Native Americans and Hispanic Americans

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Native Americans
Affirmative Action
During the mid 1960's, the advances of The Civil Rights Movement in general
and the racial consciousness of Black Power encouraged other racial groups
to campaign for themselves.
Johnson in 1968 wanted to launch a policy of affirmative action that would
seek to ensure that organisation receiving federal funds were to include racial
1. This may mean that educational applications from minorities would be
favoured than those of white counterparts.
Affirmative action proved a controversial policy both politically and legally. It
also provided new opportunities not only for African Americans but for
smaller minority groups.
Legal Action
Attempts by the National Congress of American Indians to bring legal action
to federal government to take back their reservation land made only limited
progress by the mid 1960's
Fishing rights and a chance for education was also discussed.
Younger members of the Native American tribes were critical of the National
Congress' slow progress ­ just like the AA's impatience with the NAACP.
A new council emerged in 1960 ­ the National Indian Youth Council, similar to
In 1968, after the Washington State Supreme Court ruled against fishing
rights, the Indians had fish in ­ similar to a sit in.
This action was not successful, but did prevent Eisenhower from ending their
residential rights in 1958 by successful court action.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs
One Native American complaint was that they felt they had made little
headway against the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
1. The biggest example of this was in 1964 when Californian tribes were
given a mere 47 cents per acre of land (the market value in 1861) as
compensation because of land taken from them 100 years ago.
President Kennedy's promises of action on Indian rights had not been fulfilled
by the time he was assassinated in 1963.
Rift to the Towns
Native American had little desire for integration into white society unlike early
black civil rights.
Their chiefs were concerned that with Native American population doubling to
1M from 1945-80, the younger generations had drifted to the towns and
away from the reservations.
By 1970's, 40% were living in urban centres like Oakland California, assisted by
government ­sponsored relocation programmes.
Unfamiliar patterns of work along with loneliness in an alien environment led
to continued poverty and discrimination.
Living Standards

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The increase in Native Americans was not matched by an increase in their
living standards
Tuberculosis, Trachoma, alcoholism and illiteracy were all still seen as major
Life expectancy was 44, 20 years lower than the US average
Suicide rates for 16-25 year olds were well above the national average
Gerald Nagel's study on Native American's conditions estimated that
between 80-95% of their housing was `dilapidated, makeshift, unsanitary and
crowded condition'. National average being 8%.…read more

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Police Treatment
White police treatment of Mexicans, unlike the racism against African
Americans, was still nonetheless prejudice.
A case where a white officer was alleged to have shot a Mexican was
eventually abandoned as a conviction was very unlikely.
This could be explained by the fact that few Mexicans were chosen to be on
the jury
There were few Mexican Police and FBI agents and only 6/1000 working in the
south-western USA in the late 1960's.
At this point, 3 important influences emerged.…read more

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Tijerina was arrested and charged with kidnapping and assault on a jail where
some of his members were imprisoned. In a celebrated case held in
Albuquerque, he was acquitted in December 1968, and militant activity
What was the situation by the late 1960's?
Each of the ethnic minorities surveyed had its own distinctive issues and problems in
the post-war generation and they all reacted in different ways.…read more

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What had the Native Americans achieved by 1980?
1969, the Nixon administration appointed a Mohawk-Sioux, Louis R. Bruce, as
commissioner for Indian Affairs. The government later returned 40,000 acres
of sacred land to the Taos Pueblos Indians.
1970, Nixon assured the tribes they would be given greater autonomy. The
intention was to free the NA's from federal supervision and to transfer the
cost of their support to the states ­ it failed.…read more

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The bulk of Mexican immigrants were poor, illiterate peasants who remained
They continued to suffer from low levels of education, high unemployment
and low paid dead-end jobs.
Chicanos were the 2nd largest minority group in the country. Should they not,
therefore, have achieved greater advances? Perhaps they suffered from the ways in
which they saw themselves not as permanent US residents, but as temporary
workers.…read more


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