American Indians and the American Dream

Policies, Place, and Property in Minnesota

2023
Author:

Kasey R. Keeler

Understanding the processes and policies of urbanization and suburbanization in American Indian communities

Examining the long history of urbanization and suburbanization of Indian communities in Minnesota, American Indians and the American Dream investigates the ways American Indians accessed homeownership, working with and against federal policy, underscoring American Indian peoples’ unequal and exclusionary access to the way of life known as the American dream.

Nearly seven out of ten American Indians live in urban areas, yet studies of urban Indian experiences remain scarce. Studies of suburban Natives are even more rare. Today’s suburban Natives, the fastest-growing American Indian demographic, highlight the tensions within federal policies working in tandem to move and house differing groups of people in very different residential locations. In American Indians and the American Dream, Kasey R. Keeler examines the long history of urbanization and suburbanization of Indian communities in Minnesota.

At the intersection of federal Indian policy and federal housing policy, American Indians and the American Dream analyzes the dispossession of Indian land, property rights, and patterns of homeownership through programs and policies that sought to move communities away from their traditional homelands to reservations and, later, to urban and suburban areas. Keeler begins this analysis with the Homestead Act of 1862, then shifts to the Indian Reorganization Act in the early twentieth century, the creation of Little Earth in Minneapolis, and Indian homeownership during the housing bubble of the early 2000s.

American Indians and the American Dream investigates the ways American Indians accessed homeownership, working with and against federal policy, underscoring American Indian peoples’ unequal and exclusionary access to the way of life known as the American dream.

Kasey R. Keeler (Tuolumne Me-Wuk and Citizen Potawatomi) is assistant professor in the Department of Civil Society and Community Studies and in American Indian studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

About This Book