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officials about fostering civilization and eradicating barbarism, OIA policy in fact has generated and sustained much of the social and cultural distinctiveness of the Lakota. The degree of control necessary to secure the internal pacification of the Lakota under the changed circumstances of reservation life was much less ambitious than "civilization/' The Lakota had to be forced to conform to a certain minimum definition of modern individuality. In this way, they would be constituted as social persons who could fit into the American nation-state and the market system of metropolitan capitalism. Without this political groundwork, any attempt to deal with the Lakota directly would—as the census results indicate—be like trying to force round pegs into square holes.
This article is a history of the making of reservation individuals among the Lakota. It is not an ethnohistory (understood as the "history of an ethnic group") of the Lakota during this period, nor is it a study of federal Indian policy during the "assimilation period" (see Hoxie 1984; McDonnell 1991; Otis 1973) or an institutional study of the Indian assimilation period (on Indian police and courts, see Hagan 1966; on Indian schools, see Littlefield 1989,1993; Lomawaima 1993, 1994; McBeth 1983; Trennert 1988a). Nor is it a study of "acculturation" or "culture change," as these processes are usually understood. Rather, this article traces the history among the Lakota of what Foucault calls "subjection" (Foucault 1983; see also Corrigan and Sayer 1985). Subjection is the construction by the powerful of spaces in which human beings are enabled to participate in the social life of public institutions, in the economy, and in the body politic of the nation. It involves the official promulgation of fundamental social classifications through which individuals are to be known (by themselves, by other individuals, and by the officials) and allowed to act. Subjection also involves the linkage of these social classifications to power, both negative and positive: not only can individuals be punished by the officials for violating the social classifications, they quickly come to find that abiding by them opens up avenues of enablement. Thus, subjection is not absolutely imposed from above; it also seduces the subaltern to live by its rules, and thereby shapes new and predictable self-interests, outlooks, and behavior patterns (see Foucault 1979,1980).
Subjection can be seen as the creation of a "matrix of indivisualization" (Foucault 1983:215), the axes of which constitute modes of subjection. During the period under consideration, four modes of subjection operated in the internal pacification of the Lakota by the state apparatus. Lakota people experienced the first mode, empropertiment, as did other populations in metropolitan capitalist society. The Lakota shared the application of the second mode, "competence," with wards and inmates in "total institutions" (see Goffman 1961; Rothman 1990). The third mode of subjection, "degree of Indian blood," was uniquely applied to Indian people in the United States. The fourth mode, registration of genealogy, was shared with others in the United States, but it was applied more oppressively to Indian people. Together, these modes of subjection facilitated the penetration of the subjectivities of Lakota by the state and by capitalism, and determined the channels through which the Lakota people would be known by the state and allowed to act as individuals. Ultimately, the processes of subjection largely determined how Lakota people thought—and, to some extent, think—about themselves and "society" and how they perceived and acted in their own self-interest. This does not mean that an autonomous Lakota culture was obliterated by subjection or that there was no resistance to subjection, but the new forms of individuality, even where resisted, could not be ignored.3
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submitted February 10, 1993
revised version submitted October 1, 1 993
accepted December 4, 1993
One of the most important and well-known elements of the civilization program of the OIA was the allotment of Indian lands in severalty. OIA officials and eastern "friends of the Indians'' recognized that empropertying individuals would reduce the problems inherent in civilizing a population. The commissioner of Indian Affairs, for example, wrote in a report:
The allotment system tends to break up tribal relations. It has the effect of creating individuality, responsibility, and a desire to accumulate property. It teaches the Indians habits of industry and frugality, and stimulates them to look forward to a better and more useful life, and, in the end, it will relieve the government of large annual appropriations. [1 881:1 7]
Allotment is now widely understood in American Indian studies to have been a project that did not result in the elusive civilization of Indians, but that did effectively help to transfer Indian property to non-Indians (Hagan 1976; Hoxie 1984; McDonnell 1991; Otis 1973). In terms of civilizing effect, allotment is considered by some contemporary scholars to have been a fanciful figment of the Victorian colonial mind and a self-referential discourse without basis in practical reality: "Some reformers of the late nineteenth century had as much faith in the magical effects of property and laissez-faire in transforming the Indians as some missionaries of the early decades of the century had in the miraculous influence of the Bible and the institution of the Sabbath" (Berkhofer 1978:172; see also Meriam 1971 :7). But empropertying Indians did have consequences that were phantasmic, to use Marx's term, if not magical: beyond drawing Indian land into the market, it helped to secure a new sovereignty on the reservations. This was because private property under capitalism—instituted in the Native American case by the allotment of Indian lands in severalty—presupposes the state as a protector of the common interests of individual property owners.
