Building Bombs on the Plains: Native Americans Help Build the Plant
Along with the sudden increase in rent came an increase in the number of minorities who were also looking for housing. In November, 1942, the construction company imported about 100 Chippewa and Sioux Indians to work at the construction site.
Latent racism in Hastings caused residents to assume that different racial groups needed separate housing. Consequently, a group of Sioux lived at the plant in tents.
A local newspaper article, announcing the arrival of the first group of Sioux workers, referred to them as "braves" who were "on the warpath." The newspaper was obviously engaging in a heedless, condescending tone.
Reba Yeakle recalled that Indians tended to linger around the post office building where, as a "federal people," they felt safe. Some suggested the Sioux preferred to live in camps as a separate community. Regardless, the result was the same. The Sioux lived separately from the white community.
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