- The Oxford Handbook of American Indian History
- America in 1492
- European Invasions and Early Settlement, 1500–1680
- Living in a Reordered World, 1680–1763
- The Age of Imperial Expansion, 1763–1821
- US Expansion and Its Consequences, 1815–1890
- Surviving in the Twentieth Century, 1890–1960
- The Indian Renaissance, 1960–2000: Stumbling to Victory, or Anecdotes of Persistence?
- Contemporary History: Native America in the Twenty-First Century
- The Great Lakes
- The Southwest
- The Plains
- The Pacific Northwest
- The South
- The Atlantic Northeast
- Indian Territory and Oklahoma
- The Great Basin
- Gender, Sexuality, and Family History: Naynaabeak’s Fishing Net
- Population, Health, and Public Welfare
- Native American Expressive Arts
- Collectors and Museums: From Cabinets of Curiosities to Indigenous Cultural Centers
- Indians in the Marketplace
- Intellectual History
- Treaties and Treaty Making
- Urban Native Histories
- American Indians in Popular Culture
- American Indians in World History
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter reviews the economic, cultural, and political history of California’s Native American communities. Throughout the twentieth century, scholars considered California Indians to be the United States’ most primitive indigenous people. Yet today, they are among the country’s most economically and politically active indigenous nations. This chapter explains how this economic and political activism is a product of a long history of adapting to changing circumstances. Before the arrival of Europeans, California Indians altered economic practices because of environmental change. Beginning in 1769, California Indians adjusted to the presence of Spanish colonists by using the missions to bolster their economies. In the 1830s and 1840s, California Indians raided Mexican ranchos for horses, which they exchanged with fur traders. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, California Indians worked as migrant laborers in the state’s agribusiness, and today operate some of the most successful gaming resorts in the United States.
William Bauer is an enrolled citizen of the Round Valley Indian Reservation and Associate Professor of History at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is the author of We Were All Like Migrant Workers Here": Work, Community, and Memory on California's Round Valley Reservation, 1850-1941 (2009) and co-editor of Major Problems in American Indian History . He is currently at work on Indigenous narratives of California history during the 1930s.
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