Indian Voting in Territorial Arizona
This chapter illustrates how the United States pursued a variety of policies in its attempts to incorporate Indigenous peoples in Arizona during the territorial period. Hopis in northern Arizona appeared to be ideal candidates for citizenship. The federal government attempted allotment in severalty, boarding school education, opening business ventures in Hopi territory, and outright force, but Hopis proved resistant to all such efforts, never embracing citizenship and the franchise. After decades of genocidal policies by the governments of Sonora and Mexico, many Yaquis eventually sought refuge across the border in the United States, establishing communities such as Pascua and Guadalupe. As refugees in southern Arizona, Yaquis largely stayed out of the eyes of public officials while participating widely in the regional economy. They did not participate in Arizona electoral politics, nor did they fully transplant their Spanish-influenced systems of town government. Similar to Hopis, Tohono O’odhams were also subjected to allotment (on the San Xavier del Bac Reservation) and boarding schools, and viewed as promising potential citizens by U.S. officials. But similar to New Mexico Pueblos, Hopis, and Yaquis, Tohono O’odams preferred to stay outside of mainstream electoral politics in favor of protecting their own national sovereignty.
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