(This section is currently under revision; completion is expected by Summer 2011)
This organization sought, and still seeks, to resurrect a sense of national pride among young Indian people and to instill an activist message - Indians were no longer to bow their heads in humble obedience to the BIA and other institutions of white society. Instead, they were to look back to their own great cultural traditions and make decisions about their lives based upon such traditions.
At least 43,000 American Indians fought in the Vietnam War.
This Congressional Act revised Public Law 280 by requiring states to obtain tribal consent prior to extend any legal jurisdiction over an Indian reservation. It also gave most protections of the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment to tribal members in dealings with their tribal governments. ICRA also amended the Major Crimes Act to include assault resulting in serious bodily harm.
Shortly after the Minneapolis Anishinaabeg formed an "Indian Patrol" to monitor police activities in Indian neighborhoods, AIM was co-founded by Dennis Banks. The new organization was comprised primarily of young urban Indians who believed that direct and militant confrontation with the US government was the only way to redress historical grievances and to gain contemporary civil rights; and that the tribal governments organized under the IRA (1934) were not truly legitimate or grounded in traditional Indian ways. By the 1990s, AIM was still active in Indian affairs, but was less involved in militant confrontation.
. A group of young Indians seized the abandoned Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco harbor. They issued a "Proclamation to the Great White Father" in which they stated their claim that Alcatraz was suitable as an Indian Reservation and thus, should be converted into an Indian educational and cultural center. The Indians of All Tribes continued to occupy Alcatraz until June, 1971.
President Nixon delivered a speech to Congress which denounced past federal policies, formally ended the termination policy, and called for a new era of self-determination for Indian peoples.
Over 500 Indian activists traveled across the United States to Washington, DC where they planned to meet with BIA officials and to deliver a 20-point proposal for revamping the BIA and establishing a government commission to review treaty violations. When guards at the BIA informed the tribal members that Bureau officials would not meet with them and threatened forcible removal from the premises, the activists began a week-long siege of the BIA building. The BIA finally agreed to review the 20 demands and to provide funds to transport the activists back to their home. Shortly thereafter, the FBI classified AIM as "an extremist organization" and added the names of its leaders to the list of "key extremists" in the US.
This Congressional Act established funding for special bilingual and bicultural programs, culturally relevant teaching materials, and appropriate training and hiring of counselors. It also created an Office of Indian Education in the US Department of Education.
At the Pine Ridge Reservation of the Oglala Sioux in South Dakota, trouble had been brewing between the Indian activists that supported AIM, and tribal leaders who had the support of the BIA. After a violent confrontation in 1972, tribal chair Richard Wilson condemned AIM and banned it from the reservation. In February 1973, AIM leaders led by Russell Means and about 200 activists who were supported by some Oglala traditional leaders took over the village of Wounded Knee, announced the creation of the Oglala Sioux Nation, declared themselves independent from the United States, and defined their national boundaries as those determined by the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie. The siege lasted 71 days, during which time federal marshals, FBI agents, and armored vehicles surrounded the village. AIM members finally agreed to end their occupation under one condition - that the government convene a full investigation into their demands and grievances.
In June, two FBI agents entered the Pine Ridge Reservation ostensibly looking for a tribal member on theft and assault charges. Shots were fired under confusing circumstances, resulting in the death of the two agents and one AIM member. The violence that ensued was coupled with the criminalization of the AIM movement, the result of which was an undermining of the Indian movement for self-determination.
This Congressional Act recognized the obligation of the US to provide for maximum participation by American Indians in Federal services to and programs in Indian communities. It also established a goal to provide education and services to permit Indian children to achieve, and declared a commitment to maintain the Federal government's continuing trust relationship, and responsibility to, individual Indians and tribes.
Leaders from over 20 tribes created CERT to help Indians secure better terms from corporations that sought to exploit valuable mineral resources on reservations.
Two years after the siege at Wounded Knee, conditions at the Pine Ridge Reservation had deteriorated. AIM activists and supporters continuedto clash directly with tribal Chairman Wilson and his men. In 1975, two FBI agents were killed and AIM activist Leonard Peltier was arrested, tried, and convicted for the deaths. Sentenced to double life imprisonment, Peltier's arrest and conviction are still the subject of heated controversy among many American political activists.
This Senate resolution re-established the SCIA. The Committee was originally created in the early nineteenth century, but disbanded in 1946 when Indian affairs legislative and oversight jurisdiction was vested in subcommittees of the Interior and Insular Affairs Commission of the House and Senate. The Committee became permanent in 1984. Its jurisdiction includes studying the unique issues related to Indian and Hawaiian peoples and proposing legislation to deal with such issues - issues which include but are not limited to Indian education, economic development, trust responsibilities, land management, health care, and claims against the US. government.
The Commission, established in 1975, issued its report in which it called for a firm rejection of assimilationist policies, increased financial assistance to the tribes, and a reaffirmation of the tribes' status as permanent, self-governing institutions.
This Congressional Act addressed the widespread practice of transferring the care and custody of Indian children to non-Indians. It recognized the authority of tribal courts to hear the adoption and guardianship cases of Indian children and established a strict set of statutory guidelines for those cases heard in state court.
This Congressional Act promised to "protect and preserve for American Indians their inherent right of freedom to believe, express, and exercise" traditional religions, "including but not limited to access to sites, use and possession of sacred objects, and the freedom to worship through ceremonial and traditional rites." Although the enactment seemed to recognize the importance of traditional Indian religious practices, it contained no enforcement provisions.
When a Santa Clara woman married a Navajo, the tribal council denied her children membership in the Santa Clara Pueblo based upon a 1939 tribal ordinance that denied membership to children of women who married outside the tribe. The woman sued to grant membership to her children. The Court held that Indian tribes are "distinct, independent political communities retaining their original natural rights in matters of self-government." In short, the Court held that the Court itself did not have the right to interfere in tribal self-government issues such as tribal membership.
The Court considered the question of whether the power to punish tribal offenders is "part of inherent tribal sovereignty, or an aspect of the sovereignty of the Federal Government which has been delegated to the tribes by Congress." He concluded: "The sovereignty that the Indian tribes retain is of a unique and limited character. It exists only at the sufferance of Congress and is subject to complete defeasance. But until Congress acts, the tribes retain their existing sovereign powers. In sum, Indian tribes still possess those aspects of sovereignty not withdrawn by treaty or statute, or by implication as a necessary result of their dependent status." In short, Indian nations were sovereign, but such sovereignty was limited and subject to Congressional whim.
This Congressional Act established the Branch of Acknowledgment and Research within the BIA to evaluate the claims of non-recognized Indian tribes for Federal acknowledgement. The project created a uniform process for reviewing acknowledgement claimaints with widelly varying backgrounds and histories. In 1994, the Project regulations were amended.