5
Trends Among American Indians in the United States1

Russell Thornton

Scholars debate the size of the aboriginal population north of present-day Mexico, and the magnitude of population decline beginning sometime after A.D. 1500 and continuing to about 1900. Early in the twentieth century, for the region north of the Rio Grande, James Mooney estimated individual indigenous tribal population sizes at first European contact, summed them by regions, then totaled them, arriving at an estimate of 1,152,950 aboriginal people in that region of what would become North America (Mooney, 1910, 1928). Subsequent scholars generally accepted Mooney’s estimate, although one—Alfred L.Kroeber—suggested the number was excessive and lowered it.

In 1966, however, Henry Dobyns used depopulation ratios to assert an aboriginal population size, for this area, of between 9 and 12 million people (Dobyns, 1966). In 1983, Dobyns used depopulation ratios from epidemics along with possible carrying capacities to assert some 18 million native Americans for North America—i.e., northern Mexico as well as the present-day United States, Canada, and Greenland (Dobyns, 1983).

Most scholars now agree that Mooney’s population estimate significantly underestimated aboriginal population size for the area north of the Rio Grande and, thus, the baseline from which the area’s aboriginal popu-

1  

The sections of this paper on demography, education, and repatriation were drawn freely from my chapters on the same topics in Thornton (1998).



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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I 5 Trends Among American Indians in the United States1 Russell Thornton Scholars debate the size of the aboriginal population north of present-day Mexico, and the magnitude of population decline beginning sometime after A.D. 1500 and continuing to about 1900. Early in the twentieth century, for the region north of the Rio Grande, James Mooney estimated individual indigenous tribal population sizes at first European contact, summed them by regions, then totaled them, arriving at an estimate of 1,152,950 aboriginal people in that region of what would become North America (Mooney, 1910, 1928). Subsequent scholars generally accepted Mooney’s estimate, although one—Alfred L.Kroeber—suggested the number was excessive and lowered it. In 1966, however, Henry Dobyns used depopulation ratios to assert an aboriginal population size, for this area, of between 9 and 12 million people (Dobyns, 1966). In 1983, Dobyns used depopulation ratios from epidemics along with possible carrying capacities to assert some 18 million native Americans for North America—i.e., northern Mexico as well as the present-day United States, Canada, and Greenland (Dobyns, 1983). Most scholars now agree that Mooney’s population estimate significantly underestimated aboriginal population size for the area north of the Rio Grande and, thus, the baseline from which the area’s aboriginal popu- 1   The sections of this paper on demography, education, and repatriation were drawn freely from my chapters on the same topics in Thornton (1998).

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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I TABLE 5–1 Twentieth Century Estimates of the Aboriginal Population of North America North Americaa United States Researcher (Date) 1,148,000 846,000 Mooney (1910) 1,148,000 — Rivet (1924) 2–3,000,000 — Sapper (1924) 1,153,000 849,000 Mooney (1928) 1,002,000 — Wilcox (1931) 900,000 720,000 Kroeber (1939) 1,000,000 — Rosenblatt (1945) 1,000,000 — Steward (1949) 2–2,500,000 — Ashburn (1947) 1,001,000 — Steward (1949) 2,240,000 — Aschmann (1959) 1–2,000,000 — Driver (1961) 9.8–12,500,000 — Dobyns (1966) 3,500,000 2,500,000 Driver (1969) 2,171,000 — Ubelaker (1976) 4,400,000 — Denevan (1976) — 1,845,000 Thornton (1981) 18,000,000 — Dobyns (1983) 5–10,000,000 — Hughes (1983) 12,000,000 — Ramenofsky (1987) 7,000,000 5,000,000 Thornton (1987) 1,894,000 — Ubelaker (1988) 2–8,000,000 — Zambardino (1989) aNorth of Mesoamerica. lation decline may be assessed.2 By the same token, most scholars consider Dobyns’s estimates to be excessive.3 Other contemporary estimates, some of which are shown in Table 5–1, have varied from around 2 million to somewhat more than 7 million. The 7+ million estimate for north of present-day Mexico (Thornton, 1987) includes more than 5 million people in the present-day United States area and more than 2 million for present-day Canada, Alaska, and Greenland. Despite dissension about earlier 2   Dates for Mooney’s regional estimates, from which his overall estimate was derived, varied from A.D. 1600 to A.D. 1845, depending on the region in question. A reason for his underestimate, scholars now realize, was Mooney’s assumption that little population decline had occurred prior to his dates for the beginning of an extended European presence in a region. In fact, it seems that prior depopulation had occurred in most, if not all, regions. 3   There have been various criticisms of Dobyns’s methodologies, particularly those in his 1983 book but also those in his 1966 paper.

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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I population levels, there is no argument that substantial depopulation did occur after European arrival. The native population of the United States, Canada, and Greenland reached a nadir of perhaps 375,000 by 1900 (Thornton, 1987), although a somewhat larger nadir population has been argued (Ubelaker, 1988). Trends in demographics, as well as in tribal sovereignty, economic development, education, and repatriation will be discussed here, with emphasis on change since the 1950s. DEMOGRAPHIC AND RELATED TRENDS Population Recovery At the beginning of the twentieth century, the American Indian population of the United States and Canada began to increase. For the United States, census enumerations suggest almost continuous increase since 1900 (Table 5–2), a result of both decreases in mortality rates and increases in fertility rates. In fact, fertility has remained higher for American Indians than for the U.S. population as a whole (see Thornton et al., 1991). The increase has also been a result of changes in the number of individuals self-identifying as “Indian” on recent U.S. censuses. Not including Inuits (Eskimo) and Aleuts, the American Indian population increased from 524,000 in 1960, to 793,000 in 1970, to 1.4 million in 1980, to more than 1.8 million in 1990, largely because of changing racial definitions from one TABLE 5–2 American Indian and Alaska Nativea Population in the United States, 1900– 1990 Year Population 1900 237,000 1910 291,000 1920 261,000 1930 362,000 1940 366,000 1950 377,000 1960 552,000 1970 827,000 1980 1,420,000 1990 1,959,000 aNote: American Indian, Inuit, and Aleut. SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of the Census (1993).

