In 1931, a group of trading post owners and operators founded the United Indian Traders Association (UITA), a non-profit organization whose goals were: 1) to promote improved business practices among Indian traders, arts and crafts dealers, Indians, and all related agencies; 2) to promote, encourage, and protect the manufacture and sale of genuine Indian handmade arts and crafts; and 3) to promote the general welfare of those engaged in the business of Indian trading, as well as the welfare of the Navajo Indians and all other Indians of North America.
In 1997, when the UITA decided to disband, they divided their substantial financial reserves among several worthy causes, one of which is the oral history project displayed at this web-site.
According to oral historian James Hoopes, there is no better way to capture the feel for the facts than to record oral reminiscences. Traders--who are keen observers of the world--have a lot to say.
From the winter of 1998 through the spring of 2000, the following interviews were conducted by Karen Underhill and Brad Cole of the Northern Arizona University, Cline Library, Special Collections and Archives Deparment.
As Arthur Schlesinger Jr. once noted, "History is for society what memory is for human beings." These memories will be powerful for generations to come.
Interview Roster and Bio Page