By Mackenzie Cosgrove

There are strangers above me, below me and all around me and we are all

strange in this place of recent invention.

This city named for angels appears naked and stripped of anything resembling

The Shaking turtle shells, the songs of

Human voices on a summer night outside Okmulgee[1]

Joy Harjo, of the Mvskoke Nation, is a contemporary poet and musician. Her poem The Path to the Milky Way Leads Through Los Angeles, shares the sadness indigenous people feel in the land that once belonged to them. In a place where indigenous people have lived for more generations than anyone remembers, they are now strangers in their own land, not accepted by its Anglo inhabitants and identified as the ‘other.’ The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of 19th– and 20th-century Anglo policies on the lives of the indigenous population of Los Angeles. Through the implementation of the Dawes Act in 1887, the participation of indigenous youth in the boarding school system, termination policies that attacked indigenous sovereignty, relocation that moved indigenous peoples to urban centers, and the coalescing of pan-indigenous identities into the American Indian Movement, we can explore the significance of what it means to be Native American in 20th-century Los Angeles and retrace the events that needed to occur to create LA’s indigenous identity. By focusing on the indigenous peoples of Los Angeles, this paper develops a micro-history of a local indigenous shared past as well as recent resistance.

With the passing of the Dawes Act in 1887, which allotted tribal land to individual Native Americans in exchange for US citizenship, indigenous sovereignty and identity came under attack by the federal government. The next cycle of aggression was the creation of Native boarding schools that sought to strip indigenous children from their tribal roots by cutting off ties to reservation communities. This cycle also marks the first attempts at forced assimilation. Termination policies, developed under the FDR and Truman administrations, terminated tribal sovereignty and effectively broke up indigenous tribes in hopes of further “encouraging” Americanization. The federal government pushed the urbanization of the Native Americans via relocation programs, which sought to relocate natives to urban centers to promote assimilation into Anglo culture. Throughout this period, indigenous agency grew to a boiling point that would erupt in 1968 and become known as the American Indian Movement. With the conditions created by federal policy attempts to assimilate and urbanize indigenous people, pan-Indigenous identity united natives across tribal lines to mobilize against policies that had been created to immobilize and dismantle Indigenous identity and sovereignty.

Scholarship written on this topic is abundant. In 1999, Joan Weibel-Orlando wrote Indian Country, LA: Maintaining Ethnic Community in Complex Society. As one of the premiere writers in the field, placing special emphasis on Los Angeles, Weibel-Orlando focuses on relocation and the American Indian Movement, as well as its effects on indigenous identity. Focusing mainly on statistical data of the region and time period, Weibel-Orlando provides a clear understanding of the economic and social impact Native Americans had on the Los Angeles landscape. She focuses on the various ethno-burbs of Los Angeles, specifically Bell Gardens and Huntington Park, to provide an in-depth evaluation of the conditions of Native Americans in Los Angeles. However, her research lacks the background information needed to understand the environment that was created because of policies of termination.

Diana Meyers Bahr, author of Viola Martinez, California Paiute: Living in Two Worlds creates an overview of the lives of Native Americans in California through the life of a Paiute girl named Viola Martinez. She begins by describing Owens Valley, the environment that Martinez grew up in, and the complex indigenous family connections that are seen across indigenous tribal lines. She moves through her life as she is sent to the Sherman Institute, an Indian Boarding School in Riverside, California, and taps into the marginalization of indigenous children that participated in the boarding school system. She continues to talk about her time in Los Angeles and the effects of the relocation program. Beginning with the Dawes Act, Bahr sets up the necessary information needed to understand the conditions that set up relocation through boarding schools and termination. However, Bahr does not go into detail on Martinez’s life during the era of Red Power.

Nicolas Rosenthal in Reimagining Indian Country: Native American Migration and Identity in Twentieth-Century Los Angeles is able to bridge the gap between the events that occurred between the time of the Dawes Act in 1887 and the American Indian Movement in the 1970s. Through immense archival records analysis and interviews, Rosenthal is able to explain these events through the lenses of race, gender, and class, and is the most significant influence on present scholarship.

