Lessons from the Indian Internment at Indian Reservations and Boarding Schools

From the 1830’s (Indian Removal Act) to 1900 most of the Tribal Reservations were established in the United States holding a population of over 350,000 people. The people were moved from their original homelands to make way for white American settlement. For most tribes there was no choice but to remove. Most signed treaties selling all of their lands in exchange for money and a permanent reservation and basic services. Most funding supporting reservations came from the treaties. The tribes signed these treaties because they knew that if they tried to remain in their lands, they would be exterminated by Americans. Many had already fought wars over territory, some had helped, and even welcomed settlement, only to be rebuffed, but all had no choice but to make way for White Americans who could make “better” use of the land. Conditions on the reservations were severe. In the 19th century racist American society, Native peoples were treated badly, preyed upon by

read more Lessons from the Indian Internment at Indian Reservations and Boarding Schools

Are Tribes Ready for Termination, Again?

Are Tribes Ready for Termination, Again? In the past few weeks a number of federal administration officials have made statements which suggest that a concerted effort is underway to again terminate tribes in the United States. In April, the Health and Human Services department suggested that tribes should not have an exemption under Medicare and not have a requirement that their members have a job to receive the health care. If this decision is allowed to stand this could begin to unravel Tribal sovereignty in the United States. The administration assertion that tribes are a race, not sovereign tribal people suggests that the administration does not want to any longer uphold its longstanding fiduciary responsibility guaranteed to tribes under hundreds of tribal treaties, thousands of Indian case laws, and the U.S. Constitution, that collectively create laws and institute policies regarding how tribes are to be treated by the federal government, what rights tribes have, and assures some measure of sovereignty

read more Are Tribes Ready for Termination, Again?

Essential Historic Federal Government Documents of Grand Ronde (Document link)

Tribal people have asked for years about their treaties and about many of the original federal documents which shaped the tribe. Many people have been told or taught erroneous facts of the tribe and have an imperfect understanding of dates and documents. This is completely understandable as our history has been very diverse and complex and it very tough to put together all of the pieces. Most of these documents are available online in some manner and I have used them for years to work on our tribal histories. They are treaties, an executive order, the 1936 Constitution, the termination act documents from 1954 and 1956, the Restoration act, and the reservation act. Sixteen documents that are essential to our tribal history. I have presented these documents in their original archival form when I have them. A few are transcriptions or a online document because the original presentations are tough to come by. The project took about three hours to

read more Essential Historic Federal Government Documents of Grand Ronde (Document link)

The Neo-Colonization and Termination of Native Reservations 2017

Standing Rock camp is rounding up this week, after at least 10 months of activation to stop oil pipelines through North Dakota. At stake was the health and welfare of the Stand Rock Sioux who live on the Standing Rock Reservation. The encampment attracted upwards of 20,000 people who rotated in and out of the encampment, who wanted to protect the region from the probability of another oil pipeline breach, a fairly common problem for pipelines in the region. The pipeline was halted just before bridging the Cannonball river. The protectors faced severe opposition with state police and hired guards attacking the protectors in one of the most extreme examples of human rights abuses in the United States in recent memory. Standing Rock occurred despite having a democratic president in office, a president who would not order the conflict to cease and who never insisted on finding an equitable resolution. The conflict occurred despite there being a broad cross-section of American support for

read more The Neo-Colonization and Termination of Native Reservations 2017

To Improve the Status of Our First Citizens: The Irony and Fraud of Tribal Termination

“To improve the status of our first citizens” Oregon Governor Douglas McKay, July 14, 1950 Introduction McKay’s comment, is meant to be a statement of assurance and commitment to the tribes from the Oregon State government. However the irony is that the agreement reached did not honor the promises implied. The tribes were not treated as first citizens, and were in fact lied to by federal officials. There was no improvement of the status of these native peoples, because native people generally were an outcast minority and treated very similar to how Blacks and Latinos were treated. Other non-terminated tribes treated terminated Indians as if they were no longer Indian, as if they willingly gave up their heritage and culture. The title of Urban Indian and Terminated Indian were negatively used to disallow such people any rights to attend tribal gatherings on reservations. Then their lands, their foundations were literally sold out from under them by the government. Native people

read more To Improve the Status of Our First Citizens: The Irony and Fraud of Tribal Termination