Modes of Domesticity: The Intersections of Indian Domestic Service and WWII Politics in the San Francisco Bay Area

Fall 2012
  • Graduate
Caitlin Keliiaa
Ethnic Studies
Modes of Domesticity: The Intersections of Indian Domestic Service and WWII Politics in the San Francisco Bay Area

This research project examines the effects of Stewart Indian boarding School in Carson City, Nevada. While no longer in operation, for decades, the school administered an Outing Program. The Outing Program was a job placement plan for recent female graduates. In the program, young Indian women became household servants, hotel maids, nannies and the like. On account of Stewart’s program, across the region and in nearby states, young Indian women began careers in domestic servitude in hotels and wealthy homes.

During WWII, a number of Stewart graduates were placed in the San Francisco Bay Area. This project traces their stories and their communal efforts that contributed to the creation of the Bay Area Indian community. Modes of Domesticity will critically examine the Outing Program and such boarding school methods that disrupted and reshaped Native men and women's traditional roles and power. Through this project, I will examine how the imposed career path affected the lives and families of the women it “served.” Importantly, Caitlin hopes to tell a story of their agency and survivance.