ERIC Number: ED355071
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1986-May
Reference Count: N/A
The Original Americans: U.S. Indians. Third Edition.
About 1.5 million people in the United States identify themselves as Indians. Despite great cultural diversity, all Native groups have a common feature: they suffer poverty and related problems stemming from their relationship to White America. For four generations, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has exercised an incredible degree of economic and political control over Native communities, preventing the development of economic independence or true self-determination. The BIA is a rigid autocratic bureaucracy whose policies are formed in response to changing political fashions and whose institutional structure creates conflicts of interest over natural resources on Indian lands. The BIA's deficiencies are demonstrated in two case studies examining Northern Cheyenne coal resources and land rights and Paiute water rights near the Nevada/California border. This report then traces the history of Indian-White relations and developments in federal Indian policy, concentrating on the Dawes Act, the Meriam report, and policy changes from the Nixon to the Reagan presidency. Despite encouraging changes in governmental attitudes, as evidenced by Presidential proclamations and federal legislation, the majority of Americans continue to hold stereotypes that leave them unprepared for Indian demands and aspirations. The best hope of avoiding a backlash lies in educating non-Indians about the culture, history, and current predicament of Native peoples. (SV)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Minority Rights Group, London (England).