Diné/Navajo Resistance to US Indian Commissioner John Collier’s Livestock Reduction Program, 1937-1959

This presentation examines sociologist Solon Kimball’s reports on Navajos in conversation with Milton Snow’s in the aftermath of the livestock reduction in the 1930s and into the 1940s. US Indian Commission John Collier intended to rehabilitate Navajo land by offering Navajos the beneficent of Western technical and agricultural knowledge to improve the land and to revitalize the economy, which had been heavily dependent on livestock raising. This presentation showcases how investigations such as Kimball’s worked in tandem with Snow’s photographs to justify US intrusions to remake Navajo life. In particular, Dr. Denetdale examines Kimball’s interviews with Navajos that were used to assess Navajo resistance against Collier’s livestock reduction. Kimball’s interviews illuminate Navajo resistance to Collier’s draconian livestock reduction.