Reetta Humalajoki is an early career researcher who works on federal American Indian policy in the twentieth century, particularly focusing on the Termination period (1953-1970). She completed her PhD in 2016 and is currently revising her thesis for publication. Reetta teaches American history at Durham University and Newcastle University.

Creating Model Americans: The Mississippi Choctaw Billie Family and Relocation

Using primary sources from 'American Indian Histories and Cultures' – an Adam Matthew collection

This 1956 photograph captures a smiling couple with their four children, all dressed in their Sunday best – crisp white shirts for father and son, frilly dresses for the two little girls. The family poses around an armchair in front of their television set, displaying their homely apartment. This is not your average white middle-class family, however. Paul Billie and his wife were members of the Mississippi Choctaw Tribe, who relocated from Mississippi to Chicago in 1953. The only giveaway to the family’s background is their dark hair and skin. Continue reading

Indian Affairs Under the Obama Administration – An End to Broken Promises?

At the close of the eighth Annual White House Tribal Nations Conference (WHTNC) this September, the President of the National Congress of American Indians, Brian Cladoosby (Swinomish), wrapped President Barack Obama in a traditional Pacific Northwest blanket and placed his own cedar hat on Obama’s head. Beaming, Obama addressed the… Continue reading