By Alison R. Bernstein
The effect of worldwide conflict II on Indian affairs used to be extra profound and lasting than that of the other occasion or policy--including Roosevelt’s Indian New Deal and efforts to terminate federal accountability for tribes below Eisenhower. targeting the interval from 1941 to 1947, Alison R. Bernstein explains why termination and tribal self-determination have been logical result of the Indians’ international struggle II stories in conflict and at the domestic entrance.
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Extra resources for American Indians and World War II: toward a new era in Indian affairs
It begins with the first phase of the Collier era, but it places these early efforts in the context of the extraordinary and irreversible changes in Indian affairs which came as a result of the war. Roosevelt's appointment of John Collier as commissioner of Indian affairs in 1933 signaled a shift in both the approach and the practices of the federal government. " As a social service worker on the lower east side of New York at the turn of the century, he focused his attention upon bettering the communal aspects of life in the immigrant ghettos.
Within the space of four decades, 50 percent of the original area of allotted land passed from Indian to white ownership. The power of the secretary of the interior to convert allotted lands held in trust by the government into lands that could be purchased by whites contributed to the alienation of Indian lands. "44 By 1940 only 52,000 acres of allotted lands were still owned by the original allottees; 58,000 acres had passed to the heirs of the original allottees and to the heirs of heirs. "45 In carrying out the Dawes Act, which was designed to turn all Indians into farmers, the government had often misunderstood the land.
They concluded that while Collier was well intentioned, the federal government had overestimated the resources of reservations and had underestimated the complexity of the Indians' land problems. The question of whether the reservation could serve as a viable base for Indians in 1940 was obscured first by the confusion within the Indian Bureau over population figures. Demographers pointed out that no single definition distinguished an American Indian from a non-Indian. Hence, there was no authoritative way of determining the number of Indians living in the United States.
American Indians and World War II: toward a new era in Indian affairs by Alison R. Bernstein