It is unclear how many Native Americans resided in California at statehood in 1850, as they were not accounted for on a consistent basis in state and federal censuses until 1890.[2] It is important to differentiate between enumerated and non-enumerated Native Americans. Those who paid taxes and lived off federal lands, meaning alongside Anglo Americans instead of on reservations, were generally counted and categorized in censuses as ‘other.’ On the low end, it is estimated that 17,798 Native Americans resided in California in 1860 while others raise this number to over 200,000, though no data exists for the number of Native Americans in Los Angeles County.[3] The inconsistency in data proves to be problematic later when discussions about how the Native American population grew exponentially during the era of relocation. For example, the census of 1850 cited 32,321 Native Americans in California and once revised, updated that estimate to 100,000 in 1853.[4] Therefore, the precise number of Native Americans in California upon the implementation of the Dawes Act is uncertain.

Prior to the implementation of the Dawe’s Act in 1887, the federal government successfully signed eighteen treaties with one hundred and thirty-nine tribes across California from 1850-1851. These treaties agreed to set aside approximately 7,488,000 acres of land for California reservations.[5] Native groups, believing these treaties would be honored upon signing, willingly vacated their ancestral lands to move to their agreed upon reservations. What these groups did not know, was the US Senate would secretly fail to ratify these treaties at the urging of the State of California. Having relinquished their rights to native land, and turned away at their supposed reservation sites, these groups became dispossessed parties. As a result, California Indian superintendent Edward F. Beale effectively petitioned the federal government to implement a new reservation system. Five military reservations were approved; however, they were not to exceed 25,000 acres each for the same hundreds of tribes that had previously signed treaties with the government.[6] The failed ratification of what would become known as the 18 lost treaties would segue into the implementation of the Dawe’s Act in California.

As the federal government began to shift from policies of elimination to Americanization in the 19th century, the indigenous people in California were forced to decide between maintaining their indigenous identity or fully integrating into Anglo society. The Dawes Act of 1887 allotted reservation lands to individual Native Americans. This act seemingly ‘benefited’ both Native Americans and Anglo Americans. It was the hope of pro-assimilation lawmakers that the allotment of land would make indigenous peoples “self-reliant and market oriented,” characteristics typically held by capitalistic Anglo Americans.[7] As citizenship to native inhabitants of the United States would not be granted until 1924, policy makers also attempted to make the offer enticing by promising citizenship to those who bought land and took up residence “separate and apart from any tribe of Indians therein, and has adopted the habits of civilized life.”[8] While policymakers saw citizenship as a path to undermine tribal unity, US citizenship gave indigenous Californians the opportunity at gaining economic and political security, something the indigenous people of the United States had not had since prior to Anglo-Europeans occupation of their land. With regards to the benefits to Anglo Americans, those lands not sold to Native Americans could then be peddled off to Anglo farmers. Most importantly, the Dawes Act chipped away at Native American sovereignty, identity, and tribal structure.

Tribal organization across California centered upon the community, and with the implementation of allotments, the indigenous community would be broken up into multiple indigenous individuals. As “allotment encouraged the demise of villages and the dispersal of families and negated a sense of community among many bands,” policy makers encouraged the use of allotment to pressure indigenous people to partake in the Anglo economy.[9] By becoming farmers, Native Americans began to integrate into Anglo society, which was the primary goal of the government. If agricultural failure occurred resulting in the abandonment of indigenous land, Anglo farmers would again benefit with the purchase of cheap land that used to belong to native inhabitants.

The goals of Americanization supported the act of severing indigenous ties to land and community, and indigenous identity was attacked through the issuance of US citizenship with the acceptance of allotted land. While all the land in California once belonged to indigenous people, including the area of Los Angeles, there is currently not a single acre in Los Angeles County set aside for use as tribal land. The surface level success of allotment policies would spur the creation of more intense assimilation practices, beginning with Indian boarding schools.

