A New Deal for Indian Country
In the 1930’s, President Roosevelt initiated an array of programs known as the “Indian New Deal,” aiming to restore Tribal self-governance and autonomy. But the administration continued its paternalistic policies and rejected Indigenous knowledge and needs, aiming to “modernize” agricultural practices on reservations in the wake of the Dust Bowl.
Rather than expanding tribes’ access to the ancestral waterways and pasture lands that could sustain their animals, the Churro sheep — integral to Diné, Hopi, and Apache food and culture — were decimated by mandates that Tribes cull herds. Only decades later was the Churro population restored enough to no longer be endangered; the communal work of reintegrating these essential foodways continues.
Galleries & Exhibits
- 11865-1925: Hunger in the Industrial City
- 21929-1940: America in Crisis and Recovery
- 31945-1965: WWII and the Paradoxes of the Postwar Era
- 41955-1980: The Fight for the Right to Food
- 51975-1996: The Unmaking of the Great Society
- 61997-Present: How It Is — And How It Should Be