Diversity • Culture • Language • Kinship system • Political - economic • In 1500 Native American population stood at 10,000,000 and by 1900 declined to less than 250,000
Government Actions toward Native Americans • 1778 - Continental Congress: Reaffirms 1763 British policy (tribes accorded independent nation status; lands west of the Appalachian mountains are Native American; royal government must approve all land purchases). • 1787 - Northwest Territory Ordinance: Opens the Midwest for settlement; declares U.S. government responsible for Native American property rights and liberty. • 1824 - Bureau of Indian Affairs is created under the jurisdiction of the secretary of war. • 1830 - Indian Removal Bill: Mandates all Indians must move west of the Mississippi.
Government Actions toward Native Americans • Indian Removal Act (1830) • This act called for the expulsion of all Native Americans from southeastern states and their relocation to the territory west of the Mississippi. • Combining two Supreme Court Cases (1832), the court ruled that the Cherokee were a “domestic dependent nation”. • 1830–1880 - As forced segregation becomes the new Native American reality most reservations are established. • 1871 - Appropriations bill rider: ended federal recognition of Native American tribes as independent or as “domestic dependent nations”
Government Actions (continued) • made tribes wards of the government, no longer independent nations; legislation, not negotiation, is to determine any new arrangements. • 1887 - Dawes Act: Reservations divided in tracts, allotted to individual tribal members; surplus land sold. • 1898 - Curtis Act: Terminates tribal governments that refuse allotment to individual tribal members; surplus land sold. • 1906 - Burke Act: Eliminates Native Americans’ right to lease their land, with the intent to force Native Americans to work the land themselves.
Government Actions (continued) • 1924 - Indian Citizenship Act: Grants US citizenship • 1934 - Indian Reorganization Act: Ends allotment, encourages tribal self-government; restores freedom of religion; extends financial credit to the tribes • gave preference in BIA employment to Native Americans • permitted consolidation of Native American lands split up through inheritance, and • promotes revival of Native American culture and crafts. • 1952 - Relocation Program: Moves Native Americans at government expense to urban areas for better jobs.
Government Actions (continued) • 1953 - Termination Act: Elimination of reservation systems, ends federal services and tax immunity. • From 1953-1954 a series of bills sought to end federal responsibility for welfare and administration of Native Americans. • 1972 - Indian Education Act • 1973 - Menominee Restoration Act: Revokes termination and restores Menominee’s reservation and tribal status. • 1974 - Indian Finance Act: Grants and loans forNative American enterprises and development projects . • 1975 - Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act: Expands tribal control over reservation programs; provides funding for public schools on/near reservations.
The Termination Act of 1953 • The most controversial governmental policy toward reservation life • It reduced costs and ignored individual needs • Federal services were stopped immediately • The effect of the governmental order was disastrous • In 1975, the government resumed the services
Government Actions (continued) • 1976 - Indian Health Care Improvement Act: Provides funds to build/renovate hospitals, add personnel, scholar-ships for Native Americans in Indian Health Service. • From 1977-1990 most tribes that had been terminated had their federal recognition restored, but in many cases, not their land. • 1978 - Education Amendments Act: Gives substantial control over education programs to Native Americans. • 1978 - Tribally Controlled Community College Assistance Act: Provides grants to tribal community colleges.
Government Actions (continued) • 1978 - Indian Child Welfare Act: Restricts placement of Native American children into non-Native American homes. • 1978 - American Indian Religious Freedom Act: Protects Native American religious rights, including peyote use. • 1988 - Indian Gaming Regulatory Act • 1993 - Religious Freedom Restoration Act: Restores standards of review for American Indian Religious Freedom Act that were overturned by a Supreme Court ruling in 1990. • 1993 - Omnibus Indian Advancement Act: Establishes foundation for gifts to BIA schools; increases economic development opportunities for tribes; improves tribal governance. • 1990 - Indian Art & Craft Act
Ten Largest American Indian Tribal Groupings, 2000
Reservation Life & Federal Policies • Approximately 25% of the Native American population live on reservations with approximately 75% living in Urban areas • There are slightly over 557 recognized reservations in the United States
Native American Legal Claims • From 1836 to 1946 Native Americans could not bring a claim against the government without an Act of Congress • Only 142 claims were heard during this period • In 1946 Congress established the Indian Claims Commission to hear claims against the government
Native American Legal Claims • Led to an increase in claims • Commission was extended until 1978 - now cases are heard by U.S. Court of Claims • Amount of awards and setoffs • The case of the Black Hills • Desire to recover land over financial settlement
Employment Assistance Program • Program led to the relocation from reservations to urban areas • Provided educational and business assistance • Impact on the economic development of the reservation and the brain drain • Return to the reservation
Sovereignty • While collaborative action gathering cannot be minimized, there continues to be a strong effort to maintain tribal sovereignty or tribal self-rule
Collective Action • Pan-Indianism • Intertribal movement and solidarity • Emerged out of the effects of internal colonialism • A social movement attempting to establish a Native American ethnic identity instead of just a tribal identity • has not been completely accepted as many Native Americans prefer to preserve their own tribal identity. • Action occurred at Alcatraz (1969) and at Wounded Knee, SD (1973)
