Speaker:

Amy E. Canfield

Divided Loyalties and Tribal Rights: Agriculture and Irrigation at the Fort Hall Indian Reservation

The history of the west has been shaped in almost every way by water: processing it, using it, appropriating it, and corralling it. The task of irrigating arid and semi-arid regions proved difficult, especially on American Indian reservations as ore non-Indians moved onto reservation lands. Examining the events surrounding irrigating the Fort Hall Indian Reservation demonstrates the legal, practical, environmental, and moral questions that plagued irrigation projects on reservations. Different federal officials who purported to have the tribe’s best interests at heart routinely compromised Shoshone-Bannock control of its valuable water resources, resulting in harmful consequences for tribal landholdings and finances.