In 1889 a U.S. commission traveled to Pine Ridge Agency in Dakota Territory to negotiate with the Oglala Lakota for the sale of lands on the Great Sioux Reservation to the federal government and for the allotment in severalty of the remaining reservation lands. Before the commission arrived, Red Cloud and other chiefs had organized the majority of the men at the agency to stand firm against the proposal and to refuse to sell any land. During the proceedings, one Oglala related to the commissioners, through an interpreter, a now well-known indigenous discourse on land:
I am an Indian and the Great Spirit has made me, and this land is the Great Spirit's wife, and I am born from there, and my heart comes from there, and I am an Indian and I am standing on my own land.... I went with Red Cloud. We belong to his band, and we will not sell the land. [U.S. Senate 1890:106]
This pronouncement was unmistakably clear on the moral attachment of people to land, with obvious implications not only for the sale of land, but also for the privatization of land.
Both the cession and allotment eventually took place, however, under the provisions of the Great Sioux Agreement, which became law in 1889 (U.S. Congress 1889:890). Allotment in severalty began on Rosebud Reservation in 1894 and on Pine Ridge Reservation in 1904. Under the original formula, each family head received 320 acres,4 each single person over 18 years received 160 acres, and each child under 18 received 80 acres; acreages were doubled in the case of lands usable only for grazing purposes (U.S. Congress 1889:890).5 Allotments were originally held in trust status and could not be sold or leased without the permission or supervision of the OIA (legislation enacted in 1906 authorized the Interior Department to remove from trust status allotments of individuals deemed competent [see below]).
The Lakota people on both reservations were divided on the matter of accepting allotments. Some people were eager for allotment. Some "scrambled to get lands where they wanted them" (Special Allotting Agent 1911). Other Lakota were apparently less interested in land than they were in the annuities, called Sioux benefits, which allottees received. Under the provisions of the Great Sioux Agreement, each adult allottee was to receive two milch cows, one pair of oxen with yoke and chain, or two mares and one harness set, one plow, one wagon, one harrow, one hoe, one axe, one pitchfork, and $50 cash (U.S. Congress 1889.-895).6 Given a primary motivation of obtaining goods and cash, many allottees understandably did not give much consideration to the agricultural value of the allotments they chose. The allotting agent on Rosebud reported to the commissioner in 1905: "The bulk of the allotments do not constitute, by any means, the best land on the reservation. They have apparently selected them on account
of their nearness to the Agency, to some principal stream... or to some favorite camping ground instead of selecting them with regard to the character of the surface soil" (Allotting Agent 1905). Another agent reported that fami lies chose allotments so as to be near "friends"—probably band members (Allotting Agent 1902). Many Lakota were quite lackadaisical about the business of allotment. One agent complained about the sudden departure for a dance of Indians whom he had expected to come to his office for allotments: "With a dance in prospect, allotments are of no importance" (Allotting Agent 1901).
Some Lakota people were opposed to allotment in principle—perhaps because they were perceptive enough to suspect that it would transform social relations in profound ways. On Rosebud Reservation, a man who had been active in the Ghost Dance movement in 1890 organized a group of "kickers" (OIA slang for troublemakers) in resistance to allotment. The allotting agent reported in 1903: "Finally this [resistance] developed [into] open opposition, culminating one day in the approach of a war party in war paint, dress, mounted and armed of some sixty or ninety young braves, and ordering the party [the allotment survey crew] to quit work and clear out or we should all be killed" (Allotting Agent 1903). On Pine Ridge Reservation, the Oglala Council, composed of "the older and nonprogressive Indians," opposed the presidential order to allot the reservation (Pine Ridge Agent 1907).
