By Nancy Shoemaker

Even supposing most people isn't largely conscious of this development, American Indian inhabitants has grown phenomenally in view that 1900, their demographic nadir. now not a vanishing race, Indians have rebounded to 1492 inhabitants estimates in 9 many years. till now, such a lot study has keen on catastrophic inhabitants decline, yet Nancy Shoemaker experiences how and why American Indians have recovered. Her research of the social, cultural, and fiscal implications of the relatives and demographic styles fueling the restoration compares 5 assorted Indian teams: the Seneca state in ny kingdom, Cherokees in Oklahoma, pink Lake Ojibways in Minnesota, Yakamas in Washington kingdom, and Navajos within the Southwest. Marshaling individual-level census information, Shoemaker locations American Indians in a wide social and cultural context and compares their demographic styles to these of Euroamericans and African american citizens within the United States.

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3 Note: For 19401960, the only available figures are for blacks and other nonwhite races; in 1970 and 1980, black life expectancy at birth was about a year lower than that for blacks and others. Sources: Everett R. Rhoades, Anthony J. D'Angelo, and Ward B. S. Census Bureau, Historical Statistics of the United States, pt. S. : GPO, 1988), 70. Despite the problem of obtaining accurate mortality figures for Indians, rough estimates of life expectancy are available. Data from the 1900 census suggest that mortality for Indians in the early twentieth century was considerably higher than among other Americans.

10 When the Census Bureau introduced self-identification for race in 1960, many people who in previous censuses had been classified as white or black now said they were Indian. Before 1960 Indians were undercounted in the census because enumerators used physical appearance and residence as the basis for racial classification. 12 Contemporary movements for cultural pluralism and ethnic pride have made it socially acceptable for more people to identify as Indian, and children of racially intermarried couples may also be more likely to identify as Indian than previously.

And yet, BIA population figures are often all we have. In some casesfor instance, for Red Lake Reservationthe figures appear consistent. In other cases, the figures are contradictory from year to year. Although the BIA annual reports for the New York Iroquois give detailed breakdowns by tribe and reservation, the figures fluctuate wildly with no explanation given for why the Seneca Nation in one year had 150 more people or 150 fewer people than the year before. Presumably the agent was reporting the number of people counted in the distribution of annuities (the treaty-stipulated annual payments made to the Senecas and other Iroquois), but why there was so much variability in who received annuities is unclear.

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