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Reservation to Resurgence-Contemporary Context - Essay Example

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Native Americans within the current United States of America are made up of several unique tribes or ethnic groups, which are represented as political communities. These distinct ethnic groups are collectively referred to as American Indians. Since the 15th century, migration of…
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Reservation to Resurgence-Contemporary Context
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Download file to see previous pages Upon establishment of the USA, the ruling political class agreed to civilize the Native Americans, voluntarily or through force, to enhance their assimilation as citizens of the USA (Treuer 44).
At the beginning of the 20th century, there were an estimated 250,000 Native Americans; this represented 0.3% of the total USA population. They lived in reservations where they experienced minimal level of self government. During the 19th century, they were deprived a huge portion of their land through succession of treaties, which the white authorities mostly ignored, and also through the military actions of the USA as it increased control in the American west. In 1831 John Marshall, who was the Chief Justice, tried to define the status of the Native Americans. He illustrated the Indian Tribes as Domestic Dependant Nations. Marshall recognized the uniqueness of the American Indians because they are both independent nations and part of the USA (Edward 23).
As from 1887 to 1933, the federal policy enhances the assimilation of the Native Indians into the mainstream society of the USA. This policy was explained in the Dawes Act of 1887. The act decreed that the Indian Reservation land should be divided into plots, and given to each Native American. This policy was enhance by the Supreme Court decision in 1903 (Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock) that Congress can dispose Indian Land without obtaining consent form the Indians involved (Francis 12). The Citizenships Act in 1924 gave US citizenships to Native Americans; this was seen as a success of the policy on assimilation.
The current legal status in the USA recognizes 562 tribal governments. The federally recognized tribal governments have the right of establishing their governments, enforce laws within their jurisdictions, create tax policies, formulate membership criteria, license activities like business, exclude and include persons in their territories ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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