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Indigenous Immigrants and Refugees in the North American Borderlands by Brenden W. Rensink, Texas A&M Press, 2018

Introduction, Note 8 (pages 10 and 225)

…the Cree-Chippewa group and the Yaquis stand as unique examples of so-called foreign Indians securing federal tribal recognition and reservation lands in the United States (p.10)

The Canadian Tsimshians who were settled at Metlakatla, Alaska, in 1887 are another example of foreign Indians being incorporated into the United States, but their transnational story was quite different in context (p. 225)

In the Metlakatla example, a Canadian Tsimshian village was relocated some seventy miles across the border into Alaska in 1887 to settle Annette Island. The land had been granted to them by President Grover Cleveland. Established as a utopian Christian community, it secured reservation status in 1891 (26 Stat. 1101). The Tsimshian of Metlakatla were fleeing persecution of sorts and issues with reserve lands in British Columbia, but entered the United States under very different contexts than Chippewa, Crees or Yaquis. Guided and settled as a community by Anglican minister William Duncan, their status as immigrants was assured from the onset.

For more information on the contexts of the Metlakatla community and how it differs from the refugee-immigrant movements of Chippewas, Cree and Yaquis, consider the following sources:

  • William Beynon, “Tsimshians of Metlakatla, Alaska,” American Anthropologist 43 (1): 83-88.
  • John A. Dunn and Arnold Booth, “Tsimchian of Metlakatla, Alaska,” in Wayne Suttles, ed.,  Handbook of North American Indians, Vol. 7 (Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institute, 1990), 294-297.
  • Brian Hosmer, American Indians in the Marketplace: Persistence and Innovation Among the Menominees and Metlakatlans, 1870-1920 (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1999).
  • Peter Murray, The Devil and Mr. Duncan (Victoria, B.C.: Sono Nis Press, 1985).
  • Susan Neylan, “‘Choose Your Flag’: Perspectives on the Tsimshian Migration from Metlakatla, British Columbia, to New Metlakatla, Alaska, 1887,” in New Histories from Old: Changing Perspectives on Canada’s Native Pasts, Ted Binnema and Susan Neylan, eds. (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2007), 196-219.
  • Jean Usher, William Duncan of Metlakatla: a Victorian Missionary in British Columbia, Publications in History, No. 5 (Ottawa: National Museums of Canada, 1974).
  • Henry S. Wellcome, The Story of Metlakahtla (London: Saxon & Co., 1887).