Buffy sainte marie wrote poignant and powerful songs

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Unformatted text preview: and great effort was made to “civilize” the tribes and to teach them Christianity and other aspects of Western culture. In an effort to accomplish this, young Indian children were often taken from their tribes and families and sent to distant government- or church- run boarding schools, sometimes thousands of miles away from their homes. By the 1930s, however, the Federal government acknowledged the failure of this approach and stopped expecting that Indians could be coaxed or coerced into abandoning their traditional tribal ways. The Indian Reorganization Act: In 1934, the passage of the Indian Reorganization Act acknowledged the enduring power and value of tribal organization and encouraged tribes to organize their own governments and to adopt their own constitutions and by- laws (subject to approval by the U.S. Department of the Interior). In addition, the act provided for the reacquisition of tribal lands and incorporated preferential treatment for the hiring of Indians to work within the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Progress under this act, however, was slowed once the United States entered World War II in 1941. After the war, pre- 8Nettl, Bruno. “Indian Music, Western Influence” Groves, Vol 13, p. 304. 16 Crossroads: Music of American Cultures (Barkley) Kendall Hunt Publishers, 2013 occupied with other post- war issues, policy makers decided it was time to end federal responsibility for Indian tribes. The Termination Period: In 1953, Congress resolved to work toward withdrawal of all federal support and responsibility for Indian affairs. Over the next two decades, the government withdrew federal services from about 11,500 Indians and stopped protecting 1.5 million acres of Indian land. Funds acquired from the selling of the land were divided among tribal members. Unfortunately, as in so many of the earlier policy decisions, this had a devastating effect on many Native Americans. 1970s Activism and Self- Determination: In 1970, Indian activists led by Russell Means and others organized the American Indian Movement (AIM) and publicly protested the condition of Native Americans by occupying Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. President Nixon also officially repudiated the termination policy, issuing in an era of “self- determination.” These new policies encouraged Indians to determine their own future by emphasizing tribal administration of programs dealing with health, education, welfare, housing, and law enforcement. Indian activists continued to fight for Indian rights, for example by occupying the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C. in 1972 and conducting a 71- day armed siege at the site of Wounded Knee in 1973. Others fought by testing the extent of Indian jurisdiction on reservations and asserting long- ignored treaty rights to land, water, and off- reservation hunting and fishing.9 In the late 1980s, because Indian tribes were now once again seen as sovereign nations and not under state jurisdiction, many tribes established gaming casinos on reservations in many states. By 2011, there were 460 gaming operations run by more than 200 of the nations’ federally- recognized tribes, generating a total annual revenue of $27 billion (Wikipedia, Accessed July 30, 2013). These tribal gaming operations have had both positive and negative effects. For example, the increase in economic activity has brought many young adults back to the reservations and decreased unemployment, but it has also increased the rate of bankruptcy and violent crime.10 Native Americans Today By 1990, the steady and steep increase in Indian population that had begun at the turn of the century had expanded their numbers from 250,000 to 1.8 million.11 Data collectors for Census 2000 began their counting of Americans symbolically with Native Americans in Alaska, and when the nation’s...
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