Indian Reorganization Act of 1934
US Citizenship conferred on all American Indians in 1924, rendering Indians with dual citizenship, that of their own Nation and that of the United States.
Cultural Pluralism and John Collier (Commissioner of Bureau of Indian Affairs 1933 - 45)
Merriam Report of 1928 (detailed 800 page study of the conditions of the American Indian)
Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934, also known as the Wheeler-Howard Act or informally, the Indian New Deal, was a U.S. federal legislation which secured certain rights to Native Americans, including Alaska Natives. The IRA was perhaps the most significant initiative of John Collier Sr.
These changes included a reversal of the Dawes Act's privatization of common holdings of American Indians;
Return to local self-government on a tribal basis, modeled after common U.S. municipalities, with elected officials, with legislative roles. Establish Business Councils such as with the Spokane, Executive Committee such as with the Nez Perce, Tribal Council, board of 7 as with the Coeur d'Alene, or the entire Tribe as with the Crow.
The Act also restored to Native Americans better management of their assets (being mainly land) and included provisions intended to create a sound economic foundation for the inhabitants of;
Establish a revolving fund to finance Indian economic independence, a credit system;
Provided funds for education, including Indian history, arts, economic life;
Section 18 of the IRA conditions application of the IRA on a majority vote of the affected Indian nation or tribe within one year of the effective date of the act (25 U.S.C. 478). Each Tribe could vote on acceptance or rejection and on which part to approve or disapprove. For example: Blackfeet and Cheyenne accept fully, while Crow didn't accept the government provision.
The act did not require tribes to adopt a constitution. However, if the tribe chose to do so, the constitution had to:
Allow the tribal council to employ legal counsel;
Prohibit the tribal council from engaging any land transitions without majority approval of the tribe;
Authorize the tribal council to negotiate with the Federal, State, and local governments.
Evidently, some of these restrictions were eliminated by the Native American Technical Corrections Act of 2003.
The act slowed the practice of assigning tribal lands to individual tribal members and reduced the loss, through the practice of "checkerboarding" land sales to non-members within tribal areas, of native holdings. Owing to this Act and to other actions of federal courts and the government, over two million acres of land were returned to various tribes in the first 20 years after passage of the act.
source in part: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Reorganization_Act
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