A New Deal for Native Americans
Digital History ID 723
The Wheeler-Howard (Indian Reorganization) Act
This landmark act ended the policy of allotting tribal lands to individual Indians and selling the remaining lands to whites. It also restored limited tribal self-government and established funds for education.
An Act to conserve and develop Indian lands and resources; to extend to Indians the right to form business and other organizations; to establish a credit system for Indians; to grant certain rights of home rule to Indians; to provide for vocational education for Indians; and for other purposes.... That hereafter no land of any Indian reservation, created or set apart by treaty or agreement with the Indians...shall be allotted in severalty to any Indian....
Sec. 3. The Secretary of the Interior, if he shall find it to be in the public interest, is hereby authorized to restore to tribal ownership the remaining surplus lands of any Indian reservation heretofore opened, or authorized to be opened....
Sec. 5. The Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized...to acquire...any interest in lands, water rights, or surface rights to lands, within or without existing reservations...for the purpose of providing land for Indians.
Sec. 16. Any Indian tribe, or tribes, residing on the same reservation shall have the right to organize for its common welfare, and may adopt an appropriate constitution and bylaws, which shall become effective when ratified by a majority vote of the adult members of the tribe, or of the Indians residing on such reservation....
Source: U.S. Statutes at Large, 48-984-88.
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