Matrons and Maids: Regulating Indian Domestic Service in Tucson, 1914-1934 by Victoria K. HaskinsMatrons and Maids: Regulating Indian Domestic Service in Tucson, 1914-1934 by Victoria K. Haskins

Matrons and Maids: Regulating Indian Domestic Service in Tucson, 1914-1934

byVictoria K. Haskins

Hardcover | October 4, 2012

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From 1914 to 1934 the US government sent Native American girls to work as domestic servants in the homes of white families. Matrons and Maids tells this forgotten history through the eyes of the women who facilitated their placements. During those two decades, “outing matrons” oversaw and managed the employment of young Indian women. In Tucson, Arizona, the matrons acted as intermediaries between the Indian and white communities and between the local Tucson community and the national administration, the Office of Indian Affairs.

Based on federal archival records, Matrons and Maids offers an original and detailed account of government practices and efforts to regulate American Indian women. Haskins demonstrates that the outing system was clearly about regulating cross-cultural interactions, and she highlights the roles played by white women in this history. As she compellingly argues, we cannot fully engage with cross-cultural histories without examining the complex involvement of white women as active, if ambivalent, agents of colonization.

Including stories of the entwined experiences of Indigenous and non-Indigenous women that range from the heart-warming to the heart-breaking, Matrons and Maids presents a unique perspective on the history of Indian policy and the significance of “women’s work.”

Victoria K. Haskins is an associate professor at the University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, where she is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow in History. She is the author of One Bright Spot and co-editor of Uncommon Ground: White Women in Aboriginal History.
Title:Matrons and Maids: Regulating Indian Domestic Service in Tucson, 1914-1934Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 9.3 × 6.25 × 0.7 inPublished:October 4, 2012Publisher:University Of Arizona PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0816529604

ISBN - 13:9780816529605

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Editorial Reviews

"This clearly written analysis traces the careers of the ‘outing matrons’ who found domestic work for young Indian women in Tucson from World War I into the 1930s. Haskins shows them as the focus for colonization while they held only a low-level position in society themselves. Along with studies of Indian boarding schools, this careful look at the ‘outing matrons’ demonstrates the changes in American Indian policy in the early twentieth century."—Roger L. Nichols, Warrior Nations: The United States and Indian Peoples   “Haskins’s exceptional book examines a special group of female employees of the Indian Service in Tucson during the early twentieth century.  Her strong research and revealing analysis sheds new light on gender and race in the urban Southwest, and the Native and non-Native women who lived, worked, and negotiated the terms of labor between white Tucson and the Tohono O'odham communities.” —Brenda J. Child, author of Holding Our World Together: Ojibwe Women and the Survival of the Community