U. S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs 810 Seventh Street, N. W. Washington, D. C. 20531 Janet Reno



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1880 1930 - Assimilation and Allotment - The basic element in federal-Indian relations has been the drive to assimilate Indians into the mainstream of American life by changing their customs, dress, occupations, language, religion and philosophy has always been an element in Federal-Indian relations. In the latter part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century this assimilation policy became dominant. A major thrust of assimilation was education, thus the boarding school movement. Allotment was advocated as a means of further civilizing Indians by converting them from a communal land system to a system of individual ownership while also increasing the land base for non-Native citizens. Many Native families were cheated out of their possessions, particularly land, because the agencies acting for the federal government insisted they knew what was best for Native families and refused to consider Native input into decision. There was conflict among Native families and leaders because of the indoctrination of non-Native teachings that place traditional teachings at a disadvantage and became viewed as less valued.



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