affairs “allotted” family farms to Yakama heads of family. By exploring contemporary newspapers and agency records I seek to understand how the Agency planned to convince Yakamas to become farmers, a practice, unlike many other Indian peoples, the Yakama had not engaged in to any great degree before. The BIA agents, I argue, tried to convince Yakamas to take up allotments and become farmers by promoting Christian ideals, and by resolving problems that threatened to hinder farm productivity, such as the lack of irrigation ditches. Agents also dealt with fishery rights issues with other settlers in the area, a problem that inhibited their ability to afford the improvements needed to begin farming.