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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I census to another. It has been estimated that about 25 percent of the change from 1960 to 1970, about 60 percent of the change from 1970 to 1980, and about 35 percent of the change from 1980 to 1990 resulted from these changing identifications (Passel, 1976; Passel and Berman, 1986; Harris, 1994). Changing self-identification has generally been attributed to racial and ethnic consciousness-raising during the 1960s and 1970s, as well as American Indian political mobilization during the period.4 If Inuits and Aleuts are added to the more than 1.8 million American Indians enumerated in the 1990 Census, there was a total of more than 1.9 million native Americans in the United States in 1990 (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1994). Adding in natives of Canada, the total in 1990 was approximately 2.75 million native Americans. This is obviously a significant increase over the 375,000 estimated for 1900 (Thornton, 1987); however, it is far less than the 7+ million in 1492. It is also only a very small fraction of the total population of the United States (more than 250 million in 1990) and Canada (more than 25 million in 1990). U.S. census enumerations also provide self-reported tribal affiliations and ancestries. According to the 1990 Census, the 10 largest tribal affiliations in the United States are Cherokee, 308,000; Navajo, 219,000; Chippewa (Ojibwe), 104,000; Sioux, 103,000; Choctaw, 82,000; Pueblo, 53,000; Apache, 50,000; Iroquois, 49,000; Lumbee, 48,000; and Creek, 44,000 (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1993: Figure 5–1).5 Tribal Enrollment There are 317 American Indian tribes in the United States that are “recognized” by the federal government and receive services from the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). There are also some 217 Alaska Native Village Areas identified in the 1990 Census, with populations of 9,807 American Indians, 32,502 Inuits, and 4,935 Aleuts (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1992), some 125 to 150 tribes that are seeking federal recognition, and dozens of other groups who might do so in the future. In 1990, some 437,079 American Indians, 182 Inuits, and 97 Aleuts 4   Changing self-identification was perhaps also a result of individuals of mixed ancestry who formerly did not identify as American Indian because of the stigma attached to such an identity by the larger society. Clearly, however, some individuals with minimal, or no, Native American ancestry may have identified as American Indian because of the desire to affirm a marginal, or establish a nonexistent, ethnic identity. 5   It should be noted that about 11 percent of those individuals identifying as Native American in the 1990 Census did not report a tribal affiliation.

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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I TABLE 5–3 The 10 Largest Reservations and Trust Lands Navajo Reservation and Trust Lands 143,405 Pine Ridge Reservation and Trust Lands 11,182 Fort Apache Reservation 9,825 Gila River Reservation 9,116 Papago Reservation 8,480 Rosebud Reservation and Trust Lands 8,043 San Carlos Reservation 7,110 Zuni Pueblo 7,073 Hopi Pueblo and Trust Lands 7,061 Blackfeet Reservation 7,025   SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of the Census (1993). TABLE 5–4 Blood-Quantum Requirements by Reservation Basis and Membership Size   More than 1/4 1/4 or Less No Minimum Requirement Number of tribes 21 183 98 Reservation based 85.7% 83.1% 63.9% Median number of individual members 1,022 1,096 1,185 Note: Information not available for 15 tribes. SOURCES: Thornton (1987); U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (unpublished tribal constitutions and tribal enrollment data obtained by the author). lived on 314 reservations and trust lands; half of these—218,290 American Indians, 25 Inuits, and 5 Aleuts—lived on the 10 largest reservations and trust lands (Table 5–3; U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1993). BIA has, generally, required a one-fourth degree of American Indian “ancestry” (blood quantum) and/or tribal membership to recognize an individual as American Indian. Tribal membership requirements are typically set forth in tribal constitutions, approved by BIA. Each tribe also has a set of requirements for membership (enrollment) of individuals, generally including a blood-quantum requirement, and requirements vary widely (Table 5–4). The Walker River Paiute require at least a one-half Indian (or tribal) blood quantum, while many tribes—e.g., Navajo—require a one-fourth blood quantum. Some tribes, generally in Oklahoma or California, require a one-eighth or one-sixteenth or one-thirty-second blood quantum. Many tribes have no minimum blood-quantum requirement, but do require

