African American Officers gas masks The pilots pilots in dress uniforms Riveters African American Soldiers 1 Mule Rearing doughboys with mules

Homefront

Indians were active in the war effort on the home front. Girls in the Indian schools put together what was called comfort kits: bath towel, comb, tooth brush, tooth paste, shaving supplies, handkerchief, buttons, shoe strings, needles and thread, and safety pins. They also knitted sweaters for the troops. Indian women joined the Women’s Committee of the Council on National defense and did knitting and Red Cross work.Jackson BarnettJackson Barnett

There was a huge increase in meat and agricultural production on both reservations and allotted lands. Five thousand circulars in the Sequoyan syllabary were sent to Cherokees in Oklahoma, urging them to participate in the campaign to increase the food supply of the country. Similar circulars went out in Creek, Seminole, Choctaw, and Chickasaw languages using the Pickering alphabet. Washington authorized $10,000 to buy seeds for Indian farmers of the Five Civilized Tribes. Indian schools were encouraged to increase food production in gardens on school property. Poncas and Pawnees held meetings and planned strategies for increased farming acreage. This was a real venture for these tribes, for they had not been farmers of wheat, the dominant crop suited to the soil of their region.

Indians also purchased Liberty Bonds in large amounts. In the first three bond issues, they subscribed to more than $13 million, which equaled $30 to $40 for each Indian in America. The Choctaws and Chickasaws offered to invest per capita payments due them. Jackson Barnett (Creek) offered $800,000 of his fortune in the second issue and $157,000 in the third. Osages, with only 2,180 members, subscribed to $226,000 in the second loan.

All across America, Indians held patriotic rallies, gave interviews with the press, and urged tribal members to buy bonds to show their loyalty to America.

American Indians in WWI Centennial Commission

Contact: Erin Fehr ehfehr@ualr.edu

American Indians in World War I was created by the Sequoyah National Research Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Contributors: Daniel F. Littlefield, Jr. and Erin Fehr

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