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Series:Center for Indian Country Development series  Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis 

Working Paper
The Slaughter of the Bison and Reversal of Fortunes on the Great Plains
In the late 19th century, the North American bison was brought to the brink of extinction in just over a decade. We show that the bison?s slaughter led to a reversal of fortunes for the Native Americans who relied on them. Once the tallest people in the world, the generations of bison-reliant people born after the slaughter were among the shortest. Today, formerly bison-reliant societies have between 20-40% less income per capita than the average Native American nation. We argue that federal Indian policy that limited out-migration from reservations and restricted employment opportunities to crop based agriculture hampered the ability of bison-reliant societies to adjust in the long-run, generating lasting regional disparities associated with other indicators of social dislocation, such as suicide and unrest.
AUTHORS: Feir, Donna; Gillezeau, Rob; Jones, Maggie E.C.
DATE: 2019-01-14

Working Paper
The Introduction of Formal Childcare Services in Inuit Communities and Labor Force Outcomes
We study the impacts of the introduction of formal childcare services to 28 Inuit communities in Canada's North. We use geographical variation in the timing of the introduction of childcare services in the late 1990s and early 2000s to estimate the impact of increased access to childcare. We combine the 1996, 2001, and 2006 long-form census files with data on the opening dates of childcare centres and the number of childcare spaces in each of the 28 communities over time. We find evidence of impacts on female labour force participation driven by multi-adult households in Quebec. Point estimates also suggest possible improvements in high school graduation rates and increased participation of men in childcare. We do not find evidence that formal childcare decreases the ability of children to speak Inuktitut. We suggest plausible explanations for these findings and avenues for future research.
AUTHORS: Feir, Donna; Thomas, Jasmin
DATE: 2019-03-26

Working Paper
Indian Residential Schools, Height, and Body Mass Post-1930
We study the effects of Canadian Indian residential schooling on two anthropometric measures of health during childhood: adult height and body weight. We use repeated cross sectional data from the 1991 and 2001 Aboriginal Peoples Survey and leverage detailed historical data on school closures and location to make causal inferences. We ?nd evidence that, on average, residential schooling increases adult height and the likelihood of a healthy adult body weight for those who attended. These effects are concentrated after the 1950s when the schools were subject to tighter health regulations and students were selected to attend residential school based partly on their need for medical care that was otherwise unavailable. Residential schooling is only one policy in Canada that impacted status First Nations peoples? health, so our results must be understood in the broader social context. Taken in context, our results suggest that health interventions in later childhood can have signi?cant impacts on adult health. We also document signi?cant increases in height and body weight for status people born after the 1960s, suggesting substantial changes in diet and living conditions during this time period.
AUTHORS: Feir, Donna; Auld, Chris
DATE: 2019-08-16

Working Paper
The Higher Price of Mortgage Financing for Native Americans
A?ordable access to capital and quality housing is a challenge facing Native Americans. In this paper, we demonstrate that mortgage loans with Native Americans as the primary borrower are systematically more likely to be higher-priced. These loans have an average interest rate nearly 2 percentage points above the average loan for non-Native Americans. We also demonstrate that these higher-priced home loans are predominately found on reservation lands and that manufactured homes account for nearly 25 percent to 35 percent of the di?erence in the cost of ?nancing. These results potentially suggest that without other institutional market reforms, promoting homeownership as a method of increasing Native American equity and assets may be less e?ective than for other populations.
AUTHORS: Feir, Donna; Cattaneo, Laura
DATE: 2019-10-04

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