Indian Reorganization Act Case Study

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The birth of the Bureau of Indian Affairs signaled the beginning of a series of extermination and assimilation policies directed towards the native tribal nations, leaving a devastating impact on the Native American legacy. In an official apology on behalf of the BIA given at its 175th anniversary, Kevin Gover stated that “from the very beginning, the Office of Indian Affairs was an instrument by which the United States enforced its ambition against the Indian nations.” The interest of the Indian people was never the goal of the agency despite its title, and the real purpose of its foundation had always been the removal of Indian problems by forced policies.
John Collier, the Commissioner of Indian affairs appointed By FDR, aimed to improve …show more content…

He considered the Indian culture as a natural practice of noble virtues of humanity which should be preserved and protected from western influence. The Indian Reorganization Act was passed in order to correct the mistakes made by the Dawes General Allotment Act, with new policies such as Federal scholarships …show more content…

In fear of silt accumulation interfering with the Hoover Dam’s functioning, a livestock reduction program was implemented to minimize the effects of overgrazing. But Collier failed to predict its consequences among the Navajo sheepherders. As a matter of fact, sheeps, goats and horses were all essential parts of Navajo life, both economically and spiritually; being forced to slaughter the livestocks proved to be devastating for the families who relied on them. Eventually the herd size was cut by half in return for some minor reservation expansions.
The Red Progressives, who were influenced by pan-tribalism ideology, called for the abolition of the BIA to free the Indians from federal control. They persuaded many tribes of the lack of meaningful Indian input in the New Deal, and that ending land allotment and restricting land purchase were in violation of the United States Constitution. They further promoted to remove excessive federal wardship in reservations, and urged federal government to settle Indian

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