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American Indians and the Rhetoric of Removal and Allotment$
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Jason Edward Black

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781628461961

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2016

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628461961.001.0001

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Colonization and the Solidification of Identities in the General Allotment Act

Colonization and the Solidification of Identities in the General Allotment Act

Chapter:
(p.81) Chapter Four Colonization and the Solidification of Identities in the General Allotment Act
Source:
American Indians and the Rhetoric of Removal and Allotment
Author(s):

Jason Edward Black

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781628461961.003.0005

Chapter Four addresses colonizing governmental discourses surrounding the Dawes Act of 1887 and the identity constructions that arose as the nation edged ever closer to removed Native communities in the West. The chapter, particularly, argues that the U.S. government transformed the paternal relationship it employed in the 1830s to exclude Natives into a rhetorical strategy of assimilation. In the process, American Indians were constituted as dependent and yet civilized enough for agricultural production as a key contribution to the U.S. nation-state. This illustrated a commodification of Native communities through republicanism. And, the government constructed itself as a republican father that would train American Indians for possible citizenship through the allotment policy’s insistence on yeoman farming. The late nineteenth century promises of citizenship pointed to the possibility that American Indians could exist as equals within the civis. However, the colonizing Dawes Act continued to distance American Indians from the U.S. nation. This conflation of assimilation and segregation underscored the identity duality of U.S. nationalism. But, the possibility that citizenship was feasible acted as a decolonial rupture that American Indians worked through to petition for both U.S. citizenship and separate sovereignty.

Keywords:   Allotment, Identity Duality, Dawes Act, Colonization, Sovereignty

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