With the attack on indigenous land well under way, the government turned its attention to decimating indigenous identity. Opened in 1903, Sherman Institute was located in Riverside, California. Designed for the education and Americanization of indigenous youth, Sherman Institute was strategically placed in Riverside as a result of the dubious interference by local businessman Frank Miller. As the owner of the local Glenwood Mission Inn, Miller knew the appeal that the California Spanish past had on tourists. Located on the outskirts of Los Angeles, Miller yearned for an entrance into the tourist market. Having already built his hotel in the Spanish mission style, Miller knew he needed more attractions in Riverside to draw tourists in, as well as additional labor to work in his hotel. Miller lobbied to local, state, and eventually federal representatives to allow for an Indian boarding school to be placed in Riverside. With the financial backing of Henry and Collis Huntington, wealthy investors from Pasadena, Miller succeeded in lobbying for a school to be placed right at the end of Miller’s street car line.[10]

In addition to academic curriculum, indigenous youth who attended Sherman Institute would take part in the outing system. Essentially, the outing system was used to exploit the labor indigenous children could provide. These jobs often included intense manual labor, especially for the boys at the school, and was compensated for with measly pay. This type of system was allowed because the government and school officials believed it would make indigenous children “think, behave, work and look less like Native people, and more like white Protestant Americans.”[11] In addition, Victorian gender values were also pushed upon students. Those who grew up on reservations or within communities that valued coexistence and shared labor found themselves subjected to the ideas of the nuclear family and Anglo gender norms. Education was altered based on gender, and when taking part in the outing system, “male students most often tackled agricultural tasks in teams of at least three or four, female student-laborers almost always worked individually as domestic servants.”[12]

While it is easy to understand how the outing system enforced Anglo gender roles upon indigenous youth, some children who participated in the outing system held different opinions. For example, James John attended Sherman Institute in the 1930s. Originally from Arizona, John attended Sherman and found himself happy with the outing system. When asked about the vocational training that occurred, John spoke about how prepared he was for life after high school, and how he enjoyed the school as it was more focused on vocational training instead of academics.[13] By earning vocational training and experience, young indigenous people formed connections with Anglo neighbors that could prove beneficial for future employment, and provided the necessary background needed for joining the Anglo workforce and participating in the economy.

Young girls had different experiences than their male counterparts. In the beginning of the outing system at Sherman, girls were often preferred over boys. Being favored turned out to be beneficial, as girls did not allow themselves to be passive victims of their employers. At any sign of mistreatment, girls would tell their supervisors immediately and be sent to work at a neighboring home. Additionally, “the most common form of resistance involved feigning incomprehension of instructions,” allowing girls to take the jobs that treated them well and pass on those that proved to be hazardous.[14] Even with a limited degree of freedom of choice when it came to work details, Anglo gender roles gave young women very few options of receiving vocational training as it was deemed ‘unfit’ for ladies. The Los Angeles Times noted that “vocational training for girls is mainly in the home economics field, although other courses such as the school’s hospital attendant program are offered.”[15]

Another way Sherman Institute attempted to strip attendees of their indigenous roots was through religion. Those coming from reservation backgrounds had rarely been introduced to Protestantism, and once on the Sherman campus, students were required to take up religious studies. Superintendents viewed religion as an avenue to further ‘civilize’ their pupils and instill Protestant values on those who came from backgrounds of indigenous spirituality. Student Viola Martinez recounts her experience with religion at Sherman:

“All of a sudden, it bothered me. I remember that. Here’s two churches, and we had to pick one of those. Why? And for the first time, I think, it did concern me. How come we can’t go to one of our own? Why don’t we have a church for Indians, just Indians? We had to choose one of the white churches. I never even had to think about it before”[16]

Religion would not be the only avenue used by school officials in Americanizing their indigenous students.

School officials mandated that English be the only language allowed at Sherman Institute. Some students had no previous experience with English, and came to the school knowing no other language than the one of their community.[17]Once immersed in the English language, and forbidden to speak their native languages, indigenous pupils soon lost their last remaining connection to their communities. On the rare occasions that children did go home, they were unable to communicate with the family they had left behind. Viola Martinez explains what it is like to be an unwanted Native in an Anglo world, as well as being a native Paiute unable to identify with the family she left behind in Owens Valley. “She no longer quite fit in Owens Valley, nor did she fit comfortably in Riverside. She was on the margin of each society, partly in and partly out.”[18] Stripping away the ability to communicate in native languages further pushed for the Americanization of Native Americans, but not without displacing indigenous youths from their communities.

