This study examines the ideologies shaping the first cooperative venture between the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), focusing the BIA's role as a labor contractor and the Pima's efforts to exert control over the conditions and valuation of their economic participation. Examination of the bureaus' records and extant testimonies of Pima leaders deepens contemporary understanding of the common aims of government officials and Pima farmers, the sources of tension among these stakeholders, and the mechanisms by which Pima laborers adapted economic strategies to maintain cultural continuity. Although sometimes working in synergy, the aims of the bureaus and local Anglo farmers more often compromised the economic aims of the Pima even as the BIA and the press acknowledged the debt to the native laborers cultivating exotic crops in southern Arizona.

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