During the early twentieth century, Navajo lands were extensive and isolated. Traditional Navajo leadership was much more local, and it varied from clan to clan. The discovery of natural resources on Navajo lands in the 1920s led to the creation of the Navajo Tribal Council to negotiate leases with the federal government. Through the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the federal government dominated the council. However, the reforms of the Indian New Deal and the urgency of World War II brought immense changes as many non-Navajo leaders left the BIA for important wartime positions within the federal government, and the Navajo Tribal Council became more independent. During this period the relationship between the council and federal government changed as the council was given greater autonomy in governing the tribe. This thesis examines the history of the council leading up to and during World War II. By comparing the home front of World War I to the home front of World War II, it argues that the council achieved greater self-determination during this period, something often downplayed by historians, and created a unique system of government distinctive only to Navajos. The leadership of the council in providing for the common defense, defining and protecting property rights, and assisting with the federal government in the creation of human service programs established solid reasons for continued autonomy after World War II.
|Commitee:||Ellis, Mark, Volpe, Vernon, Wells, Jeffery|
|School:||University of Nebraska at Kearney|
|School Location:||United States -- Nebraska|
|Source:||MAI 56/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||American history, Native American studies|
|Keywords:||Indian New Deal, Navajos, Tribal council, World War II|
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