It is important to remember that while some earned valuable vocational skills and experience through the outing program provided at Sherman Institute, the very creation of the school was for the purpose of exploiting indigenous labor and making appeals to tourism. While Sherman Institute is not a case specifically unique to California, as schools like this were created in other states across the nation, it unfolded as a principle avenue to bring indigenous people from various communities to one centralized location that increased camaraderie across tribal lines. Additionally, it chipped away at indigenous identity, as Native American children were forced to practice a foreign religion and were stripped of their right to speak their indigenous languages. Indian boarding schools were direct attacks on indigenous identity and prosperity because “Indian boarding schools did not exist to create Indian scholars, medical doctors, professors, lawyers, or future business leaders,”[19] instead, they were created to shape young indigenous people into future Anglo citizens.

As the systematic Americanization of Native Americans continued to be supported by local, state, and federal Anglo policy makers, a new wave of legislation was passed that directly attacked indigenous sovereignty. The termination era ranges from the 1950s-1960s, but a survey of conditions on Indian reservations in 1943 spurred termination policies. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) concluded the status of natives on reservations was in dire need of drastic government intervention.

While the original legislation, House Concurrent Resolution 108, did not terminate the status of indigenous tribes nationally, it targeted tribes in specific states and was intended as the foundational legislation that would progress towards national termination in following years.[20] California was one of the states specifically targeted by the legislation, which meant the indigenous people of Los Angeles, the Tongva, lost their status as a federally recognized tribe. In doing so, the indigenous people of Los Angeles no longer had access to federally regulated and financed health, education, and protection services. Termination policies essentially ended indigenous “status as wards of the United States.”[21] While it seemed like this would grant tribes more autonomy over their own affairs, this was actually a direct aggression on Indigenous sovereignty.

Tribal reactions to termination policies in California were mixed. Some reservations and native groups, such as the Tongva, depended heavily on government aid to sustain their way of life. Other groups, however, such as the California Mission Indian Federation, believed termination policies “provided pathways to escape federal wardship,” and “an answer to the prayer of eliminating BIA interference forever.”[22] Ultimately, termination policies split Southern California indigenous bands on two opposing sides. With two grassroots organizations emerging on opposite sides of the issue, cross-tribal alliances would form, which would be the first instance of intertribal solidarity for, and against, government policies. This is showcased through the creation of the Spokesmen and Committee Group, which was created in opposition to termination and the Mission Indian Federation, comprised of the Santa Ysabel, Rincon, Los Coyotes, Torres Martinez, and Barona tribes.[23]

Most importantly, House Concurrent Resolution 108 stated “the Secretary of the Interior should examine all existing legislation dealing with such Indians, and treaties between the Government of the United States and each such tribe,” essentially calling into question the validity of every treaty and contract between tribes and the government.[24] These treaties and agreements that protected indigenous land and culture were now void, for the termination of a tribe meant a contract between two sovereign nations was impossible. While not every Native American group was targeted, the government still had the power to absolve treaties with groups that held the rights to vast amounts of land and access to minerals. On the surface, termination was the dissolving of federal recognition of indigenous peoples because the government deemed the assistance given as ineffective. However, the government now had a powerful weapon to use against Native groups and their claims at sovereignty.

Concurrent with termination policies, the American government created relocation programs as an avenue to weaken tribalism, indigenous space, and promote assimilation. Several programs were created under the relocation templates, including the Employment Assistance Program of 1952 and the Adult Vocational Training program of 1957. Over the two decades relocation services were available, approximately 155,000 Native Americans participated and moved to urban cities.[25] Los Angeles alone welcomed at least 29,000 Native Americans into the city’s workforce, economy, and social sphere.[26] Several areas within Los Angeles erupted as Native American ethno-burbs, including Bell, Bell Gardens, and Huntington Park.

It is important to understand the motives behind Native Americans leaving their reservations and moving to Los Angeles. Economic, political, and social reasons provide the right conditions for people to leave their communities and come to urban centers. Economically, the Los Angeles Times cites that “many Indians moved here on their own to flee the chronic unemployment of reservation life.”[27] Politically, the federal government had been persistent in its policy of assimilation for over fifty years at this point in time, and the continued promise of better lives, financial stability, and independence was appealing to Native Americans on reservations. Socially, young Native Americans saw relocation as the chance to gain financial independence and experience life off the reservation. Taking advantage of federal assistance seemed like a safe way to earn a salary and experience life in an urban center, coexisting with Native Americans from various tribes.

