Two paramount subjects of Native American History: the termination of Indians and the Relocation of Indians to cities. The Great Depression altered the way America perceived its influence towards the economy and society. It also changed policies towards Indians. In the twentieth century the government shifted on Indian Affairs several times.
While policies changed, issues still occurred, similar to the objective of assimilation of Indian people. Indian communities fought in Washington, D.C., agreeing and disagreeing with the system to influence results.
Eventually forming their own policies and programs in their community. Termination Indian Reorganization Act An approach created by John Collier, at that point recently selected Official of Indian Affairs, and marked into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 28, 1934. The act criticized and nullified the Dawes Act of 1887, its endeavor to absorb Local Americans into standard white culture in the United States. It separated the reservations, distributed terrains to individual innate individuals, and sent kids to Indian boarding schools where they were rebuffed for talking their Local dialects(445). The Indian Reorganization act granted Indian’s the assignment of innate terrains and expanded the confide in period for existing designations. Perceived ancestral governments and urged clans to embrace constitutions.
Disallowed lands from being detracted from tribes without their assent, and gave the tribes the ability to deal with their benefits, which composed principally of land at the time. The IRA only applied to tribes who accepted the reform, Alaska and Oklahoma were left out of the arrangements. In spite of Collier’s eagerness, there was opposition to the IRA. Indian’s feared that the recent change in policy would make it arduous to assimilate in American Society. Seventy-eight tribes rejected the new policy due to possible threats with prior treaties and the self-government that was established in 1848. Overall the Indian New Deal had a mixed heritage. According to the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, “From the IRA onward, most reservations came to have the feel of branch offices of the federal government, with decision making dominated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs…and with tribal governments typically totally dependent on BIA programs and funds”. The IRA is important because government legislation allowed the Indians a form of self-government and thus willingly shrank the authority of the U.
S. government. It provided the Indians direct ownership of their land, credit, a constitution, and a charter in which Indians could manage their own affairs. However, later on In the 1940s and 1950s there was a heightened sense of national unity, and zero acceptance for cultural difference. Despite the IRA incentive of Native Americans residing on reservations, and self-governing, was viewed as a rarity by American government.
Hence, the government’s decision to end all tribal ties with federal services, eradicate reservations, and remove tribal land holdings; otherwise known as the Termination policy. Public Law 280 After World War II, the government coveted to quicken the system of Indian assimilation via returning claims made by Indians for loss of lands; removing tribal status and transferring authority over Indians to the state; and entering Indians into a conventional American lifestyle by relocating Indians from the reservations to cities. Public Law 280, was one of the numerous laws passed by Congress in 1953 to 1966 that terminated 109 tribes. PL 280 personified a crucial move toward extending state control over tribal land.
PL 280 granted states authority over Indian reservations; similarly the House Concurrent Resolution of 1953 ended all federal ties with tribes. Both laws enacted rapidly in Congress to affirm the Termination policy of freeing Indians from tribal life and reliance of government support. In reality, the termination policy proved to be volatile to tribes economy. Tribes no longer had access to health care by the Indian Health Service, they lost national support of their schools, they had to abide by state taxes and policies, and lost their federal trust condition. The Menominee tribe of Wisconsin, a once prosperous lumber operation and self-sufficient community suffered from the Termination policy.
In 1953, the tribe requested a monetary distribution on a per capita basis. Congress required the Menominee to agree to termination preconditions, and with little knowledge of the policy they agreed. In 1954, the tribe the tribe had four years to create their own municipal, educational, health and other resources granted by the federal government. As a result, the tribe had to sell their lands, hospitals closed and health conditions worsened.
Menomonee’s campaigned for reinstatement of Indian status. Ada Deer, a Menomonee social worker advocated to reverse Menominee termination, lobbied in Washington, and in 1973 President Nixon singed the Menominee Restoration Act. The act recognized the Menomonees as a federal tribe. A majority of tribes terminated from the government in the 1950s were able to retain tribal status after some time. Relocation to Cities The Bureau of Indian Affairs initiated a relocation program for Indians to end reservation poverty and hasten the assimilation process. In 1948 the BIA started a relocation study with the Navajo to Denver, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles. Four years later the Voluntary Relocation Program surfaced, and they provided Indians with housing and pay. By 1973, approximately 100,00 Indians relocated.
In spite of the housing provided, medical care, and job assistance by the BIA, many Indians lived in poverty, had poor housing, and were unemployed. Native Americans who stayed in the cities created new communities and sometimes made new identities as city indians. Support networks were created, many Indians lived in the same neighborhoods, worked similar jobs, and attended the same church.
American Indian Centers were established that worked as a cultural force and provided social services. City Indians also created new ways to reestablish ties with their reservations. Notably, before World War II a majority of Comanches lived in southwestern Oklahoma; after the war, all tribal members left the reservation and took jobs in the City. Comanches and other indians would return home; and partake in cultural ceremonial gatherings; and it would reinforce their tribal identity. By the end of the twentieth century two-thirds of Native Americans lived in urban areas, and a majority were third generation urban dwellers. “I have been abroad in this society, for two-thirds of my life and yet I am a link in a chain to a past” Ignatia Broker discusses the segregation, racial injustice, and economic insecurities that she endured while living in Chicago.
Urban Indians often felt like strangers to American society; Indians were seldom interested by the middle-class lifestyle of America. After much controversy around the federal relocation program, in the 1970s the relocation process decreased. But employment and social opportunities in urban areas appealed to the Indian youth long after the federal program stopped.
Indians who used the federal relocation program were not victims; they also used the opportunity to relocate themselves; and utilized new educational opportunities, social, and economic benefits of urban living. By 1980, fifty percent of Native Americans counted on the U.S. census lived in cities. Urban relocation was not the failure of Indian society, but rather an ongoing historical reoccurrence of Indians acclimating to a non-Indian society. A lot of Indian America wound up noticeably urban, and parts of urban American ended up Indian.