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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I some degree of American Indian lineage (Thornton, 1997). American Indian tribes on reservations tend to have higher blood-quantum requirements for membership than those not on reservations, as indicated in Table 5–4; and those with higher blood-quantum requirements tend to be slightly smaller than tribes with lower blood-quantum requirements. The total membership of the more than 300 federally recognized tribes in the late 1980s was slightly more than 1 million; hence, only about 60 percent of the more than 1.8 million individuals self-identified as American Indian on the 1990 Census were actually enrolled in a federally recognized tribe (Thornton, 1997). Differences in self-identification and tribal enrollment varied considerably from tribe to tribe. For example, most of the more than 219,000 Navajo in the 1990 Census were enrolled in the Navajo Nation, but only about one-third of the more than 300,000 Cherokee were enrolled in one of the three Cherokee tribes—Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians.6 Redistribution and Urbanization By the beginning of the twentieth century, American Indian groups that survived European contact had been redistributed (Figure 5–1). Much of this redistribution occurred during the nineteenth century with American Indian “removals,” the establishment of the reservation system, and the subsequent elimination and allotment of some reservations. According to the 1990 Census, the 10 states with the largest American Indian populations were: Oklahoma, 252,000; California, 242,000; Arizona, 204,000; New Mexico, 134,000; Alaska, 86,000; Washington, 81,000; North Carolina, 80,000; Texas, 66,000; New York, 63,000; and Michigan, 56,000 (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1993). A redistribution of American Indians also occurred through urban- 6   The situation in Canada is somewhat different. In Canada one must be registered under the Indian Act of Canada to be an “official” Indian. Categories of Canadian Indians include: (1) status (or registered) Indians, those recognized under the Act; and (2) nonstatus (or nonregistered) Indians, those never registered under the Act or those who gave up their registration (and became “enfranchised”). Status Indians are subdivided into treaty and nontreaty Indians, depending on whether the group ever entered into a treaty relationship with the Canadian government. There are also the Métis—individuals of Indian and White ancestry not legally recognized as Indians. Some 500,000 of the 575,000 Canadian Indians in the mid-1980s were registered. About 70 percent of Canadian Indians live on one of the 2,272 reserves. There were 578 bands of Canadian Indians in the early 1980s, most containing fewer than 500 members. Only three bands had more than 5,000 members: Six Nations of the Grand River, 11,172; Blood, 6,083; and Kahnawake, 5,226.

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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I FIGURE 5–1 Native American populations according to the 1990 census. U.S. Bureau of the Census (2000). URL: http://tiger.census.gov/cgi-bin/mapbrowse.tbl. ization in the United States and Canada. As shown in Table 5–5, only 0.4 percent of the American Indians in the United States lived in urban areas in 1900. By 1950, the number had increased to 13.4 percent; in 1990, 56.2 percent of American Indians lived in urban areas (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1992; Thornton, 1997). Important in this urbanization was the migration to cities and towns, some of which occurred under the BIA relocation program, which began in 1950 to assist American Indians in moving from reservations and rural areas to selected urban areas (Thornton, 1994). U.S. cities with the largest American Indian populations are New York City, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Tulsa, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Anchorage, and Albuquerque (Thornton, 1994).7 7   Canadian provinces with the largest number of Native Americans are Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Approximately 40 percent of Canadian Native Americans lived in cities in the mid-1980s, particularly Vancouver, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, and Montreal. This was an increase from the 30 percent who lived in cities in the early 1970s, and the mere 13 percent who lived in cities in 1961. However, still only about 20 percent of Canadian Inuits live in cities, while only about 30 percent of the status Indians do.

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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I TABLE 5–5 Percentage Urban of American Indian Population of the United States, 1900 to 1990 Year Percentage Urban 1900 0.4 1910 4.5 1920 6.1 1930 9.9 1940 7.2 1950 13.4 1960 27.9 1970 44.5 1980 49.0 1990 56.2 Issues in the Twenty-First Century New demographic threats will be faced by American Indians in the twenty-first century because of urbanization and its partner, intermarriage. As populations of American Indians declined, and as they came into increased contact with Whites, Blacks, and others, American Indians increasingly married non-Indians, and this pattern has accelerated with the recent increase in urbanization. In the United States today, almost 60 percent of all American Indians (as defined by the Office of Management and Budget) are married to non-Indians (Sandefur and McKinnell, 1985; Eschbach, 1995). It has also been argued that those “Native Americans” by way of self-identification—or “‘new’ Native Americans” (Thornton, 1997)—are more likely to be intermarried (Eschbach, 1995; Nagel, 1995). Urbanization has also created some decreased sense of tribal identity. In the 1970 Census, about 20 percent of American Indians overall reported no tribal affiliation. Only about 10 percent of those on reservations reported no affiliation, whereas 30 percent of those in urban areas reported no affiliation (Thornton, 1987). The 1980 and 1990 Censuses report no comparable urban/reservation data; however, 25 percent of the American Indians in the 1980 Census and 15 percent of those in the 1990 Census reported no tribal affiliation (Thornton, 1994; U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1994). The 1990 Census also indicates that only about one-fourth of all American Indians speak an Indian language at home (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1992); census enumerations indicate also that urban residents are far less likely than reservation residents to speak an Indian language or participate in cultural activities (Thornton, 1987). If these trends continue, both the genetic and tribal distinctiveness of

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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I the total American Indian population will be greatly lessened. An American Indian population comprised primarily of “‘old’ Native Americans” strongly attached to their tribes will change to a population with a predominance of “‘new’ Native Americans” who may or may not have tribal attachments or even tribal identities. It may even make sense at some point in the future to speak mainly of Native American ancestry or ethnicity (Thornton, 1997). SOVEREIGNTY AND POLITICAL PARTICIPATION The idea of American Indian tribal sovereignty within the United States and the related issue of political participation within the larger American society have long been important issues for American Indians. They have, however, achieved new prominence in recent decades. Sovereignty: Myth or Reality? Chief Justice John Marshall described American Indian tribes as “domestic dependent nations” with “aspects of sovereignty” (Strickland, 1998). As Strickland pointed out (Strickland, 1998): [F]rom the beginning of the Republic, the courts have acknowledged that Native American government is rooted in an established legal and historical relationship between the United States and Native American tribes or nations. This is at the heart of Native American constitutionalism and grows from precontact tribal sovereignty. [Moreover] the rights and obligations of Native Americans, unique to Indian law, derive from a legal status as members or descendants of a sovereign Indian tribe, not from race. [Nevertheless] for the Native American, law and the courts have been seen alternatively as shields of protection and swords of extermination, examples of balanced justice and instruments of a conquering empire (p. 248). The federal government has a long history of defining, and thereby determining, the tribal status of both American Indian groups and American Indian individuals (Thornton, 1987). In 1871, Congress enacted legislation that basically destroyed tribal sovereignty, by ending the rights of American Indian groups to negotiate treaties with the United States. It said, “Hereafter no Indian Nation or Tribe within the Territory of the United States shall be acknowledged or recognized as an independent nation, tribe, or power with whom the United States may contract by treaty” (Blackwell and Mehaffey, 1983:53). Between then and 1934, American Indian tribes “became increasingly disorganized, in part because of other legislation passed in the late 1800s calling for the allotment of tribal lands” (Thornton, 1987:195). In 1934, the Indian Reorganization Act was

