Termination of the confederated tribes of the Grand Ronde community of Oregon: Politics, community, identity

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Title: Termination of the confederated tribes of the Grand Ronde community of Oregon: Politics, community, identity
Author: Lewis, David G. (David Gene), 1965-
Abstract: In 1954, one hundred years after the western Oregon Indians were removed to the Grand Ronde Reservation; the antecedent peoples were subjected to the final effort by the United States to colonize the remainder of their lands through Federal termination policy. The permanent Grand Ronde Reservation, settled in 1855 and established by presidential executive order in 1857, was terminated by Congress, and the tribal people lost their Federal recognition. The seven ratified treaties that ceded to the United States millions of acres of land, most of western Oregon, which was occupied by over 60 tribal nations, were nullified. These 60 tribes were declared by Congress to be assimilated, and termination was enacted to free them from continued government management and oppression. In western Oregon, native people appeared to cease to exist, and for 29 years the Grand Ronde descendants suffered disenfranchisement and a multitude of social problems. The reservation's tribal cultures, languages, and community were severely fractured and much was lost. Terminated tribal members were rejected by other tribes as having willingly sold out to the Federal government. During the post-termination era, despite all of the problems the tribal members faced, they found ways to survive and worked to restore the tribe. In 1983, the Grand Ronde Tribe was restored. This research gathers disparate information from political, anthropological, historical, and tribal sources to analyze and understand the termination of the Grand Ronde Reservation. Revealed are the many political issues of the 1940s and 1950s that contributed to termination. Oral histories and government correspondence and reports from the era are referenced to illuminate the reality of tribal life in the post-termination era. The research connects to historic strategies of the Federal government to colonize all aboriginal lands and to assimilate Indians. Finally, this study seeks to unveil the history of the Grand Ronde Reservation and its peoples so that the tribal people may understand and recover from the effects of the termination of the tribe. The continued effects of termination are explored, discussed, and connected to issues of tribal identity and indigenous decolonization.
Description: xvii, 413 p. : ill., maps. A print copy of this thesis is available through the UO Libraries. Search the library catalog for the location and call number.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/10067
Date: 2009-03

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