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Encounter on the Great PlainsScandinavian Settlers and the Dispossession of Dakota Indians, 1890-1930$
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Karen V. Hansen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199746811

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746811.001.0001

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Divergent Paths to Racialized Citizenship

Divergent Paths to Racialized Citizenship

(p.185) 7 Divergent Paths to Racialized Citizenship
Encounter on the Great Plains

Karen V. Hansen

Oxford University Press

Dakotas and Norwegian immigrants maneuvered through national debates about integration and adaptation into the American polity from their profoundly different legal statuses. This chapter explores the avenues for political engagement—Dakotas sought amends for their grievances against the U.S. government primarily in the courts, and Norwegians channelled their political voice through the ballot box. For both Dakotas and foreign–born Norwegians, achieving citizenship and finding a means of exercising political voice was tied to owning land. The assimilation project was successful insofar as Spirit Lake Dakotas generally agreed to become landowners and citizens. And Norwegians became naturalized at extraordinarily high rates. Ironically, landowning and citizenship facilitated their attachment to their respective ancestry and language, and enhanced their refusal to accommodate to assimilationist expectations.

Keywords:   racialized citizenship, citizenship, Society of American Indians, SAI, Nonpartisan League, NPL, U.S. Court of Claims, Norwegian immigrants, Dakotas, naturalization

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