While Akimel O'odham agricultural identity is one cornerstone of this study of petitions sent to the federal government, the study's aims include an analysis of the petitions in terms of how their form and content reenact the values of cooperation and cocreation embodied in Akimel O'odham sacred stories. Socioethical expectations modeled in the petitions challenge the Indian Office's efforts at assimilation and its conception of modernity based in Western hegemony, revealing a counterhegemonic definition based in mutually beneficial responsibilities and in what later advocates call human rights.

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