Termination Revisited: American Indians on the Trail to Self-Determination, 1933-1953

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In this essential contribution to twentieth-century Native history, Kenneth R. Philp reassesses the controversial and ultimately failed federal policy of termination. In the years after World War II, federal policy toward the Indian reservation system changed markedly. Federal policies set during this period strongly encouraged Native peoples to terminate their status as wards of the American government, relocate to prosperous cities, and develop long-range plans to secure greater political and economic power for themselves. Until recently scholars have largely portrayed the termination years as a regressive era in which Indians encountered renewed assaults on tribalism, lost important rights, and were placed on the road to dispossession. Termination Revisited offers a more complex portrait of Native responses to termination. By focusing on the diverse reactions of Native peoples to the concept of self-determination, Philp demonstrates how widely the interpretations of this important concept and the proposed strategy of termination varied.
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Editorial Reviews

"[Philp] presents a well-balanced account of the legal, political, and economic relationships between Native Americans and the U.S. government during the period shortly before the Indian Reorganization Act (1935) to . . . Termination, the program to dissolve tribal relationships with the federal government. . . . Philp brilliantly ties together the shifting stances of governmental and tribal officials."—Choice
Nevada Historical Society Quarterly
"Termination Revisited is, without question, an important book. It will be required reading for any serious student of modern Indian history."—Nevada Historical Society Quarterly
Western Historical Quarterly
"The best account we have to date of policy formation during the Truman administration. But there is more. Philp's narrative introduces actors who have not figured prominently in previous accounts of the period. . . . He also illuminates reservation life and politics in the 1940s and 1950s. Philp's book charts the course for many new studies to come."—Western Historical Quarterly
Oregon Historical Quarterly
"Philp's book is gracefully written, founded on nearly thirty years of research, and finely balanced in its assessments. This history makes sense out of much of the nonsense touching lives of several hundreds of thousands of American Indians in the twentieth century."—Oregon Historical Quarterly
South Dakota History
"An informative, insightful study of policy decisions during a crucial time in American Indian history."—South Dakota History
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803287693
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 265
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Kenneth R. Philp is a professor of history at the University of Texas, Arlington. He is the author of John Collier's Crusade for Indian Reform, 1920–1954.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1 On a New Trail: The Promise of Self-Rule 1
2 Settling Tribal Claims 16
3 Alaska: Self-Determination in a Deep Freeze 34
4 A Fair Deal for Navajos 50
5 Emancipation from Federal Wardship 68
6 From Federal Paternalism to Full Independence 89
7 The Right to Employ Legal Counsel 108
8 Blackfeet Declare Their Independence 125
9 State Jurisdiction in Indian Country 140
10 Programming to End Federal Supervision 153
Epilogue 170
Notes 177
Bibliography 219
Index 237
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