Indian Reorganization Act

(redirected from Wheeler-Howard Act)

Indian Reorganization Act,

legislation passed in 1934 in the United States in an attempt to secure new rights for Native Americans on reservations. Its main provisions were to restore to Native Americans management of their assets (mostly land); to prevent further depletion of reservation resources; to build a sound economic foundation for the people of the reservations; and to return to the Native Americans local self-government on a tribal basis. The objectives of the bill were vigorously pursued until the outbreak of World War II. Although the act is still in effect, many Native Americans question its supposed purpose of gradual assimilation; their opposition reflects their efforts to reduce federal condescension in the treatment of Native Americans and their cultures.
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The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, also known as the Wheeler-Howard Act, inaugurated a sweeping change of policy in Native American affairs.