The relocation program is considered an attack on indigenous space, especially in Los Angeles, because: “The BIA’s aim was to scatter American Indians around urban areas, but the housing situation in cities thwarted the BIA from fully achieving this goal. In cities along the west coast, the BIA had planned to spread American Indians far from one another, hoping to prevent contact and promote assimilation.”[28] Not only did the BIA attack the intertribal communities that occurred as a result of urban migration, but relocation was yet another tool produced by the Anglo government to promote Native Americans into middle-class Anglo culture.

Similar to the way in which boarding schools promoted the nuclear family, restrictions and requirements placed upon natives who participated in relocation further encouraged Anglo gender ideas. For example, very few young, single women were given the opportunity to utilize relocation programs. Single women, especially those with children, were “perceived as deviating from the kinds of nuclear patriarchal families federal officials sought to promote.”[29] As an extension of the policy of the outing system at Indian boarding schools, women were limited to previously defined ‘women’s work.’ These jobs included secretaries, daycare workers, nurses, and as cleaning service assistants. Native American BIA worker Mary Patterson recalls training in nursing, as bank tellers, clerk, in the garment district, and insurance offices which were typical jobs women held, while men participating in the program had a wider range of vocational teaching available, including training as steelwork and aerospace technicians.[30]

Other problems plagued the relocation office and the BIA. Monetary and counsel support was only given for about four weeks after a relocatee entered the city. Mary Patterson was not given free assistance like her relocated counterparts. Having been offered a job in California under the BIA, she said she had never been offered an opportunity to participate in the relocation program. Instead, she became a salaried working woman. When she needed money to get from her hometown to Los Angeles, she was not offered any monetary assistance for her trip or housing aid.[31] Instead, she was forced to take out a loan from the BIA and live off two dollars for her first three weeks. This not only shows the reluctance of the BIA to assist a young, single woman on her migration to a city, but also the lack of sympathy they had for Native Americans employed through relocation.

Additionally, the BIA office was not located in Los Angeles that would have provided easy access for Native American workers. The office was located in Riverside, which is fifty-nine miles away. One instance in particular proves the inconvenience of having an office located so far away. James John, an Arizona native, relocated to Los Angeles after having attended Sherman Institute in Riverside. Even though he was familiar with the area, the BIA set him up in an apartment in the heart of Los Angeles. To get his work detail, he had to physically go to the BIA office in Riverside. It would take him thirty days to find a job, and all the while he was made to sit in the office all day. Once he accepted a position in the south side of LA and was paid regularly, he was responsible for his own arrangements, meaning rent, food, bus fare, and new work clothes.[32]

As mentioned earlier, relocation attacked indigenous space within the city. While housing was provided under the program, the housing was often not well maintained. By placing Native American families in poor neighborhoods like Bell and Bell Gardens, “Indian ghettoes soon resulted.”[33] This led to many feeling that relocation services simply transferred indigenous problems, like poverty and unemployment, from the reservation to an urban setting. Because housing was limited, and Native Americans from all tribes were placed within proximity of each other, a sense of universal suffering strengthened a bond amongst tribesmen that would develop into a sense of nationalism and an urge to mobilize.

While it was the goal of the BIA for Native Americans participating in relocation to passively assimilate into Anglo culture:

“Native Americans survived, and more: they participated in intertribal alliances and activities and maintained tribal contacts, effectively reasserting Native identity in an urban context and making a home in the city space. Urban Natives identify both with individual tribes and an intertribal indigenous community in which members practice traditions, learn languages, and eta traditional foods. This sharing of Native traditions in the urban space not only works to bind the community together as an ethnic enclave in the city spacy, but further works to connect individuals to a broader indigenous American history and identity.”[34]

Additionally, the new Native American ghettos created by the BIA became new centers for what the media would portray as indigenous militancy.[35] The subjective failure of relocation, is the largest contributing factor to the rise in population of Native Americans in Los Angeles, and correlates to the rise of urban militancy and the accessibility of progressive ideas and resources to begin a Los Angeles based American Indian Movement.