Despite their resistance, the Lakota people were eventually allotted, and allotments quickly became important resources as the reservation lands began to be drawn into the broader agricultural economy of the West. Although allotments were initially chosen to receive Sioux benefits, so that almost any piece of land would suffice, the Lakota soon began to recognize the value of land in the market economy: as a means of commercial production or, more commonly, as a marketable commodity itself. The Rosebud allotting agent reported in 1902 that "many younger persons [whose allotments were injudiciously chosen for them by their parents] have grown up and see the necessity of better land" (Allotting Agent 1902). These people sought to exchange their poor land for more valuable allotments. In 1904, "surplus" Rosebud Reservation lands were opened by the federal government for sale by lottery to non-Indian homesteaders. Over one hundred thousand people registered for the 2,412 homesteads available from the government for prices ranging from $400-$640—44 competitors for each available homestead (Schell 1975:254). The effect of this intense demand on land prices in South Dakota was, predictably, profound. One former homestead just off the reservation had sold, with improvements, for $5,000—ten times the price at which the government was selling comparable Rosebud lands. The appreciation of the value of land had the effect of "radically changing the idea of the Indians as to what constitutes good land." Many people who had poor allotments now wanted to exchange them for the remaining valuable farm land on the reservation (Allotting Agent 1905). The "great demand for lands in that neighborhood and the high price at which farming lands are held" were "well known to the Indians," an OIA official reported (McLaughlin 1903). By the second decade of this century, there were many white settlers in and about the reservations, and when the prices of agricultural commodities began to appreciate with the start of World War I in 1914, Lakota land came into demand for sale and rent to non-Indian farmers and ranchers. Income from land leases and sales was critical to Lakota subsistence during this period.
Leasing and sale of lands that attended allotment had the effect of making Indian lands avai lablefor use by non-Indians in the agricultural economy, and al lotment is a wel l-recognized mechanism in the economic underdevelopment of the reservations (see Jorgensen 1971,1972, 1978). But how did allotment affect the process that is the focus of this article—the subjection of the Lakota? How did the privatization of land help to reconstitute Lakota political subjectivities? Recalling the Lakota references to "mother earth" and land in 1889, it is noteworthy that less than a decade later the Rosebud agent reported that some Lakota were beginning to refer to their allotments as "my land" (Commissioner of Indian Affairs 1897:275). By the 1930s,
ownership of an allotment in trust status was an important symbol of being a traditional Lakota (see Biolsi 1992:170). Some Lakota protested OIA policies regarding trust lands during the New Deal as "un-American" because they interfered with what they saw as their right of private property. An Oglala complainant submitted a written statement to the Investigating Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in 1938 that said, among other things, that certain "Russian ideas are creeping in" on the reservation:
The Constitution of the United States says that no land shall be taken away without due process of law and that there shall be no servitude. From what I learned about Abraham Lincoln, after the Emancipation Act was passed, slavery was abolished in the United States. But under the Wheeler-Howard Act [the Indian Reorganization Act, 1934], it seems the Bureau [OIA] is handling the Indian lands in the way that will fit in with their program whether the Indians like it or not. The superintendent [OIA agents were called superintendents after 1908] says the Indian can lease this piece of land but some other land is set aside and they cannot lease that. And it seems that the programs are all made and they are forced upon the Indians and the Indians do not have anything to say. Now we want to continue under the Constitution of the United States. That is, we would I ike to remain Americans. We want to be governed by the Constitution of the United States, and not be governed by policies which are entirely un-American. If the Commissioner [of Indian Affairs], John Collier, cannot respect the Constitution of the United States and the policies which are American, he should be removed and not allowed to continue in office. [U.S. Senate 1940:21462-3]
There is good reason to believe that few Lakota knew what the phrase "Russian ideas" meant in the popular media and political images of the 1930s and 1940s. This written statement may have been translated or even drafted by someone else. Whether or not the Lakota were worried about communism, their strong sentiments regarding private property rights have been amply documented. In 1940 the Lakota Treaty Council (an unofficial, traditionalist resistance body [see Biolsi 1992:151-171 ]) adopted a resolution "that the theories of a German Karl Marz [sic], expounded in the last centuries, 'That all men are created equal, that there will be no poor people and no rich people, advocating an abolition of private properties, and controlling of everything by the masses and all will be under one master/ cannot be attained among the Sioux Nation, the honest Americans" (Eight Reservations Treaty and Claims Council 1940).7 As early as 1887, the commissioner of Indian Affairs had identified private property as one of "the great conservative forces" that would help pacify Indians (quoted in Hagan 1956:131).