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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I passed, allowing that an American Indian group had “rights to organize for its common welfare,” and delineated steps whereby this might occur (Cohen, 1982). Subsequently, though, “the U.S. government adopted policies more or less aimed at ending the special legal status of American Indian tribes, and in fact, 61 tribes were officially terminated” (Thornton, 1987:195)—i.e., no longer recognized by the federal government for the purposes of having relations. Self-Determination Since Nixon President Richard Nixon rejected the idea of terminating American Indian tribes, and in 1976 the Federal Acknowledgment was created, specifying seven mandatory criteria for an American Indian group to achieve federal recognition. It also placed the “burden of proof” on the American Indian group itself (Thornton, 1987). The seven criteria are: A statement of facts establishing that the petitioner has been identified from historical times until the present on a substantially continuous basis, as “American Indian,” or “aboriginal.” Evidence that a substantial portion of the petitioning group inhabits a specific area or lives in a community viewed as American Indian and distinct from other populations in the area, and that its members are descendants of an Indian tribe which historically inhabited a specific area. A statement of facts which establishes that the petitioner has maintained tribal political influence or other authority over its members as an autonomous entity throughout history until the present. A copy of the group’s present governing document, or in the absence of a written document, a statement describing in full the membership criteria and the procedures through which the group currently governs its affairs and its members. A list of all known current members of the group and a copy of each available former list of members based on the tribe’s own defined criteria. The membership of the petitioning group is composed principally of persons who are not members of any other North American tribe. The petitioner is not, nor are its members, the subject of congressional legislation which has expressly terminated or forbidden the federal relationship (U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1978). Given that a tribe is federally recognized, however, “the courts have consistently recognized that one of an Indian tribe’s most basic powers is the authority to determine questions of its own membership. A tribe has power to grant, revoke, and qualify membership” (Cohen, 1982).

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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I Legal Status Today Today, American Indian tribes as entities are healthy, if not thriving. Both tribes and individuals, however, are dominated by a maze of laws and their interpretation. Strickland (1998) notes: Much contemporary confusion results from the duality of traditional tribal law and federally enforced regulations…. The courts have powers of life-and-death proportion over tribal existence. The nature of U.S. constitutional law and public policy is such that legal issues loom large in even the smallest details of Native American cultural, economic, and political life. More than four thousand statutes and treaties controlling relations with Native Americans have been enacted and approved by Congress. Federal regulations and guidelines implementing these are even more numerous. The tribe’s own laws, and some state statutes dealing with Indians, further complicate this legal maze (p. 252). Importantly, American Indian tribes and individuals are unique in American society—they are the only segment of the U.S. population with a separate legal status, both as groups and as individuals. As Native American peoples prepare to move into the twenty-first century, the issues facing tribes are not substantially different from those faced over the last five centuries…. The miracle of the past 500 years is that Native American people and their values have survived in the face of the most unbelievable onslaughts. There is little question that the law and the courts have been, and will continue to be, a major battlefield in the struggle for sovereign survival (Strickland, 1998:255). Increased Political Participation Until the late nineteenth century, American Indians were the dominant “minority group” the U.S. government had to deal with on the national, political scene. From the Civil War until the 1980s, however, American Indians were a “moral” but not “powerful” minority political group. With the reaffirmation and reestablishment of American Indian tribes as legal entities since the 1970s, and the accompanying economic well-being of some of these tribes, however, American Indian tribes are becoming increasingly important and increasingly sophisticated political actors, something we have not seen since the subjugation of the great Sioux Nations around 1890. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND ECONOMIC WELL-BEING One of the most intriguing developments since the 1970s is the increased economic development of American Indian tribes and the in-

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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I care. National American Indian leaders, such as Walter Echo-Hawk of the American Indian Rights Fund and Susan Shown Harjo of the National Congress of American Indians, continued to seek the repatriation of human skeletal remains, from the Smithsonian and elsewhere. Professional associations such as the Council for Museum Anthropology, Society for American Archaeology, American Anthropological Association, and American Association of Museums became involved and issued position papers. Various universities also debated the issues, forming committees and panels to develop policies. One idea considered but discarded was to “create a national memorial where bones ‘which are not useful for scientific inquiry’ would be buried, ‘giving due regard to the religious and ceremonial beliefs and practices of those Indians, Aleuts and Eskimos whose ancestors may be included in the Smithsonian collection’” (New York Times, 1987). The private sector also became involved in the repatriation movement, just as it did in the Civil Rights Movement. A major turning point was when Elizabeth Sackler purchased for $39,050 three Hopi and Navajo ceremonial masks in 1991. Her intent was to return them to the tribes. She then established the American Indian Ritual Object Repatriation Foundation to assist native groups in retrieving important cultural objects from private individuals and organizations.15 The Foundation continues to be active in repatriation. During the 1980s, the Pan-Indian Repatriation Movement began to experience some success through the passage of federal and state laws not only calling for the repatriation of human remains and objects to descendants, but also preventing the further disenfranchisement of remains and objects. Not only has the success of the repatriation movement revitalized Native America by providing new-found self-esteem, the task of actually repatriating human remains and cultural objects has also revitalized communities by bringing members together in the struggle as well as reaffirming important knowledge about many cultural and sacred objects. It is not always an easy undertaking, however; but the end result is worth it. State and Federal Laws Repatriation legislation has been enacted at both the state and federal levels. Some laws simply reiterate and reapply existing laws against grave robbing, trespass, and vandalism, or general public health and cemetery laws; nevertheless, 11 states have laws addressing the disposition of pre- 15   The Foundation has recently published Mending the Circle to assist native groups with their repatriation efforts; it is distributed free of charge to them.

