A labor shortage during World War I left western Nebraska potato farmers facing the loss of their crop. They brought in Lakota (Sioux) Indians as harvesters, beginning a tradition that lasted from 1917 through the 1950s. The story is one both of prejudice and understanding, cooperation and conflict—and of long-lasting relationships forged by economic necessity. David R. Christensen writes about it in “‘I Don’t Know What We’d Have Done Without the Indians’: Non-Indian and Lakota Racial Relationships in Box Butte County’s Potato Industry, 1917-1960.” The article appears in the Fall 2011 issue of Nebraska History.
The Fall 2011 issue of Nebraska History announces a new NSHS membership category: Subscription Only. For just $29 per year, you’ll receive four issues of each of Nebraska History and Nebraska History News. (Memberships with full benefits are still $40.) Click here to learn more.
—David L. Bristow, Associate Director / Publications