1970 July 8

Native-American Tribal Termination “Is Wrong” – President Nixon


President Richard Nixon on this day declared that the American policy of “termination” of Native-American tribes was wrong. The termination policy, which had begun on August 1, 1953, effectively dissolved tribes as recognized legal entities and was designed to facilitate the assimilation of Native-Americans into American life.

The political climate changed dramatically in the 1960s and early 1970s as a result of the rise of a Native American rights movement, and the termination policy was officially ended on January 4, 1975.

Other events of the Native American rights campaign included a “fish-in” on March 2, 1964 to demand traditional fishing rights; the occupation of Alcatraz Island, the former U.S. prison, by Native American militants on November 20, 1969; and a Thanksgiving Day protest at Plymouth Rock on November 26, 1970.

Read President Nixon’s speech: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=2573&st=&st1=

Learn more about the termination policy: Roberta Ulrich, American Indian Nations from Termination to Restoration, 1953–2006 (2010)

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