The failure of the US reservation policy for the Native Americans : the Navajo at Bosque Redondo, 1864-68
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The objective of this thesis is to present the Bosque Redondo Reservation experience of the Navajo Indians (1864-68) as a failure of the United States Indian Reservation Policy. The thesis is divided into three chapters. The first chapter gives background information about the Navajo Indians from 1680 to 1846. It concentrates on their changes in their culture and economy that resulted from contact with the Pueblo Indians and the Spaniards. Chapter Two covers the United States- Navajo political relationship prior to the Bosque Redondo period (1846-64). It focuses on the reasons behind the Navajo removal to Bosque Redondo. The third chapter of the thesis discusses the years that the Navajos lived at the Bosque Redondo and it explains why this reservation did not become a permanent settlement for the Navajo Indians. The U.S. Government designed reservations to keep the wandering Native American tribes on restricted lands with well-defined borders in order to protect the white settlers from Indian attacks and to assimilate the Native Americans into American society. The Bosque Redondo Reservation was established for thèse purposes. However, economic difficulties, Navajo rejection of assimilation, a political dispute between the military officials and the officials of the Bureau of Indian Affairs thwarted the reservation policy at Bosque Redondo, and showed the limitations on this government strategy for dealing with indigenous peoples. This thesis uses primary and secondary sources to document the history of the Navajo. Government records from the National Archives, firsthand testimony by white travellers and the Navajo themselvèS Comprise the bulk of primary sources.