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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I historic aboriginal remains and grave goods (Price, 1991:43). The landmark state legislation was probably Nebraska’s 1989 Unmarked Human Burial Sites and Skeletal Remains Protection Act. In passing the Act, Nebraska became the first state with a general repatriation statute. It provides for the protection of unmarked burial sites throughout the state and the repatriation to relatives or American Indian tribes, within one year of a request, of human remains and associated “burial goods” held in state-sponsored or state-recognized public bodies (Peregoy, 1992; for a survey of state laws, see Price, 1991). The federal government has increasingly enacted legislation aimed at protecting the rights of American Indian groups vis-à-vis ancestral remains and sacred objects. Twentieth-century legislation may be dated from the Antiquities Act of 1906, which granted the federal government jurisdiction over all aboriginal remains and artifacts on federal property. Other important legislation followed. Specific federal legislation on repatriation that has been enacted since the 1980s began with Public Law 101–185 in November 1989, which established the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) as part of the Smithsonian Institution. A component of this law mandated the return of American Indian human remains and funerary objects held by the Smithsonian to appropriate individuals and groups. NMAI also mandates a repatriation review committee “to monitor and review the inventory, identification, and return of Indian human remains and Indian funerary objects.” The committee is composed of five individuals, at least three of whom are selected from individuals nominated by American Indian groups. The amendment to NMAI added two members to the committee, both of whom are to be “traditional religious leaders.” In October 1990, Public Law 101–601, the Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), was enacted. NAGPRA concerns the disposition of American Indian human remains and artifacts in federal agencies (other than the Smithsonian) as well as in institutions receiving federal support (McManamon, 1994). It increases the protection of American Indian graves on federal and tribal land, proscribes commercial trafficking in American Indian remains, requires the inventory and repatriation to culturally affiliated tribes or descendants of all collections of American Indian remains and associated funerary objects held by federal agencies and federally funded museums (and universities), and also requires the repatriation of American Indian sacred objects and cultural patrimony.16 16   Public Law 101–601, Sec. 7, Pt. a. For a history of this law see Trope and Echo-Hawk (1992). “Cultural affiliation” as defined in NAGPRA, means, “there is a relationship of shared group identity which can be reasonably traced historically or prehistorically be-

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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I NAGPRA gave institutions five years to complete inventories of human remains and funerary objects, with a possible extension of time, and three years to provide summaries of unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony. After the inventory, six months are allowed for notifying tribes of affiliated remains and funerary objects. Full repatriation efforts under NAGPRA are only now really commencing, with the Smithsonian ahead of many other museums and institutions in actual repatriations. Nevertheless, many important issues remain to be settled in implementing NAGPRA. Two are (1) whether nonfederally recognized tribes are entitled to repatriated remains and objects (they are by the Smithsonian), and (2) what to do about remains or objects when cultural affiliation cannot be established. The Smithsonian Institution made the decision to adhere to Public Law 101–601 as well as Public Law 101–185, thereby extending the mandate of repatriation to include not only human remains and funerary objects but also sacred objects and objects of cultural patrimony. In 1996, an amendment to NMAI was passed by the U.S. Congress, amending the Act along the lines of the NAGPRA legislation, whereby a strict time schedule is set for repatriation of objects of cultural patrimony, sacred objects, and human remains and funerary objects. The repatriation process has great potential for bridging the gap between native worlds and larger society. As it developed, repatriation of human remains polarized advocates of reburial and advocates of study and preservation in repositories. Little compromise occurred between American Indian repatriation activists and researchers; yet, some degree of compromise is not only desirable, it is necessary. Science and scholarship have much to offer to American Indians, as American Indians attempt to recapture their lost histories. American Indians are no longer powerless in American society, but are important actors in shaping their own destinies. American Indian values, wishes, and perspectives must be respected by scholars. Although some disciplines such as anthropology have histories of applied work with American Indians, the repatriation process is providing new challenges for the application of scholarly disciplines to real-life concerns of American Indians.     tween a present-day Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization and an identifiable ear-lier group.” Under the provisions of NAGPRA, a seven-person review committee was es-tablished to monitor and review the law’s mandated repatriation activities. Three of the members are appointed from nominations of Native American groups and religious lead-ers, at least two of whom must be “traditional Indian religious leaders”; three members are appointed from nominations of museum and scientific organizations; and one member is appointed from a list suggested by the other six members.

