University of New Mexico Assistant Professor of History Cathleen Cahill has won the 2011 Labriola Center American Indian National Book Award for her book "Federal Fathers and Mothers: A Social History of the U.S. Indian Service, 1869-1933."
The award is presented annually by the Labriola National American Indian Data Center at Arizona State University.
In her book, Cahill discusses how the Bureau of Indian Affairs, established in 1824 as the United States Indian Service, sought to bring Native Americans into the "modern" world by compelling them to accept the lifestyle of the white, middle-class American family – to live in houses, work on farms and assimilate.
That goal required the services of many workers, male and female, white and native, single and married. These people, who were supposed to bring Indians into the mainstream, are the subject of the book.
"Federal Fathers and Mothers" is the fourth book to win the Labriola Center National Book Award. Previous winners and their books are Daniel Cobb, 2008, "Native Activism in Cold War America: The Struggle for Sovereignty"; Paul Rosier, 2009, "Serving Their Country: American Indian Politics and Patriotism in the Twentieth Century"; and Malinda Lowery, 2010, for "Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity, and the Making of a Nation."
Books submitted for consideration for the Labriola Center American Indian National Book Award cross multiple disciplines or fields of study, are relevant to contemporary North American Indian communities, and focus on modern tribal studies, modern biographies, tribal governments or federal Indian policy.