As Commissioner of Indian Affairs, John Collier was a long-term advocate for Indian tribes. In the 1920s, John Collier, a trained sociologist, led efforts in Washington, D.C. to repeal the Dawes Indian Allotment Act (1887) and its overt attempt to assimilate Indians. John Collier was very critical of the Indian Office and in 1928 wrote the Meriam Report, published as, “The Problem of Indian Administration” with the support of Congress. In 1962, John Collier had this to say about his earlier understandings of Indian society. “In those years, I still took for granted our modern fatalism: that the Indian’s spirit, … Continue reading John Collier and Indian Termination Policy
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 … Continue reading Lessons from the Indian Internment at Indian Reservations and Boarding Schools
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 … Continue reading Are Tribes Ready for Termination, Again?
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 … Continue reading Essential Historic Federal Government Documents of Grand Ronde (Document link)
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 … Continue reading The Neo-Colonization and Termination of Native Reservations 2017