Get new posts by email:

How to Use this Blog

BOOZHOO! We've amassed tons of information and important history on this blog since 2010. If you have a keyword, use the search box below. Also check out the reference section above. If you have a question or need help searching, use the contact form at the bottom of the blog.

We want you to use BOOKSHOP! (the editor will earn a small amount of money or commission. (we thank you) (that is our disclaimer statement)

This is a blog. It is not a peer-reviewed journal, not a sponsored publication... WE DO NOT HAVE ADS or earn MONEY from this website. The ideas, news and thoughts posted are sourced… or written by the editor or contributors.

EMAIL ME: (outlook email is gone)


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Poverty on Reservations

(This information was found at the Abbe Museum website in Bar Harbor, Maine. This story happened across New England. President Obama and family recently vacationed at Bar Harbor. Hope Obama went to the Abbe.)
When Maine separated from Massachusetts and became a state in 1821, it took over Massachusetts’s treaty obligations and responsibility for the Indian communities. The state of Maine controlled the tribes’s money and resources—they held them in “trust.” “Indian agents” were assigned by the state to oversee the Native communities and to manage tribal money. The State of Maine did not allow Native people to manage their own money and resources. For instance, whenever money needed to be spent on the reservation the Indian Agent had to approve the project and give permission for their money to be spent.

Each week, the Indian agent gave each family a stipend to buy food, clothing, firewood and other necessities. This money belonged to the Native people, not to the State or to the Indian agent, but they were not allowed to have control over it! Many times the money given for a family’s necessities was far less than the necessities cost. For instance, in 1910, a cord of wood cost between $4 and $9, but only $3 was given to widows for their winter supply of wood.
Over the next 150 years, the State of Maine illegally and without permission from the tribes sold off, leased and transferred thousands of acres of Native land. The State also illegally authorized the harvesting and sale of Native timber and hay—and sold the timber and firewood back to the Native communities. In some cases, the State added money to the trust funds for the illegal sale of land and resources. In other cases, no payments were made. Interest on the deposits to these funds was supposed to be paid at six percent per year. From 1859 until 1969 no interest was ever paid to the tribes. Instead, it went to the Indian agents.
Without control over their own money and tribal resources, Native people suffered. Reservations were places of extreme poverty. Native language was outlawed through an act of the State Legislature. Sicknesses such as tuberculosis, measles and whooping cough swept through the communities. Native people were forced to learn farming and raise crops. Native children attended convent schools run by nuns and taught in English. In most cases, the only buildings recommended by the Indian agents for repair were the churches, schoolhouses and homes for nuns and priests. Indian agents remained in control of tribal resources and money until the mid-1970s.

Photo: Whalebone point at the Abbe Museum
Visit the ABBE MUSEUM, PO Box 286, Bar Harbor, Maine 04609 (where President Obama and family had a mini-vacation recently)


  1. Thank you for your words.

    I just realized that although I'd linked to you at my weblog of adoption-related writing, a few minutes ago I also added your link on my "writers" blog as well, along with my other favorite Native writers.

  2. Thank you for your words.

    I just realized that although I'd linked to you at my weblog of adoption-related writing, a few minutes ago I also added your link on my "writers" blog as well, along with my other favorite Native writers.


Please: Share your reaction, your thoughts, and your opinions. Be passionate, be unapologetic. Offensive remarks will not be published. We are getting more and more spam. Comments will be monitored.
Use the comment form at the bottom of this website which is private and sent direct to Trace.

Wilfred Buck Tells The Story Of Mista Muskwa

Happy Visitors!

They Took Us Away

They Took Us Away
click image to see more and read more

Blog Archive

Most READ Posts


You are not alone

You are not alone

To Veronica Brown

Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.

Diane Tells His Name

click photo

60s Scoop Survivors Legal Support


Lost Birds on Al Jazeera Fault Lines

Lost Birds on Al Jazeera Fault Lines
click to read and listen about Trace, Diane, Julie and Suzie


As the single largest unregulated industry in the United States, adoption is viewed as a benevolent action that results in the formation of “forever families.”
The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.


Original Birth Certificate Map in the USA

Why tribes do not recommend the DNA swab

Rebecca Tallbear entitled: “DNA, Blood, and Racializing the Tribe”, bearing out what I only inferred:

Detailed discussion of the Bering Strait theory and other scientific theories about the population of the modern-day Americas is beyond the scope of this essay. However, it should be noted that Indian people have expressed suspicion that DNA analysis is a tool that scientists will use to support theories about the origins of tribal people that contradict tribal oral histories and origin stories. Perhaps more important,the alternative origin stories of scientists are seen as intending to weaken tribal land and other legal claims (and even diminish a history of colonialism?) that are supported in U.S. federal and tribal law. As genetic evidence has already been used to resolve land conflicts in Asian and Eastern European countries, this is not an unfounded fear.

Google Followers