Clearly, something unprecedented had happened in the Lakota situation with the acceptance of allotments. The significance of property ownership as a form of modern subjectivity lies in its implications for political sovereignty, specifically for the state: privatization of the means of production/subsistence creates fundamentally new subjects with radically new interests and social and political relations to each other. It reconfigures social life and creates "a new human nature" (Thompson 1967), "economic man," which in turn presupposes the state as a sovereign entity that "stands above" and represents the parallel interests of self-interested, atomized property owners in the marketplace. The moment of the creation of civil society, a social world of private property owners, is simultaneously the moment of the creation of the bourgeois state and its sovereignty (see Corrigan and Sayer 1981; Gabel 1984; Marx 1975). Within the context of private property relations, social interaction of the more peaceful variety as opposed to Hobbesian chaos cannot take place without the emergence of a fundamentally new kind of "imagined community" (Anderson 1983:15). This "community" is vital even if it is in fact a "community" of alienated individuals (Oilman 1976)8—and by this I mean a community that is built upon, and exists to protect, the interests of individuals against violations of basic property rights by other individuals, blocs, classes, and class fractions, and even by elements of the state apparatus itself. This is the rational and consensual basis of the state—from the standpoint of the propertied—as John Locke recognized (1980:65-68).9 The state as a "social contract" among property owners, and between property owners and the government, like the atomized individual, is both ideological representation and social reality. Theorists of differing conceptual vantage points may characterize the modern nation-state as a "monopoly on violence," a form of "organized terror," a "class weapon," or the "executive committee of the ruling class"—in
short, an imposition. For social life to flow relatively smoothly under capitalism, however, government must in part be a genuine social contract between property owners—even petty property owners (Thompson 1975:264), such as the Lakota—and between each individual and "the constituted authorities/'10
Of course, the Lakota were enmeshed in property relations in fundamentally different ways than were their non-Indian neighbors on the plains, and it would be a grave error to assume that allotment simply reconstituted the Lakota individual as an "economic man/' For most Lakota people, property and its proceeds (money, livestock, crops) necessarily served different social ends from those found among non-Indian farmers. The local logic of social reproduction and of accumulation on the reservation was distinct and was a perennial concern of the colonizers. The Pine Ridge agent complained in 1896:
A serious drawback in the work of civilizing these or any Indians ... is found in the universal custom of relatives and connections by marriage considering that what one has belongs to all. As such relations are usually very numerous and for the most part idle and improvident, no one family can accumulate anything. Let a man be in receipt of a salary, no matter how large, or let him by industry raise a crop, and he gets no real benefit from it. His own relations and those of his wife swarm down upon him and consume everything, so that he has nothing for his industry. This is not only discourages any attempt to be industrious and to accumulate property, especially things that can be used for food, but it puts a premium on idleness and unthrift, for he who idles not only saves his muscle, but fares as well as does he who works. [Commissioner of Indian Affairs 1896:291 ]
The Rosebud superintendent wrote to his district "farmers"11 in 1922:
It is ... conceded by all who know Indians, that they are the most liberal people in the world so far as feeding each other is concerned. . . . They have not only been liberal in feeding the hungry but have been liberal in giving away horses, blankets, shawls, money, and other valuable property.