Los Angeles was a significant backdrop in the civil rights movements of the 1960s, making it is easy to see how Los Angeles came breed Native American activists. Several events occurred outside of Los Angeles, nevertheless, that are imperative to the continuation and success of the American Indian Movement. The most influential events that occurred was the occupation of Wounded Knee reservation in 1973 and the occupation of Alcatraz in 1969, and the most important outcome of these events was the unification of urban and reservation Native Americans and the promotion of Pan-Indigenous identities.

As a result of relocation policies, intertribal communities in urban centers had grown to unprecedented levels. Within Los Angeles itself, many different tribes lived together and experienced the same housing, economic, social, and political situations, providing a common ground for Native Americans of all backgrounds to unite against the treatment they receive from the BIA and the federal government. As communities throughout Los Angeles solidified and grew, they began to focus on “’self-determination.” This meant abandoning BIA policy based on paternalism and increasing the control Indians had over their own communities, while continuing to hold the federal government to its historical obligations to Indian People.[36] This goal became common among all groups of Native Americans in both urban and rural communities, which would aid in the success of the American Indian Movement (AIM).

As thousands of people from indigenous backgrounds flooded Los Angeles, the city became a space for indigenous resistance and a breeding ground for pan-Indigenous identity. Pow wows unified native people across tribal lines, and were used to celebrate native holidays or show solidarity against legislature that negatively affected indigenous people. By pushing aside individual needs and creating a unified front against Anglo intrusions, or in support of AIM goals, pow wows were used by the indigenous community in Los Angeles to highlight the solidarity found in new, intertribal relationships and communities.

Very few AIM events took place physically in Los Angeles, however, this did not prevent its native inhabitants from participating in the movement. AIM was dependent on Los Angeles for donations for the movement, most of which were given by charitable directors, actors, and producers in Hollywood.[37] Additionally, Los Angeles was the center of mass protests and demonstrations. In this sense, Los Angeles was important to the success of the American Indian Movement as it drew national attention to the agenda of the AIM. There is a mass media presence in Los Angeles, so coverage of events in newspapers, radio, or television spread the message of the American Indian Movement and sought to inspire those on remote reservations to take up the cause. Non-violence was stressed by the association as they knew violence vilified the movement and would alienate both indigenous and indigenous sympathizers whose assistance they depended on.

The occupation of Alcatraz Island was the first American Indian Movement event that gained national recognition. AIM activists used their national platforms to “awaken the American public to the reality of the plight of the first Americans and to assert the need for Indian self-determination.”[38] Similar events occurred at Wounded Knee Reservation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. A seventy-one day ordeal, this interaction became violent but was widely televised and documented on national media. Again, Los Angeles was the epicenter where clothes, food, and medicine flowed from donations given by Wounded Knee sympathizers to those participating in the occupation.[39]

The goals of AIM included protecting Indigenous rights, perpetuation of spiritual and cultural independence, and to establish national recognition of treaty rights. These events, along with local powwows and protests, further solidified the pan-indigenous identity within Los Angeles. The local impact includes Los Angeles as a site of mass rallies, heavy donations made to fund occupation, and a place where indigenous identities can coexist.

The story of indigenous Los Angeles is complicated, and much of it has yet to be explored by historians. It is here that we examine what it means to identify as indigenous in Los Angeles, as well as the policies and events that occurred to define the characteristics of that identification. Prior to Anglo interruption, California native peoples interacted in diverse economies and trade systems among various tribal groups, and these communities persevered even at the edge of extinction. The system of allotment was not the first act of aggression on indigenous land, but it is where this particular story of Los Angeles starts. Continuing with the creation of Sherman Institute as an avenue to exploit indigenous labor, students in the boarding school system were constantly stripped of their indigenous identity. As termination policies went into effect, the very sovereignty of indigenous nations, even those as small as the indigenous Tongva of Los Angeles, were threatened. Relocation was used to move Native Americans from reservations to urban centers, to further break down their ‘Indian-ness’ and restrict their mobility for the benefit of the Anglo economy. These events were necessary to promote a pan-Indigenous identity, one that is shared by the local indigenous population of Los Angeles as well as those who came to live in LA over the years and that still thrives today.What it means to be indigenous in LA cannot be encapsulated into one word or a single experience. Instead, the convoluted and sinister history that transpired creates the setting for a fluid interpretation of the region’s indigenous identity. No indigenous community history is the same, yet aggressive Anglo policies constructed a space where, perhaps paradoxically, indigenous identity flourished and was accessible to those who sought it out. In California, indigenous land, identity, sovereignty, and space were attacked for centuries by Anglo politicians, yet indigenous culture continues to thrive as a testament to the resilience of the indigenous communities.


