The Reclamation Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs
This chapter looks at the shaky alliance between the Reclamation Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). It shows that irrigation was dubbed as a cure-all for the economic and social problems during and after the depression of the 1890s. Irrigation also played a large part in the campaign to merge Indians into white society. It then looks at the BIA, which was the first agency to build irrigation projects on federally managed land. The discussion reveals that while the Reclamation Service had little to no real interest in the welfare of the Native Americans, it needed Indian money and land. The chapter also provides a top-down look at Indian policy, introduces the idea of Indian water rights, and examines the famous Winters case. Black-and-white photographs of Frederick H. Newell, Arthur Powell Davis, Elwood Mead, various irrigation structures, districts in Twin Falls and Rupert, and farm dwellings are provided.
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