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Indian Defense Association of Central and Northern California Records
BANC MSS C-A 360  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The records of the Indian Defense Association of Central and Northern California, an Indian reform organization operating from 1923 until 1938.
Background
The Indian Defense Association was founded in 1923 by John Collier, an emerging critic of the federal Indian policies that had taken shape in the wake of the 1887 Dawes General Allotment Act. In 1920, Mabel Dodge Luhan invited Collier, then a social worker and adult educator in California, to Taos, New Mexico, where he observed Pueblo Indian culture and developed a strong interest in its preservation. Shortly after his stay in Taos, Collier was appointed field worker for the General Federation of Women's Club's Committee on Indian Welfare, a position that allowed him both to investigate the living conditions of Indians in the Southwest and in California and to formulate ideas for reforming Indian policy. The Indian Defense Association was founded, with initial funding from prominent women in the Caliofrnia women's club movement, to investigate and educate the public about Indian living conditions as well as to promote government policies that, in the words of the IDA, "would permit the Indian to remain spiritually and physically on this earth" (see founding documents in carton 4, folder 15). Collier and the IDA sought to protect Indian rights to their land as well as their rights to practice their own religions. The IDA would over the course of its existence advocate and lobby on issues relating to all aspects of Indian life in the United States, including land, religion, housing, health, and education. The IDA had its main headquarters in Washington, D.C., where it could be close to the government bodies and agencies that shaped Indian policy. The Indian Defense Association of Central and Northern California (with offices in San Francisco) acted as a west coast headquarters. The IDA also had other California branches in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. The California branches were active in issues relating to California Indians but were also crucial advocates for Indians throughout the Southwest.
Extent
17 Linear Feet 12 cartons, 2 boxes, 2 oversize boxes, 2 cardfile boxes
Restrictions
Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Availability
Collection is open for research.