U.S. Government Encourages Native Americans to Settle in Cities (Great Events from History II: Human Rights Series)
Article abstract: The United States government actively encouraged Native Americans to leave reservations and to settle in cities, contributing to a rapid increase in the number of urban Native Americans.
Summary of Event
From the end of the eighteenth century until the 1930’s, the United States government pursued a variety of policies in carrying out its constitutional responsibility for the conduct of Native-American relations. A succession of programs had as their goal the ultimate assimilation of Native Americans into the mainstream of American life. Such policies generally showed little respect for Native American culture and viewed tribes as barriers to successful assimilation. During the Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration, the direction of federal policy shifted dramatically with the passage of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. Tribes were again recognized as legal and important aspects of Native American life. Under the leadership of Commissioner of Indian Affairs John Collier, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) showed a new sensitivity to Native-American culture, and the pressure for assimilation lessened. This “Indian New Deal” seemed to indicate that a new era of Native-American policy was under way, one that would respect and sustain the distinctive character of Native American cultures. This policy direction, however, proved short-lived. In the late 1940’s, Congress and public opinion began...
(The entire section is 2421 words.)
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