Turtle Mountain Band Rescued - Termination Set Aside
December 15, 1954
The prevailing mood in Washington has been to end federal responsibility for Indian reservations. This policy of termination would end all government assistance to and control over reservations. In August 1953 Congress, without Indian consultation, approved the policy of termination and urged the Department of the Interior to move as rapidly as possible to end the reservation system.
In 1954 authorities drew up a list of ten tribes which, they thought, were economically strong enough to survive without government assistance. The Turtle Mountain Band made the list.
Realizing that this would be disastrous for the people, tribal chairman Patrick Gourneau led a delegation to Washington to testify against inclusion on the termination list. The delegation argued that the Band was not economically self-sufficient, and had high unemployment and a very small land base. Fortunately, as a result of the hearing the Turtle Mountain Band has been removed from the list.
The coercive termination policy, with its total withdrawal of federal support for Indian people, is destined for a short life. The calamitous impact the policy has had on the Klamath in Oregon and the Menominee in Wisconsin will most certainly lead to the termination of termination.
By Dr. D. Jerome Tweton
Originally published as The North Star Dakotan student newspaper, written by Dr. D. Jerome Tweton and supported by the North Dakota Humanities Council.
Identify similarities and differences between past events and current events in North Dakota (e.g., in the lives of people from different cultures past and present)
Identify the characteristics of a sovereign nation in terms of tribal government in North Dakota
Explain the contributions of various ethnic groups (e.g., Native Americans, immigrants) to the history of North Dakota (e.g., food, traditions, languages, celebrations)
Describe similarities and differences between past events and current events in U.S. history (e.g., in the lives of people from different cultures past and present)
Explain how regional Native American groups influenced U.S. history (e.g., historical events, development of the U. S.)
Identify examples of conflict (e.g., slavery, war, gender roles) and cooperation (e.g., settlements) that occurred among cultures (e.g., gender, ethnic groups, religious groups, immigrant groups, socio-economic status)
Explain how differences among cultures (e.g., differences in beliefs and governments) often result in conflict.
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Explain the significance of key events (e.g., settlement and homesteading, statehood, reservations) and people (e.g., Roughrider Recipients) in North Dakota and tribal history
Analyze Federal policy and action regarding American Indians (e.g. Dawes Act, changes in federal and state Indian policies, civil rights movement; current issues surrounding gaming, housing, distribution of wealth, and healthcare, Indian Reorganization Act, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Indian Civil Rights Act, Indian Child Welfare Act, American Indian Religious Freedom Act, Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, Citizenship, American Indian Movement)
Explain how political and economic forces have affected the sovereignty of tribal nations (e.g., constitutional provisions; Supreme Court cases; laws used in forming the basis of the federal-tribal relationship; political and economic forces affecting sovereignty of tribal nations)
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