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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I HEALING THE WOUNDS FROM THE TRAUMA OF HISTORY On the morning of Friday, October 9, 1993, a small group of Northern Cheyenne arrived at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. They had come for their dead. Almost 115 years earlier, on January 9, 1879, at least 83 members of Dull Knife’s (a.k.a. Morning Star’s) band of 149 Northern Cheyenne had been massacred by U.S. government soldiers near Fort Robinson, Nebraska, after the Cheyenne’s final, desperate attempt for freedom. They had been removed to a reservation in Oklahoma to live with the Southern Cheyenne in 1877, and now had fled toward their homelands in Montana. They were captured, however. They were then held in the stockade at Fort Robinson with little food, water, or even heat. After two weeks, they attempted to escape. During the attempt, at least 57 Northern Cheyenne were killed; 32 others escaped but were trapped on January 22 at the edge of Antelope Creek. In the massacre that followed, 26 were killed. Most of those killed in the escape attempt were buried near the fort; those killed at Antelope Creek were buried nearby in a mass grave. The bones of 17 of the Northern Cheyenne dead were collected for scientific study by the U.S. Army Medical Examiner. In 1880, the mass grave at Antelope Creek was exhumed, and the bones of 9 more Cheyenne dead were obtained. The bones— mostly crania—were later transferred to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. The bones were from Cheyenne ranging in age from a 49-year-old adult to a 3-year-old child; the child was one of those massacred at Antelope Creek. In October 1993, all were being returned to their people in a joint repatriation effort made by the Smithsonian and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard, which had obtained skeletal remains from Antelope Creek. At the ceremony, the bones were officially turned over to an impressive Northern Cheyenne delegation, represented by the tribal chair, the Crazy Dogs society of warriors, the Elk Horn society, Sun Dance priests, four women who were fourth-generation descendants of Dull Knife, and, most important, James Black Wolf, Keeper of the Sacred Buffalo Hat. The remains were carefully arranged on small Pendleton blankets; a pipe ceremony was performed, words and prayers were said, a drum was played, and songs were sung. Each person’s bones were then wrapped in the blanket and interred in cedar boxes for the journey home to Montana and final rest. During the ceremony, it was discovered that a shattered lower part of a skull from the Harvard museum matched an upper part of a woman’s skull from the Smithsonian. Either at death 115 years earlier or afterward, the young woman’s head had been shattered into two pieces, each piece taken to a different location. She had been collected as two different

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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I people; but on October 9, 1993, was reunited not only with her people, her skull itself was reunited. (After the ceremony, a young native man from the Smithsonian came up to me and told me about the 3-year-old’s skull. “The child was a little girl. I saw her. She was dressed in white and had yellow ribbons in her hair. I told the Cheyenne I had seen her, and that she was now happy. They were very pleased. They thanked me for telling them.”17) On the way to Busby, Montana, for burial of the remains, a stop was made at Fort Robinson, Nebraska. The journey then continued to Montana. A small teddy bear was given to the little girl and placed in the cedar box with her remains. She and the other Cheyenne were buried on a hill near Two Moon Monument. A permanent memorial near the graves will be established. It is theorized by some (Duran et al., 1998; Duran and Duran, 1995) that events in the history of a people can cause a trauma to that group much in the same way catastrophic events in an individual’s life may cause lasting trauma. Psychologists have stated that “if a person is traumatized, the trauma must be resolved for the person to be psychologically healthy” (e.g., Duran et al., 1998:62). Similarly, when a people are traumatized, the trauma must also be resolved; if not, the group psyche remains wounded. Without resolution, some have even argued that the effects of historical trauma are “intergenerationally cumulative, thus compounding the mental health problems of succeeding generations” (e.g., Duran et al., 1998:64). Many of the arguments for historical trauma, and its need for resolution come from studies of the Nazi Holocaust (Bergman and Jucovy, 1990). According to Duran et al., effects of historical trauma include “difficulty in mourning over a mass grave, the dynamics of collective grief, and the importance of community memorialization” (Duran et al., 1998:66). European Jews live “among the perpetrators and murderers of their families” (Fogelman, 1991:94), which has not allowed them the more healthy griev- 17   As chairman of the Smithsonian Institution’s Native American Repatriation Review Committee, I attended the ceremony in Washington, D.C. It was even more meaningful for me because my mother had died a few days before. I had stopped in Washington to attend the ceremony before continuing on to Vian, Oklahoma, for her funeral the following day. At the Washington ceremony, I kept thinking that my mother would be laid to rest only a few days after her death; these Northern Cheyenne had waited in museums for more than a century before they could be buried. I also thought that my mother had a long, full life and had died peacefully; these Northern Cheyenne men, women, and children had lived fore-shortened lives that ended violently, cruelly. Nevertheless, the return of their ancestors appeared to have brought some measure of healing to the attendees. As they said, “Naevahoo’ohtseme” (We are going back home).

