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David R. M. Beck is the author and co-author of several award-winning books on the history of federal American Indian policy and urban American Indian history, including The Struggle for Self-Determination and City Indian. His most recent book, Unfair Labor?, which Curtis Hinsley called “a master class in historical research and interpretation,” analyzes the labor and economic history of American Indian and Indigenous people who worked at and for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Dr. Beck taught in the Native American Studies Department at the University of Montana for more than two decades, and prior to that at NAES (Native American Educational Services) College and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Dr. Beck’s current book project is on the U.S. government's American Indian policy in the 1950s and 1960s. Tentatively titled “Bribed with our own money:” Federal Abuse of American Indian Funds in the Termination Era, the work provides six case studies in which federal officials attempted to withhold money belonging to Indigenous nations in an effort to force them to relinquish their political relationship with the United States.
B.A. Northwestern University, American Culture
M.A. University of Illinois at Chicago
Ph.D. University of Illinois at Chicago
UnFair Labor? American Indians and the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2019. Available on Kindle. Scheduled for paper release Spring 2023
With Rosalyn R. LaPier. City Indian: Native American Activism in Chicago, 1893-1934. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2015. Available on Kindle. Issued in paper 2020 Winner of Robert G. Athearn Book Award, Western History Association
Seeking Recognition: The Termination and Restoration of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians, 1855-1984. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2009. Issued on Kindle 2010
The Struggle for Self Determination: History of the Menominee Indians Since 1854. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2005. Issued in paper 2007 Winner of Wisconsin Historical Society Book Award
Siege and Survival: History of the Menominee Indians, 1634-1856. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2002 Winner of Wisconsin Historical Society Book Award of Merit
The Chicago American Indian Community, 1893‑1988: Annotated Bibliography and Guide to Sources in Chicago. Chicago: NAES College Press, 1988. Preface by Sol Tax