Reorganization, Termination, Self-Determination and Contemporary Issues
- Resistance, Resilience, and Traditionalism
Expressions of Euro-American Values
Continuation of Extinction of the American Indian, oscillating with legal "Granting of Sovereignty" and, for first time emerging in federal policy, American Pluralism (stems in part from "romanticism of Indian," as well as extension of "Bill of Rights" to all - instead of a "melting pot" we have a "rich stew with distinct flavors, and perhaps separate dishes on the same table?").
Process and Influences
Indigenous Context: despite efforts to extinguish expressions of Indigenous culture and inherent sovereignty, those practices and values continue to thrive, albeit "underground" and in the "heart," among some communities and within many extended families among the Plateau Tribes. Review "Tribal Sovereignty" in Schitsu'umsh L3. Governed typically by hereditary-headmen (with oratory skills, setting the example by their behavior) who built and ruled by consensus of the entire community, with decisions that had typically long-term, community-wide impact.
1924 rendered "dual citizens," of the United States and of each individual's own Tribal Nation (done in gratitude for WWI service, and also step in getting out of the "Indian Business")
Cultural Pluralism John Collier (1884-1968, Indian Advocate and Commissioner of Indian Affairs),
Merriam Report of 1928 (detailed 800 page study of the conditions of the American Indian),
1934 Indian Reorganization Act (Wheeler-Howard Act). Seeks to: 1. rehabilitate economics, establishing a revolving fund to finance Indian economic independence, a credit system; 2. promote self-determination in an elected municipal-style government (e.g., establish Business Councils such as with the Spokane, Executive Committee such as with the Nez Perce, Tribal Council with board of 7 as with the Coeur d'Alene, or the entire Tribe as with the Crow, or blends such as Warm Springs with elected and hereditary "chiefs;" rule by majority vote not consensus of all, elected by and represent "constituent" populations, enacting decisions often for short-term benefit, i.e., to remain in power); 3. restore religious expression, lifting bans on ceremonies and dances, provided funds for education, including Indian history, arts, economic life (facilitating, for example, pan-Indian "powwow," from Algonquin "pauau," gathering of spiritual leaders; and public return of "sweating" and "medicine dances"); 4. ended practice of Allotment. The Act slowed the practice of assigning tribal lands to individual tribal members and reduced the loss, through the practice of "checker boarding" 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.
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. Nez Perce example: Archie Phinney drafted the Constitution in 1948, with a central governing body (Executive Committee), with all adult members of the General Council. Ratified by secret ballot vote, 93 to 77 (next year opponents seek to resend but Commissioner rule in favor of first vote, reflecting anything but universal support of new governance).
The legacy of the "Blood Quantum Laws" - who can vote and benefit from IRA? - "enrollment" status universally re-introduced via IRA (a "racial-based" criteria first used as early as 1705 in Virginia to classify Indians eligible for benefits; Tribes decide either full or partial 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16 blood quantum; contrasts with Indigenous criteria for community membership; Issues: limit or expand services/resources, creates implicit racism and schism between "full bloods" and "mix bloods", adoptees excluded, ultimate extinction).
Questions of Taxation and Revenues for Government and Infrastructural Operations (Federal Treaty Obligations, Economic Enterprises in Natural Resources and Gaming and other, Seeking Grants and Awards).
Growth of Indigenous Political-Cultural, Inter-Tribal Advocacy Organizations to counter Federal governance and state interference.
1953 Termination Policy (Sen. Watkins's so-called Indian "Emancipation Proclamation" extending same rights and responsibilities to Indian citizens, and abrogating all treaty and trust federal responsibilities and obligations, eliminating schools, hospitals, local governmental infrastructure services; some 109 tribes terminated between 1953 and 1958, including the Klamath, with the Colville targeted; Tribal communities found themselves "penniless, homeless and in disorder" ill-equipped to provide any services to their people), and in 1954 Public Law 280 (transferred federal law enforcement, including civil and criminal jurisdiction, to state agencies, blatantly unilaterally abrogating Treaty; in Oregon except Warm Springs and partial application in Washington and Idaho).
1975 Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (reverses Termination policy, allowing Tribes to negotiate contracts with BIA to administer own education, health and social services, as well as provide grants to further assume Tribal responsibility over federal programs; by year 2000, roughly a half of all BIA obligations taken over by Tribal entities). Example of the Benewah Medical and Wellness Center Lifelong Learning site (includes interviews) and Tribal site
Continuing Concerns and Challenges and Hope
1982 Salmon and David SoHappy (outline of still images and key historical events leading up to the 1982 "Salmon Scam" 50 min). Continuing mistrust and prejudice.
"Traditionalism" - "stable bones and supple flesh"
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