Hopi Migration Stories: Uncovering the Legacy of the 1956 Indian Relocation Act on Hopi Identity and Sense of Belonging

Angela A. Gonzales | Associate Professor | School of Social Transformation

Beginning in the 1930s, Hopis began migrating to urban centers when the U.S. government recommended that the numbers of livestock on the Hopi reservation be dramatically reduced. By the 1940s, economic development on the Hopi reservation came to a standstill and an increasing number of Hopis left the reservation to seek employment in the cities. The 1956 Indian Relocation Act further encouraged Hopis to leave the reservation by ending federal funding for reservations’ schools, hospitals, and basic services—along with the jobs they created. Through archival research, oral history interviews and photovoice, this CBPR project captures the meaning of this experience on the lives of Hopi people who participated in the program and the intergenerational impact it had on the lives of their children and grandchildren.

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