Red Power • National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), founded in Denver 1948 • Political role of NCAI • Provides national leadership on issues facing tribal communities throughout the United States. Services include legislative alerts and lobbying. • Founded in response to termination and assimilation policies that the United States forced upon the tribal governments in contradiction of their treaty rights and status as sovereigns. • NCAI stressed the need for unity and cooperation among tribal governments for the protection of their treaty and sovereign rights. • Since 1944, the National Congress of American Indians has been working to inform the public and Congress on the governmental rights of American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Collective Action • Urban problems and AIM- founded by Clyde Bellecourt and Dennis Banks in 1968 at Minneapolis, MN • Fishing rights in the Northwest and fish-ins • Takeover of Alcatraz in 1969 • Red Power • Aim and the Ogallala Sioux and Wounded Knee
Native Americans Today • Economic development - high rate of unemployment and poverty • Tourism and the double edged sword • source of income but also a source of degradation • Cottage industries • Income from mineral rights • Casino gambling
Native Americans Today • Government employment • BIA subculture • Education • Federal control of Native American education • BIA schools • Some tribes formed their own education systems • Educational Attainment - drop out or pushout rate is 50% higher than for Blacks or Hispanics • Testing, schooling and the crossover effect
Education • Under-enrollment at all levels, from the primary grades through college • The need to adjust to a school with values sometimes dramatically different from those of the home • The need to make the curriculum more relevant • The under-financing of tribal community colleges • The unique hardships encountered by reservation-born Native Americans who later live in and attend schools in large cities • The language barrier faced by the many children who have little or no knowledge of English
Healthcare • High rate of: 1. Alcoholism and mortality 2. Under nutrition 3. Tuberculosis and death 4. High rate of teenage suicide • Lack of access to health care resources
Religious Expression • American Indian Religious Freedom Act passed by Congress in 1978 • Act contains no penalties and enforcement provisions • Native American Church - ritualistic use of peyote and marijuana • In 1994, Congress amended the Indian Religious Freedom Act to allow Native Americans the right to use, transport, and possess peyote for religious purposes
Environment • CERT was formed in 1976 - Council of Energy Resource Tribes • Consisted of twenty-five of the West’s largest tribes • Other tribes were added later • Purpose to protect and develop tribal natural resources such as natural gas • Environmental justice • Continued land disputes • Environmental justice • Balance between environmental and economic needs • Spiritual needs
Native Americans - Still Exploited • Today, many people in the U.S. are oblivious to Native Americans’ problems and consider them quaint relics of the past; others find them undesirable and some want their land and will use almost any means to secure it. • Native Americans still encounter discrimination in stores, bars, and housing, particularly in cities and near the reservations. They have been beaten or killed and their property rights infringed on. • Of all the minorities in the United States, according to government statistics on income, Native Americans are the “poorest of the poor.”
Present-Day Native American Life • By 2002 the Native American and Alaska native population was 2.8 million. • The Native American birth rate is almost twice the national average. • Half the population of Native Americans live on reservations that provide inadequate economic support. • Chronic unemployment is a serious problem. • Some tribes have succeeded through their own efforts.
Present-Day Native American Life • The average life span in some tribes is 45 years. • Nationally, the average life span is about 10 years less than the average. • Deaths by suicide among Native American males aged 15 to 24 is 50% greater than among the general population’s youth. • The most serious problem facing Native Americans today is alcohol abuse.
Still Exploited (continued) • Encroachment on Native American land continues. Water and energy needs have led government and industry to look covetously at reservation land once considered worthless. • Poor, but with large tracts of isolated land, Native Americans in recent years have seen their reservations recommended as toxic-waste dumping grounds. • Urban sprawl and agribusiness have prompted whites to sink deep wells around reservations in Arizona, siphoning off the water reserves of several tribes. • A growing number of sacred Native American sites are under threat from housing developments and industrial plants.
Present-Day Native American Life • The Educational Amendments Act of 1978 gave substantial control over school programs to the Native American communities. • Bilingual Native American language programs in 17 states help preserve ancestral language and teach English to children who were raised in homes where only their tribal language was spoken. • One of the most visible signs of Native Americans’ economic deprivation is reservation house.
Urban Native Americans • About 70 percent of all Native Americans live in urban areas or away from the reservations. • Twice as many urban Native Americans live in poverty compared to all other racial and ethnic groups combined. • Although urban Native Americans are more likely to be employed than those who remain on the reservation, they do not achieve any improved income earnings, on average, until after five years of residence in the city.
Social Indicators About Native American Progress (in percentages)
The Courts • In the late 20th century legal efforts to force the government to honor tribes’ treaty rights were more numerous and successful. • Legal action occurred in • South Dakota Maine • Washington Wyoming • Colorado New Mexico • New York