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Social Change Among Native Americans

Description of research project:

This research project is documenting and explaining social change among Native Americans during the 19th and 20th centuries. The project includes a general focus on American Indians in general along with a specific focus on the Indians of the Pacific Northwest. The project is studying many aspects of Native American life: education; government; economy; family patterns; religion; dress; language; and naming patterns. The project is focusing on the experiences of Native Americans with Euro-Americans and the ways that those experiences influenced changes in Indian life across two centuries. The project is assembling a database of Indian life using the censuses of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) from 1885 to 1940, the decennial censuses accumulated by the United States Census Bureau from 1900 to 1940, and tribal allotment records.

Description of work conducted by research assistants:

It is anticipated that research assistants will participate in one or more project activities.  Among these activities are the preparation, processing, checking, and analysis of data from the census and allotment records mentioned above. Another activity will focus on the identification and location of other primary data resources useful for the study of American Indians such as vital statistics and boarding school data.  Research assistants may also be involved in literature searches concerning various American Indian topics.

Supervising Faculty Member: Arland Thornton, Professor of Sociology and Research Professor, Institute for Social Research.

Contact information: arlandt@umich.edu.

Average hours of work per week:  6-12

Range of credit hours students can earn: 2-4

Number of positions available: 2