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Reestablishing Indian Self-Governance

Neal McCaleb

In 1898 tribes were stripped of any right to control their own affairs. After a hundred-year fight with Congress, Native Americans finally regained the right to govern themselves.

In 1898 tribes were stripped of any right to control their own affairs.

Indian Reorganization Act

1934


The Wheeler-Howard Bill became known as the Indian Reorganization Bill or IRA. It was proposed by the new Commissioner of Indian Affairs, John Collier who believed the breakup of the former tribal governments was a mistake. He believed in the sanctity of tribal land. The Act was intended to “conserve and develop Indian lands and resources; to extend to Indians the right to form businesses and other organizations; to establish a credit system for Indians; to grant certain rights of home rule; to provide for vocational opportunities and for other purposes.” The bill received mixed support among the Five Tribes but was generally supported by the Chickasaws. On June 18, 1934 the bill became Public Law 383.

For more information on the Indian Reorganization Act click here.

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