- 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 survey of economic history emphasizes American Indians’ varied and varying responses to profit-oriented economic practices introduced by non-Indians. It depicts aboriginal Indian economies as diverse and dynamic though modeled on kin relations and reciprocity. European colonial settlements and Euro-Americans’ ultimate hegemony, fueled by commercial market relations and capitalist development, eventually undermined every indigenous population’s self-sufficiency. Most Indians consequently fell into poverty, but not for lack of strategic and sometimes rewarding engagement with the new market economy. Indians’ many adaptive strategies have included participation in commercial trade, wage labor, and manufacturing, often in order to supplement traditional subsistence practices and further Indian ideals. The chapter stresses that United States policies and law first facilitated the massive transfer of Indian land and resources to non-Indians, but that more recent policy changes and court rulings have enabled some Indians to recoup wealth by operating tribe-owned enterprises.
Alexandra (Sasha) Harmon is Professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Washington. She is the author of Rich Indians: Native People and the Problem of Wealth in American History (2010) and Indians in the Making: Ethnic Relations and Indian Identities around Puget Sound (1998). She is currently researching Indian tribal efforts in the 1960s and 1970s to govern everyone within their reservations and thus reset the terms of their colonial relationship with the United States.
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