Formulating American Indian Policy in New York State, 1970-1986

By Laurence M. Hauptman

Subjects: Indigenous Studies
Paperback : 9780887067556, 234 pages, July 1988
Hardcover : 9780887067549, 234 pages, July 1988

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Table of contents



Part I. The Structure of New York State's American Indian Policies


1. New York State American Indian Policies in Historical Perspective, 1777-1950

2. Indian Land Issues: At Odds with the "Family of New York"

3. That Elusive Indian Office


Part II. New York State Operations and American Indians


4. "The Other": The American Indian and New York State Agencies

5. The Slow Wheels of Progress: The New York State Department of Social Services and Education and American Indians

6. The Bitter Living Legacy of Robert Moses: New York State Agencies and American Indian Lands


Part III. Conclusion


7. Summary and Recommendations

8. Afterword








This is the first descriptive analysis of how American Indian policies are made both at the statewide and at agency levels. Pertinent to all states, the study describes New York's historic policies and emphasizes that improving Indian lifestyles or attracting Indians to government employment is handicapped by their overall distrust of state intentions, a distrust caused by the continued impasse on American Indian land claims. Employing archival records never before used, as well as a plethora of interviews with state officials and American Indians over a fifteen-year period, Hauptman concludes that critical policy changes are needed to build lasting trust.

Laurence M. Hauptman is Professor of History of State University of New York, College at New Paltz. He is also the author of three previous books on the American Indians of New York State.


"It is the thoroughness of the research and the fearless indictment of public officials that I admire most. Identification of the land issue as fundamental to all Indian grievances is what public officials need to learn. I found the manuscript fascinating and predict a wide readership. " — William N. Fenton, State University of New York at Albany

"To my knowledge, it is unique; I recommend it highly. " — Francis Jennings, D'Arcy McNickle Center for the History of the American Indian

"The author presents his arguments in a clear, concise, and unbiased manner. He has provided a significant study about current Indian affairs in New York and has demonstrated why Indian policies in this state have been unsuccessful in meeting the needs of the American Indian people in New York. The study serves as an example of the type needed in other states where large Indian communities reside. It should be required reading in any course about American Indian policy. Hauptman's recognition of the problems attendant in any state bureaucracy are sharply demonstrated throughout the text. " — Dr. Frank W. Porter III, President, Chelsea House Foundation for North American Indian Studies