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Indigenous Women and WorkFrom Labor to Activism$
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Carol Williams

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037153

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037153.001.0001

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Charity or Industry?

Charity or Industry?

American Indian Women and Work Relief in the New Deal Era

Chapter:
(p.193) Chapter 12 Charity or Industry?
Source:
Indigenous Women and Work
Author(s):

Colleen O’Neill

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252037153.003.0013

Despite proven entrepreneurial successes in the southwest, only 11 out of 156 U.S. federal work relief projects designated for Indian reservations during the Depression specifically targeted women. Those schemes, administrated by home extension programmers, were, in essence, occupationally reductive and domestic in nature. This chapter examines relief programs among Blackfeet women in Cut Bank, Montana, during the 1930s. Such programs potentially shunt women, once again, to “the margins of the capitalist labor market in the 1930s.” Even in the so-called enlightened modern era promised by the administrative renaissance of the U.S. Indian New Deal, economic policies were restrictively gendered in design and scope.

Keywords:   federal work relief, work relief programs, Indian reservations, Blackfeet women, indigenous women, women's work, capitalist labor market

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