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Elizabeth Bender Cloud: "Working For and With Our Indian People"

Elizabeth Bender Cloud: "Working For and With Our Indian People" Elizabeth Bender Cloud “Working For and With Our Indian People” lisa tetzloff Although Native Americans are largely absent from the historical literature examining the proliferation of women’s clubs in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Indians fi gured prominently in this movement. First, American Indians were among the “disadvantaged” populations targeted by white women’s clubs for aid. These clubs, composed of middle-aged, middle- and upper-class Protes- tant wives and mothers, targeted their philanthropic activities to lower-class working women, immigrants, and others whom they perceived as needing their wisdom and guidance. In 1921 the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) placed Indian welfare on its national agenda, where it remained for many decades. Mainstream local clubs responded to the GFWC’s call to action by studying about Indians, donating clothing and holiday gifts to reservation families, and writing to legislators with pleas for resources and with protests over government mismanagement of Indian affairs. They responded to the perceived domestic shortcomings of traditional Indian women by securing instruction for them in Euro-American modes of home- and child-care. They accomplished all of this without consulting Native Americans. According to historian Anne Firor Scott, “it did not occur to most [white clubwomen] that it http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies University of Nebraska Press

Elizabeth Bender Cloud: "Working For and With Our Indian People"

Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies , Volume 30 (3) – Feb 4, 2010

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Frontiers Editorial Collective.
ISSN
1536-0334

Abstract

Elizabeth Bender Cloud “Working For and With Our Indian People” lisa tetzloff Although Native Americans are largely absent from the historical literature examining the proliferation of women’s clubs in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Indians fi gured prominently in this movement. First, American Indians were among the “disadvantaged” populations targeted by white women’s clubs for aid. These clubs, composed of middle-aged, middle- and upper-class Protes- tant wives and mothers, targeted their philanthropic activities to lower-class working women, immigrants, and others whom they perceived as needing their wisdom and guidance. In 1921 the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) placed Indian welfare on its national agenda, where it remained for many decades. Mainstream local clubs responded to the GFWC’s call to action by studying about Indians, donating clothing and holiday gifts to reservation families, and writing to legislators with pleas for resources and with protests over government mismanagement of Indian affairs. They responded to the perceived domestic shortcomings of traditional Indian women by securing instruction for them in Euro-American modes of home- and child-care. They accomplished all of this without consulting Native Americans. According to historian Anne Firor Scott, “it did not occur to most [white clubwomen] that it

Journal

Frontiers: A Journal of Women StudiesUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Feb 4, 2010

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