The give-away spirit has been prominent among the Sioux for a number of years and is still practiced to some extent. I believe that time has come when this matter should be brought to the attention of the Indians and have them discuss it in a friendly way, and have them to understand that we are not criticizing their old customs but that the time has come when their own comfort and the comfort of their families depends upon a change of this old time custom. [Rosebud Superintendent 1922]
But this social use of wealth, which the anthropologist Haviland Scudder Mekeel described as "virtually ... a state of socialism" (1936:11), did not detract from the fact that the Lakota were empropertied as individuals and depended upon the state apparatus for the security of their property. People may have given away, but what they gave away was theirs to give. Once the Lakota had been empropertied as individuals, each man, woman, and child had a material stake in the protection of private property relations (even if the property was not fully private because it was held in trust) and in a social apparatus—the state—that could claim to "stand above" and, in so doing, represent their "common interest" and guarantee protection. Lakota individuals owned land that generated income. As petty property owners, they had a clear interest in "petty property rights" (Thompson 1975:264)—despite their social use of wealth—and it was the government that could guarantee those rights: protection against violation of leases, trespass of livestock on allotments, and protection against other infringements by non-Indians, by other Lakota people, and even by government agencies. In 1907, for example, one Oglala sued another Oglala in the OIA agency court. The defendant was instructed by the Indian judges:
______wants to build a fence around his land that was reserved for his allotment by the Allotting Agent
but your house is on the land and desires that you remove your house on to your land that was reserved for your allotment. He has given you ample time in which to remove your house. It is time that you attend to your own affairs and let other people alone. We wrote you once before but you did not heed us. We advise you again to remove your house on to your own land, so that he can fix his fence and other improvements on his land. [OIA Judges 1907]
In 1916, Oglalas were sued by other Oglalas in the agency court for cattle that trespassed and destroyed a garden and hay (Pine Ridge Agency 1916a, 1916b). Recognition of this obligation of government to "stand above" disputes and protect property was obviously behind
the Lakota reference to the U.S. Constitution and their rights as property owners. Although it may not have "civilized" them as was the stated intention, empropertying the Lakota certainly opened up their subjectivities to the penetration of the state, its sovereignty, and its law. The Lakota may have been "virtually socialists," but they had also been made into "Red Lockeans" (Takaki 1982).
The reservation system of the late 19th and early 20th centuries was based on the congres-sionally authorized and judicially sanctioned status of wardship applied with considerable administrative discretion. Wardship was founded on the assumption of Indian incompetence to function effectively in the market economy of the wider American society (for legal analyses, see Carter 1977; Cohen 1942:167-173). As a 1928 report on the OIA, known as the Meriam Report and commissioned by the secretary of the interior, explained: "Indian guardianship was assumed when the Indians as a race were unquestionably incompetent. Relinquishment of this trust cannot lightly be made. The Indian, therefore, is assumed to be incompetent until formally declared to be competent" (Meriam 1971 :101). What was termed incompetence was rooted in the essentialized characteristics of most Indians presumed in the colonial gaze. "[T]heir instincts are purely nomadic," the Pine Ridge superintendent insisted in 1922, which constituted one of the main problems of inducing Indians to become farmers: they preferred to travel to dances and fairs rather than tend their crops and stock (Pine Ridge Superintendent 1922). "[T]hese Indians are not far enough away from the old buffalo days to succeed as cattle growers," the Rosebud superintendent reported (1916). Still hunters at heart, the Lakota could not be trusted to arrive at "the proper viewpoint with respect to their live stock. Nine out often Indians look upon cattle as to their meat value only," the Pine Ridge superintendent complained in 1922 (Pine Ridge Superintendent 1922). The commissioner of Indian Affairs (1881:110) found the Lakota to be "proverbially improvident," and though the Lakota people undoubtedly changed over the ensuing years, government assessments of their competency changed little. Fifty years later, in 1931, the Rosebud superintendent dismissed the Lakota as "notoriously improvident." Moreover, he reported that the Lakota people have "little conception of how money is obtained or how it should be invested" (Rosebud Superintendent 1931). They did not understand financial transactions of more than $100 (Rosebud Superintendent 1909), and "their interests and thoughts are in other directions than business or economic problems"—directions such as feasts, giveaways, showing generosity toward friends and relatives, dancing, and traveling (Rosebud Superintendent 1931). "[T]here can be no question about Indian incompetence to manage much of a business enterprise," the Rosebud superintendent wrote in 1933, as "the Indian at heart is rather shiftless in matters of industry." Progress was being made under his tutelage, the superintendent reported to his superiors in Washington, but he believed it "pertinent to add here that because of racial factors and characteristics the process of self-support and full ability to make the best of things wil I come rather slow—a little progress each year" (Rosebud Superintendent 1931).12 The Meriam Report summarized the situation for Indians generally: "With respect to knowledge and experience in the use of property, many of them are still children and must be given training in the use of property and its value before they are declared competent to handle it independently" (Meriam 1971 :101). In the opinion of some OIA personnel, the Lakota were simply "shiftless, lazy and irresponsible" (Commissioner of Indian Affairs 1894:288), and their homes and farms were "slovenly" (Rosebud Superintendent 1933).13
Given all this essentializing of the Lakota (whether based on a colonial theory of "racial characteristics" or on the premise that the Lakota were simply "not far enough away from the old buffalo days"),14 they could hardly be considered sufficiently responsible to manage their