[1] The Path to The Milky Way Leads Through Los Angeles, Joy Harjo.

[2] Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990.

[3] Margaret Jobe, “Native Americans and the US Census: A Brief Historical Survey,” University Libraries Faculty & Staff Contributions, 28 (2004): 6.

[4] Ibid. 9.

[5]William Ellison, “The Federal Indian Policy in California, 1846-1860,” The Mississippi Valley Historical Review 9, no. 1 (1922): 57.

[6] Ibid 61.

[7] Imre Sutton, “Private Property in Land Among Reservation Indians in Southern California,” Yearbook of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers 29, no. 1 (1967): 69.

[8] The Dawes Act February 8, 1887.

[9] Imre Sutton, “Private Property,” 87.

[10] Nathan Gonzales, “Riverside, Tourism, and the Indian: Frank A. Miller and the Creation of Sherman Institute,” Southern California Quarterly 84, no. 3/4 (2002): 208.

[11] Kevin Whalen, “Labored Learning: The Outing System at Sherman Institute, 1902-1930,” American Indian Culture and Research Journal 36, no. 1 (2012): 152.

[12] Ibid. 164.

[13] James John, interview by Ruth Bayhylle, First American Indian Church, UCLA, June 16, 2011.

[14] Kevin Whalen, “Labored Learning,” 164.

[15] Charles Hilinger, “Modern Ways of Living Taught Indian Youths: Sherman Institute Introduces Television, Beds, Knives and Forks to Primitive,” Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA), Oct. 31, 1955.

[16] Viola Martinez, interview by Diana Meyers Bahr, Interview 13, May 8, 1996.

[17] Diana Meyers Bahr, Viola Martinez, California Paiute: living in two worlds (Norman, OK: Univiversity of Oklahoma Press, 2010), 58.

[18] Ibid. 67.

[19] Matthew Gilbert, “The Hopi Followers”: Chief Tawaquaptewa and Hopi Student Advancement at Sherman Institute, 1906-1909, Journal of American Indian Education, Journal 44, no. 2 (2005): 4

[20] House Concurrent Resolution 108.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Heather Daly, “Fractured Relations at Home: The 1953 Termination Act’s Effect on Tribal Relations throughout Southern California Indian Country,” American Indian Quarterly, Journal 33, no.4 (2009): 430-432.

[23] Ibid. 431.

[24] House Concurrent Resolution 108.

[25] Nicolas G. Rosenthal, Reimagining Indian Country Native American Migration and Identity in Twentieth-Century Los Angeles (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2014), 50.

[26] Joan Weibel-Orlando, Indian country, LA: maintaining ethnic community in complex society (Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press, 1999), 24.

[27] Penelope McMillan, “The Urban Indian-LA’s Factionalized Minority: Search for an Identity Can Prove Frustrating for Native Americans,” Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA), Oct. 26, 1980.

[28] Margaret Pollock, ”Reflections on Urban Migration.” American Indian Culture and Research Journal 40, no. 3 (2016): 85-102.

[29] Nicolas G. Rosenthal, Reimagining Indian Country , 56.

[30] Mary Patterson, interview by Ruth Bayhylle, Bayhylle home, May 16, 2011.

[31] Ibid.

[32] James John, interview by Ruth Bayhylle, First American Indian Church, UCLA, June 16, 2011.

[33] Larry W. Burt, “Roots of the Native American Urban Experience: Relocation Policy in the 1950s,” American Indian Quarterly 10, no. 2 (1986): 24

[34] Margaret Pollock. “Reflections on Urban Migration,” 98-99.

[35] William Greider. “US Ends 20-Year Policy of Relocating Indians in Cities” Los Angeles Times, (Los Angeles, CA), Jan. 13, 1972.

[36] Nicolas G. Rosenthal, Reimagining Indian Country, 73.

[37] Ibid. 135.

