1831 Supreme Court rules that Native Americans are “domestic

1877 – 1933
1953 – 1961
Supreme Court rules that Native Americans are
“domestic dependent nations”, with the United States
assuming the role of a guardian.Trail of Tears: Cherokee Nation moved from
Georgia to the Mid-West.
Indian Appropriation Act: allows the creation of Native American reservations in
“Peace Policy”: relocation of tribes under the leadership of religious men in order
to teach the Christian faith. The relocation programme causes many wars, namely
The Sioux War, with its figureheads Sitting Bull and General Custer.
Dawes Act: Native American land divided into small plots and given to individual
Native American = allows land-hungry white people to buy Native American
land. Native Americans were promised full citizenship if they adopted “the habits
of civilized life”, meaning that many Native Americans were educated in boarding
schools away from their parents to “kill the Indian in him and save the man.”
Citizenship Act gives citizenship to all Native Americans, yet in many western
states Native Americans are denied the vote.
Meriam Report states that most Native Americans live in extreme poverty,
suggests that Native Americans should not be deprived of their culture.
US aim to assimilate Native Americans into mainstream American society (similar
to the work of missionaries elsewhere) in order to lead them from barbarism to
Christian civilization.
Indian Reorganization Act (IRA): further sale of Native American land banned,
granted Native American communities some self-government and autonomy.
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) established. Creates new respect for Native
American culture but does not help
to solve the poor state of many reservations and the problems of 100,000
homeless Native Americans. Efforts in Arizona to improve the education of
Native American children.World War II: About 25,000 Native Americans serve in
the army. In the west, Native American land is used to build gunnery ranges or
intern Japanese-Americans in camps. Many Native Americans move to cities to
work in war-related industries where they are often met with discrimination just
like the Mexican workers.
Indian Claims Commission set up to deal with stolen land claims. Does provide
financial compensation but does not return any land to Native Americans.
Policy of Termination of the Reservations. Native Americans on reservations are
subjected to the same laws as other US citizens. Sale of guns and alcohol to
Native Americans banned. Termination opens up new possibilities for white
people to purchase valuable Native American land. Stops federal funds for health
and education services. Encourages assimilation.
American Indian Movement (AIM) founded. Tries to raise awareness for the
plight of the Native Americans.
First Native American casino opens in Florida. Gambling provides many
reservations with a good income today.