Presenter Information

Jacob Taylor, Boise State University

Start Date

10-4-2021 10:45 AM

End Date

10-4-2021 12:00 PM

Disciplines

United States History

Subjects

United States. Indian Reorganization Act, United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs -- History, Indians of North America -- Government relations -- 1934-, New Deal (1933-1939), John Collier (1884-1968) -- Influence

Description

Abstract: The Indian New Deal has been studied through two opposing lenses. Some historians attempt to paint John Collier, Bureau Commissioner under President Roosevelt, as a visionary who attempted to save Native American sovereignty while others denounce his legislation and time in office as ill-fated and corrupt. These two opposing views fail to illustrate the broader context of Collier’s BIA and do not provide an explanation for the ultimate failure of the Indian New Deal. Furthermore, they offer a largely monocausal explanation for the failure of the Indian New Deal. I argue that the BIA had been faltering for a long time before Collier set foot in office because of budget cuts, the failure to quickly assimilate Natives, and congressional attitudes on the longevity and necessity of the BIA. Collier inflamed congressional hatred by misunderstanding the needs of Natives and misrepresenting his ideas, which were misconstrued as anti-assimilation. Collier and his administrators further isolated themselves by disrupting the natural alliances and support for the BIA by alienating Natives organizations, Christian Missionaries, having supposed communist ties, and alleged voter fraud. These ideas compounded and upset the precarious but somewhat natural alliance of historical BIA supporters. The shattered foundation of traditional support gave way for radical abolitionists, that is, people who supported abolishing the BIA and federal wardship over Natives, to control policy for the decades after Collier left the BIA. This argument of what led to the radical termination policies of the late 1940s and 1950s should not be dominated by Collier’s success or failure but instead by the intricate relationships involving the above historical actors. The breakdown of support for the BIA was the ultimate and final blow to the Indian New Deal.

PART OF SESSION 6B: SYSTEMIC RACISM:

Comment: Roger Wiblin, Brigham Young University-Idaho
Chair: Marie Stango, Idaho State University

Neave Carroll, University of Washington, undergraduate student
“The LA Uprising on Camera: The Changing Mediascape and Its Influence on Conceptions of Race and Poverty”

Jacob Taylor, Boise State University, undergraduate student
“The Revival of Termination: Fragmenting John Collier’s Bureau of Indian Affairs”

Caitlin Troyer, Carroll College, undergraduate student
“Suppressing the Black Male Vote: Ronald Reagan and the War on Drugs”

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Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/35277

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Apr 10th, 10:45 AM Apr 10th, 12:00 PM

The Revival of Termination: Fragmenting John Collier’s Bureau of Indian Affairs

Abstract: The Indian New Deal has been studied through two opposing lenses. Some historians attempt to paint John Collier, Bureau Commissioner under President Roosevelt, as a visionary who attempted to save Native American sovereignty while others denounce his legislation and time in office as ill-fated and corrupt. These two opposing views fail to illustrate the broader context of Collier’s BIA and do not provide an explanation for the ultimate failure of the Indian New Deal. Furthermore, they offer a largely monocausal explanation for the failure of the Indian New Deal. I argue that the BIA had been faltering for a long time before Collier set foot in office because of budget cuts, the failure to quickly assimilate Natives, and congressional attitudes on the longevity and necessity of the BIA. Collier inflamed congressional hatred by misunderstanding the needs of Natives and misrepresenting his ideas, which were misconstrued as anti-assimilation. Collier and his administrators further isolated themselves by disrupting the natural alliances and support for the BIA by alienating Natives organizations, Christian Missionaries, having supposed communist ties, and alleged voter fraud. These ideas compounded and upset the precarious but somewhat natural alliance of historical BIA supporters. The shattered foundation of traditional support gave way for radical abolitionists, that is, people who supported abolishing the BIA and federal wardship over Natives, to control policy for the decades after Collier left the BIA. This argument of what led to the radical termination policies of the late 1940s and 1950s should not be dominated by Collier’s success or failure but instead by the intricate relationships involving the above historical actors. The breakdown of support for the BIA was the ultimate and final blow to the Indian New Deal.

PART OF SESSION 6B: SYSTEMIC RACISM:

Comment: Roger Wiblin, Brigham Young University-Idaho
Chair: Marie Stango, Idaho State University

Neave Carroll, University of Washington, undergraduate student
“The LA Uprising on Camera: The Changing Mediascape and Its Influence on Conceptions of Race and Poverty”

Jacob Taylor, Boise State University, undergraduate student
“The Revival of Termination: Fragmenting John Collier’s Bureau of Indian Affairs”

Caitlin Troyer, Carroll College, undergraduate student
“Suppressing the Black Male Vote: Ronald Reagan and the War on Drugs”