We Are Still Here: American Indians in the Twentieth Century

By Peter Iverson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWO
Confronting Continuation, 1921–1932

In December 1922, Carlos Montezuma decided to return home to a place where he had never lived. A physician, he knew that he had little time remaining. He boarded the train in Chicago one final time to make the long, familiar journey to Arizona to be with his Yavapai relatives. Montezuma was born in the 1860s, when tribes still could and did conduct raids on their enemies. Kidnapped by Pimas, the young Montezuma was sold to a non-Indian and raised in the Midwest and the East. He completed medical school in Chicago and eventually entered private practice there. As an adult, he traveled west to become reacquainted with relatives now living on the newly founded Fort McDowell reservation. He had witnessed an era in which his people had begun to transform their reservation into home, into a place that mattered, into a base to be safeguarded for future generations. Although he severely criticized the Bureau of Indian Affairs for its management of reservation life, his continuing association with his relatives at Fort McDowell had taught him that these communities must not be abandoned. During his life Montezuma helped his people stay, to ward off attempts to re-

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