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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I ing process of American Jews (Fogelman, 1991; Duran et al., 1998). Likewise, “Native Americans live in a colonized country where similar patterns of grief have emerged” (Fogelman, 1991), and which also has hindered a healthy grieving process. Other American Indian groups in the United States have attempted various ways to heal the historical traumas they experienced. The Dakota Sioux uprising of 1862 in southern Minnesota resulted in numerous Sioux deaths. It also resulted in the largest single, formal execution in U.S. history—the mass hanging of 38 Sioux at Mankato, Minnesota, on December 26, 1862 (Thornton, 1987). One hundred twenty-five years later, the Dakota Sioux established a “year of reconciliation,” whereby they attempted to deal with the events of 1862, and “come to terms with what happened, and move on with our lives, but not forget” (personal conversation with the author). The forced removal of the Cherokee Indians from the Southeast into Indian Territory during the late 1830s is well known in U.S. history. It was such a tragic event and caused so much pain and death that it was named literally “the trail where we cried” and has become known as the “Trail of Tears,” in Cherokee “Nunna daul Tsuny.” An estimated 4,000 men, women, and children died on the thousand-mile trek. The event stands as the single most significant event in the history of the Cherokee Nation. In an effort to deal with this trauma and confront the pain it caused, the Cherokee established a Trail of Tears Association, whereby the event is commemorated annually and the graves of those who were removed are marked with a special medallion—our attempt to heal the wounds of the trauma of history.18 On December 29, 1890, several hundred Sioux men, women, and children were massacred by soldiers of the Seventh Cavalry19 at Wounded Knee Creek. Earlier, a band of 350 Sioux had fled their reservation in order to practice their new religion—the Ghost Dance. The massacre occurred when the troops were attempting to disarm the escaped Sioux and prepare them for shipment back to their reservation. After the massacre, the Cavalry left with their dead and wounded. A burial detail was sent out a few days later to bury the Indians. In the meantime, other Sioux 18   I said, at a presentation to the 1998 meeting of the Trail of Tears Association, “We are lucky in this regard. We have confronted this sad part of our history, have recognized it, and have been able to heal some of the hurt it caused us as a people. Other Indian groups are not so fortunate.” 19   The Seventh Calvary was the regiment commanded by General George A.Custer, who was defeated by the Sioux, Northern Cheyenne and other tribes on June 25, 1876, in the Battle of Greasy Grass, or, as more well-known, the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I learned of the massacre and collected some of the dead. When the burial detail arrived January 1, 1891, a heavy blizzard had covered the remaining dead bodies. One hundred and forty-six men, women, and children were collected and buried in a mass grave. Seven generations after the massacre, the Sioux “undertook a communal memorialization through the Tatanka Iyotake (Sitting Bull) and Wokiksuye (Bigfoot) Ride, which traced the path of the Hunkpapa and Miniconju massacred at Wounded Knee” (Duran et al., 1998). It was time for them, they said, to put the event behind them and go on with their lives, but not forget. Repatriation and Healing the Trauma of History The repatriation process has helped American Indian groups to achieve some closure on traumatic events of their histories. For example, some of the Sioux massacred at Wounded Knee wore sacred Ghost Dance shirts; they were stripped of these shirts before being dumped into the grave. Six of these shirts ended up at the National Museum of Natural History; one was displayed in a museum exhibit with the caption that it was taken from the Wounded Knee “Battlefield.”20 The Smithsonian officially had 29 “objects” from those massacred including a blanket from “a dead body,” a pair of boy’s moccasins, and baby jackets and caps. The return of the objects to the descendants of those killed occurred in September 1998. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS Trends in demographics, tribal sovereignty, economic development, education, and repatriation are extremely important for American Indians in American society. Demographically, American Indians are now not only surviving in society, but also increasing in numbers. However, the ways American Indians define themselves, and are defined by our society, are changing; and this may have far-reaching implications for American Indians in the twenty-first century. American Indian tribal sovereignty is alive if not well, and numerous court cases will continue to emerge as the legal relationships between 20   In the fall of 1986, I was a fellow at the National Museum of Natural History. I remember vividly a trip one afternoon with a curator into the attic of the National Museum of Natural History building to examine some of their North American Indian collections. He volunteered to show me these shirts. He pulled out a drawer from a large cabinet. There they were; almost 100 years after it occurred, I was a witness to a remaining legacy of the massacre at Wounded Knee. The shirts have bullet holes and are stained with blood; some still have medicine bags attached.

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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I American Indians and society continue to be debated, refined, and changed. Important, however, is the fact that American Indians may once again emerge as powerful political players on the national scene—not just as moral entities, but also as significant economic entities. This is in part because of the newly possible economic development of American Indian tribes. The twenty-first century holds much promise for American Indians in this regard. Educationally, American Indians have gained some measure of control over the education of their youth, a trend unlikely to reverse itself in the new century. Also important, educationally, is the emergence of American Indian studies. It has the potential to fundamentally alter American conceptions about American Indians and bring important new knowledge bases within the realm of academe; unfortunately, that potential is largely unfilled. Finally, the legally mandated repatriation of American Indian human remains and objects back to the native communities from which they came—and to which many would say they belong—is fundamentally altering the relationships of American Indians with society and academe. Important in this is the movement toward alleviating the traumas of history many American Indians experienced with colonialism and still find unresolved. REFERENCES Bergman, M., and M.Jucovy, eds. 1990 Generations of the Holocaust. New York: Columbia University Press. Berry, B. 1969 The Education of American Indians: A Survey of the Literature. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. Bieder, R. 1986 Science Encounters the Indian, 1820–1880: The Early Years of American Ethnology. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Blackwell, C., and J.Mehaffey 1983 American Indians, trust and recognition. In Nonrecognized American Indian Tribes: An Historical and Legal Perspective, F.Porter, III, ed. Occasional Papers Series, no. 7. Chicago: The Newberry Library. Buikstra, J. 1992 Diet and disease in late prehistory. Pp. 87–101 in Disease and Demography in the Americas, J.Verano and D.Ubelaker, eds. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. Byrd, W. 1929 Histories of the Dividing Line Betwixt Virginia and North Carolina. Raleigh, N.C.: The North Carolina Historical Commission. Cohen, F. 1982 [1942] Handbook of Federal Indian Law (reprint). New York: AMS Press.

