Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

Mormon Studies Review


Sujey Vega


lamanities, mormons, indian student placement program


Matthew Garrett begins his history of the Mormon Indian Student Placement Program (ISPP) with a narrative about his own family’s participation and what it meant for him to find an old picture of a young Native American student among his family photos. Thus, Garrett starts his history through this personal connection. Like many historical monographs, however, it moves toward a more seemingly objective stance that provides information without much reflection. While there is peppered subtle critique of the LDS Church’s representation of Native Americans in its doctrine, the ISPP is rescued from much reproach. The book does provide a much-needed account of the recruitment/missioning efforts of Mormons in Indian country in the name of education and upward mobility; however, it requires familiarity with LDS Church history, leadership structure, and terminology. A reader unversed in the church’s organizational structure or leadership history might find some difficulty in the concluding chapters.