February 4th, 2013
Mr. Valdez / 2nd period
Like many other policies, the Termination Act originated in ideas that were meant to benefit Native Americans, but was this act a benefit to the Native Americans or was it disastrous for them? This act was meant to reduce federal expenditures, a goal popular among taxpayers. I believe that this policy was non beneficial for the Native Americans even though the impact of termination was small. This act affected just over 13,000 out of a total Indian population of 400,000. Only about 3 percent of reservation land was lost but it caused huge anxiety amongst Native Americans and had the ironic result of challenging the formation of the ‘Red Power’ protest movement of the 1960s.
It remains an emotive issue among historians sympathetic to Native Americans. Termination proved to be a really bad failure everywhere. Congress passed the Klamath termination act in 1954, which was “a measure authorizing the sale of reservation lands and establishing procedures for terminating all federal relationships with the Klamath Tribes. Enrolled tribal members then chose whether they wanted cash payments for their share of the land or if they wished to retain their shares in the former reservation and participate in a management plan.” Many Klamath people were prepared to manage their payments, and Klamath County experienced some of the highest unemployment rates in the state. Alcoholism increased, welfare…