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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I Cole, D. 1985 Captured Heritage: The Scramble for Northwest Coast Artifacts. Seattle: University of Washington Press. Dobyns, H. 1966 Estimating Aboriginal American population: An appraisal of techniques with a new hemispheric estimate. Current Anthropology 7:395–416. 1983 Their Number Become Thinned: Native American Population Dynamics in Eastern North America. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. Duran, B., E.Duran, and M.Yellow Horse Brave Heart 1998 Native Americans and the trauma of history. In Studying Native America: Problems and Prospects, R.Thornton, ed. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Duran, E., and B.Duran 1995 Native American Postcolonial Psychology. Albany: State University of New York Press. Elliott, E., and M.Chambers, eds. 1934 Charters and Basic Laws of Selected American Universities and Colleges. New York: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Eschbach, K. 1995 The enduring and vanishing American Indian. Ethnic and Racial Studies 18:95. Fogelman, E. 1991 Mourning without graves. In Storms and Rainbows: The Many Faces of Death, A. Medvene, ed. Washington, D.C.: Lewis Press. Hammond, W. 1862 Surgeon General’s Office, Washington, D.C., Circular No. 2, May 21. In A History of the United States Army Medical Museum, 1862 to 1917, D.Lamb, compiler. Washington, D.C.: n.p. Harris, D. 1994 The 1990 Census count of American Indians: What do the numbers really mean? Social Science Quarterly 15:583. Jefferson, T. n.d. Thomas Jefferson address, War Department, National Archives. Kaeppler, A. 1985 Letter to tribal representatives. Chairman, Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, November 22. Knight, E., ed. 1949 A Documentary History of Education in the South Before 1860, Volume 1. Chapel Hill, N.C.: The University of North Carolina Press. Knopf, R., ed. 1960 Anthony Wayne: A Name in Arms. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. Lamb, D., compiler n.d. A History of the United States Army Medical Museum, 1862 to 1917. Washington, D.C.: n.p. Locke, P. 1974 A Survey of College and University Programs for American Indians. Boulder, Colo.: Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. McManamon, F. 1994 Memorandum to Universities, Colleges, Departments of Anthropology, Schools of Medicine. National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior, August 15, Washington, D.C.

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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I Meriam, L. 1928 The Problem of Indian Administration. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press. Mooney, J. 1910 Population. In Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, F.Hodge, ed. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. 1928 The aboriginal population of America north of Mexico. In Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, Vol. 80, J.Swanton, ed. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. Nagel, J. 1995 Politics and the resurgence of American Indian ethnic identity. American Sociological Review 60:953. National Research Council 1996 Colleges of Agriculture at the Land Grant Universities: Public Service and Public Policy. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. New York Times 1987 December 8. Noriega, J. 1992 American Indian education in the United States: Indoctrination for subordination to colonialism. In The State of Native America: Genocide, Colonization, and Resistance, M.Jaimes, ed. Boston: South End Press. Olson, M. 1988 The legal road to economic development: Fishing rights in western Washington. Pp. 77–112 in Public Policy Impacts on American Indian Economic Development, C. Snipp, ed. Albuquerque: Institute for Native American Development, Development Series No. 4, University of New Mexico. Passel, J. 1976 Provisional evaluation of the 1970 Census count of American Indians. Demography 13:397–409. Passel, J., and P.Berman 1986 Quality of 1980 Census data for American Indians. Social Biology 33:986. Peregoy, R. 1992 The legal basis, legislative history, and implementation of Nebraska’s landmark reburial legislation. Arizona State Law Journal 24:329–389. Price, H., III 1991 Disputing the Dead: U.S. Law on Aboriginal Remains and Grave Goods. Columbia: University of Missouri Press. Prucha, F., ed. 1975 Documents of United States Indian Policy. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Ronda, J., and J.Axtell 1978 Indian Missions: A Critical Bibliography. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Sandefur, G., and T.McKinnell 1985 Intermarriage among Blacks, Whites and American Indians. Paper presented at the meetings of the American Sociological Association, Washington, D.C. Smyth, A., ed. 1907 [1784] The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, Volume X, 1789–1790. New York: The Macmillan Co. Snipp, C. 1988 Public policy impacts and American Indian economic development. In Public Policy Impacts on American Indian Economic Development, C.Snipp, ed. Albuquerque: Institute for Native American Development, Development Series No. 4, University of New Mexico.

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America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volume I Strickland, R. 1998 The eagle’s empire. In Studying Native America: Prospects and Problems, R. Thornton, ed. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Thompson, H. 1957 Education among American Indians: Institutional aspects. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 311:95. Thornton, R. 1987 American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History since 1492. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 1994 Urbanization. Pp. 670–671 in Native Americans in the Twentieth Century: An Encyclopedia, M.Davis, ed. New York: Garland. 1997 Tribal membership requirements and the demography of “old” and “new” Native Americans. Population Research and Policy Review 7:9. 1998 Studying Native America: Problems and Prospects. Thornton, R. ed. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Thornton, R., G.Sandefur, and C.Snipp 1991 American Indian fertility history. American Indian Quarterly 15:359–367. Trope, J., and W.Echo-Hawk 1992 The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act: Background and legislative history. Arizona State Law Journal 24:35–77. U.S. Bureau of the Census 1992 1990 Census of Population: General Population Characteristics: American Indian and Alaska Native Areas. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. 1993 We the…First Americans. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. 1994 1990 Census of the Population: Characteristics of American Indians by Tribe and Language. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs 1903 Statistics of Indian Tribes, Agencies, and Schools, 1903. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. 1978 Guidelines for Preparing a Petition for Federal Acknowledgment as an Indian Tribe. Washington, D.C., photocopy:3, 8–11, 17. Ubelaker, D. 1988 North American Indian population size, A.D. 1500 to 1985. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 77:289–294. Ubelaker, D., and L.Grant 1989 Human skeletal remains: Preservation or reburial? Yearbook of Physical Anthropology 32:249–287. Verano, J., and Ubelaker, D., eds. 1992 Disease and Demography in the Americas. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. Washburn, W. 1975 American Indian studies: A status report. American Quarterly XXVII:270.