CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS - INDIAN DIVISION
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a work program established in the United States from 1933 to 1942. This program covers all men aged 17 to 23, unemployed and single. It helped to provide work and revive the economy shattered by the great economic crisis. At least 2.5 million people benefited from this program which provided them with pay, clothing and food.
An entire division was dedicated to Native Americans: the CCC - ID or The Indian Emergency Conservation Work.
Enrolled in the age group of 17 to 35 years, she provided an income for the Indians of the reserves. It also allowed for the creation of schools and roads on reserves.
At least 85,000 Indians served in the CCC-ID.
Established on April 27, 1933, the CCC-Indian Division (CCCID) was managed by the Office of Indian Affairs and not by the Ministry of War and Transport and planned the operation of seventy-two camps, with forty-three in New Mexico and Arizona.
The CCC-ID also differed in other ways. Registrants do not have to be single and there is no age limit. White men married to reserve residents were sometimes admitted, and whites often held supervisory positions.
Although some housing camps were built, many workers could go home at night. For short-term projects, temporary family camps have sometimes been created. Registrants followed a schedule similar to that of other CCC camps: getting up early, working a full day, with regular meals provided. As with other CCC recruits, many Native American enrollees suffered from poor nutrition. Some on the Navajo reserve collapsed when they started working. The camp director ordered sick men a special diet of brown rice, whole wheat bread, tomatoes and dried fruit. An educational program also existed in the CCC-ID, but it was not administered as regularly as in other CCC camps. Many camp directors turned the education money into a project reserve fund, and because of the high turnover rate and the lack of permanent boarding camps, it was difficult to establish program coherence.
Why talk about a civilian program in a military subject? Because at the outbreak of the Second World War, the men of the CCC-ID were the only division asked to change their civilian status to military status.
In January 1942, the Indian Division of the Civilian Conservation Corps became a civilian unit to assist the war effort, a division led by the US military. These men were doing work for the army as a shipyard worker, ammunition factory worker, stock inspector, carpenters, truck drivers, radio operator, military mechanic, supervisor and technician on the armed bases.
There is no data indicating how much the army served afterwards, but of the 689 listed by the author, 29 served during the Second World War. One of his best-known employees is probably Hayes Ira H, a pima from Arizona who planted the American flag on Mount Suribachi in Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945.