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Native American Civil Right 1865-1992
What does Civil Rights mean for the Native Americans?
Generally refers to the idea of self-determination (the right to decide by whom you
are governed), land (reclaiming their lost land) and culture (preservation of
traditional way of life).
Reservation Policy state law would apply within reservations and would replace
Dawes Act 1887 imposed citizenship on NA landowners who had to pay taxes.
Lone Wolf vs Hitchcock 1903 "wards of the nation" not citizens no rights.
The Indian Citizenship Act 1924 citizenship extended to all NA most NA already
had the right to vote. For NA who just wanted tribal sovereignty this was not
desirable. Western states denied these rights anyway.
Harrison v. Laveen 1946 NA who wanted to express their political rights after being
denied a vote court decided in favour but many states still restricted voting rights.
Wheeler-Howard Act 1934 returned some lost rights of self-determination in the
administration of reservations.
Termination Policy 1953 End recognition of Tribes and treaties and would make all
NA subject to the same laws and rights of other American citizens.
Red Power 1960s Young NA took up the cause of promoting tribal sovereignty
the right to live according to tribal laws and way of life.
Nixon's Presidency NA given preferential employment in Bureau of Indian Affairs to
ensure control over administration of federal funding and promote NA leadership.
Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act 1975 allowed NA greater
control over their education, health and social service provision and gave NA parents
control over their children's education.
NARF CASES: Fisher v. Montana 1976 secured rights of tribal courts to decide on all
cases relating to the adoption of NA children. & Seminole Tribe v. Butterworth 1982
tribe had right to make gambling enterprise on reservation regardless of state law.
Reservation Policy usually reservations result of lands won from the defeated NA
or as a result of a treaty. However treaties were broken and NA lands were subject to
change by congress.
Battle of the Little Bighorn 1976 saw the further erosion of reservation lands.
Dawes Act 1887 Reservations recognised as `indian land' reduced by over half.
Lone Wolf vs Hitchcock 1903 supported power of congress to revoke treaties.
Bursum Bill 1922 further acquisition of lands blocked by AIDA.
Meriam Report 1928 condemned the allotment policy however Hoover did not
address the issue of allotted lands like the report suggested.
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Wheeler-Howard Act 1934 stopped NA lands from being sold to private buyers.
Restored some land lost to extend and create reservations.
WW2 Many NA moved into urban areas for work and to fight however forced back
at end of the war. Japanese Americans forced by the gov't onto NA land.
Indian Claims Commission 1964-78 set up from pressure by NCAI and service by NA
in WW2 to regain land given to them by treaties.…read more