[38] Troy Johnson “The Occupation of Alcatraz Island: Roots of American Indian Activism.” Wicazo Sa Review 10, no. 2 (1994), 75.

[39] Ward Churchill, “The Bloody Wake of Alcatraz: Political Repression of the American Indian Movement during the 1970s,” American Indian Culture and Research Journal 18, no. 4 (1994): 262.


Secondary Sources

Bahr, Diana Meyers. Viola Martinez, California Paiute: living in two worlds. Norman, OK: Univiversity of Oklahoma Press, 2010.

Blackhawk, Ned. “I Can Carry on from Here: The Relocation of American Indians to Los Angeles.” Wicazo Sa Review 11, no. 2 (1995): 16.

Burt, Larry W. “Roots of the Native American Urban Experience: Relocation Policy in the 1950s.” American Indian Quarterly 10, no. 2 (1986): 85. doi:10.2307/1183982.

Churchill, Ward. “The Bloody Wake of Alcatraz: Political Repression of the American Indian Movement during the 1970s.” American Indian Culture and Research Journal 18, no. 4 (1994): 253-300. doi:10.17953/aicr.18.4.q061l66h7540q256

Daly, Heather Ponchetti. “Fractured Relations at Home: The 1953 Termination Act’s Effect on Tribal Relations throughout Southern California Indian Country.” American Indian Quarterly 33, no. 4 (2009): 427-39.

Ellison, William H. “The Federal Indian Policy in California, 1846-1860.” The Mississippi Valley Historical Review 9, no. 1 (1922): 37-67. doi:10.2307/1886099.

Fixico, Donald L. The Urban Indian experience in America. Albuquerque: Univ. of New Mexico Press, 2005.

Gilbert, Matthew T. Sakiestewa. “”The Hopi Followers”: Chief Tawaquaptewa and Hopi Student Advancement at Sherman Institute, 1906-1909.” Journal of American Indian Education 44, no. 2 (2005): 1-23.

Gonzales, Nathan. “Riverside, Tourism, and the Indian: Frank A. Miller and the Creation of Sherman Institute.” Southern California Quarterly 84, no. 3/4 (2002): 193-222. doi:10.2307/41172133.

Jobe, Margaret M. “Native Americans and the U.S. Census: A brief historical survey.” Journal of Government Information 30, no. 1 (2004): 66-80. doi:10.1016/j.jgi.2001.10.001.

Johnson, Troy. “The Occupation of Alcatraz Island: Roots of American Indian Activism.” Wicazo Sa Review 10, no. 2 (1994): 63-79. doi:10.2307/1409133.

Philp, Kenneth R. “Stride toward Freedom: The Relocation of Indians to Cities, 1952-1960.” The Western Historical Quarterly 16, no. 2 (1985): 175-90. doi:10.2307/969660.

Pollak, Margaret. Reflections on Urban Migration. American Indian Culture and Research Journal 40, no. 3 (2016): 85-102

Price, John. “The Migration and Adaptation of American Indians to Los Angeles.” Human Organization 27, no. 2 (1968): 168-75.

Rosenthal, Nicolas G. Reimagining Indian Country Native American Migration and Identity in Twentieth-Century Los Angeles. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2014.

Sutton, Imre. “Private Property in Land Among Reservation Indians in Southern California.” Yearbook of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers 29, no. 1 (1967): 69-89. doi:10.1353/pcg.1967.0011.

Weibel-Orlando, Joan. Indian country, LA: maintaining ethnic community in complex society. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press, 1999.

Whalen, Kevin. “Labored Learning: The Outing System at Sherman Institute, 1902-1930.” American Indian Culture and Research Journal 36, no. 1 (2012): 151-76. doi:10.17953/aicr.36.1.d735320t03u5845u.

Primary Sources

US Census

Dawes Act 1887

James John Interview

Viola Martinez Interview

Charles HIllinger, “Modern Ways of Living Taught Indian Youths: Sherman Institute Introduces Television, Beds, Knives and Forks to Primitive Group.” Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA), Oct 31, 1955.

Penelope McMillan, “The Urban Indian-LA’s Factionalized Minority: Search for an Identity Can Prove Frustrating for Native Americans,” Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA), Oct. 26, 1980.

House Concurrent Resolution 108

Mary Patterson Interview