Indian Removal Act Assimilation

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In the 1800’s there was controversy over the land in the United States. There was an act put into place by President Andrew Jackson called the “Indian Removal Act”. The act stated the Native Americans who lived east of the Mississippi River had to relocate west of the Mississippi, regardless if the land was foreign to the natives. Oklahoma was then called “Indian Country”. Some Pacific Northwest tribes were taken to Oklahoma, but were like rubber bands, shot back. After warfare because of land, the U.S. signed treaties with the tribes giving them land called Reservations.
Next was to get all the people in the U.S. on the same page; meaning same language, culture, beliefs, and leaders. This is known as assimilation. The book Racial and Ethnic
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Richard Henry Pratt decided to lead a boarding school. The documentary explains the intent of a boarding school, “Kill the Indian, and save the man.” This started by loading the native youth on trains and taking them to boarding schools. In the documentary the natives were taken at a young age and sent back home to their reservations having forgotten most of their culture. Russell Jim, a 76-year-old enrolled member of the Yakama Nation says, “Once you cut your hair, you will forget who you really are.” Jim is one of many traditional leaders within the Yakama Nation. I wanted to know more about boarding schools and assimilation so I thought of my grandmother-in-law, Ruth …show more content…
Ruth left home and received a job in Oregon at the Portland Area Office. Ruth traveled to other big cities to work, Seattle and San Francisco working for the Social Security Administration. Ruth met a welder in San Francisco named George Adams Jr. the first certified Native American Welder in the states. George was an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation whom Ruth married. Some years later Ruth moved to Yakima to work for the Yakama Nation Reality & Credit Office in Toppenish Washington. She then retired from the tribal government, BIA, in 1994.
Ruth said, “Most natives were full bloods but the natives who weren’t, looked down on those who were actual full bloods. Those natives would not admit if they had a drop of native blood in their ancestry. Nowadays, everyone claims to be registered as Native Americans so they can qualify for Federal assistance such as education and health benefits.” Tribal councils are ran by people who claim “Indian” descendancy as little as 1/500 degree or less Native American Tribe, so watch out for mosquitos. Therefore, most tribes require at least one quarter degree to be

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