Native American Camps

View item information

"Three Papago men working on top of structure for new pump house on the Sells Indian Reservation, Sells, Arizona," ca. 1940. Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.

Separate programs were run for Native Americans that focused on efforts to improve reservations. These efforts centered on road building, structural improvements to reservations, and improvements to water development and erosion control. Native American CCC men were allowed to return home in the evenings instead of living in a separate camp, since many of them were married.

Tribal councils also participated in the administration of Native American CCC projects. Over 80,000 Native American men participated in the CCC. The CCC Indian Division documented conservation efforts in the publication Indians at Work.

An editorial from the newsletter commented on the conservation efforts: "No previous undertaking in Indian Service has so largely been the Indians' own undertaking, as the emergency conservation work. Not only is it the policy that every type of employment, for which Indians can be used in this work, shall be held by the Indians themselves, but it further is the policy that the Indians in their tribal councils, their community chapters and all their organized expressions, shall assist in choosing the projects and making the programs."