1960 December 26

ACLU Asks President-Elect Kennedy to Protect Native-American Rights


The ACLU on this day asked President-elect John F. Kennedy to halt construction of the Kinzua, Pennsylvania, dam and reservoir near the Pennsylvania-New York border. The planned reservoir would flood a large part of the Seneca Indian Reservation. Kennedy, as a candidate, had sent a letter to Oliver La Farge, a noted Native-American novelist and president of the American Association on Indian Affairs, stating that he sought “no change in treaty or contractual relationships” without the consent of any Indian tribes that would be affected. The treaty between the U.S. and the Seneca tribe had been signed by President George Washington and the Chief Cornplanter of the Senecas.

Learn more at the Native American Rights Fund: http://www.narf.org/

Learn more: Paul Smith and Robert Allen Warrior, Like a Hurricane: The Indian Movement from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee (1996)

Read: Samuel Walker, In Defense of American Liberties: A History of the ACLU (1990)

Learn about the ACLU today: www.aclu.org

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