The Surrounded • By D’Arcy McNickle
Biography • Born on January 18, 1904 in St. Ignatius, Montana on the Flathead Indian Reservation. • Born to a French Cree (Métis) mother, Philomene Parenteau, and an Irish father, William James McNickle, McNickle was the youngest child, and had two older sisters, Ruth Elizabeth and Florence Lea. McNickle's mother applied for membership into the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (known as the Flathead) and she and her children were adopted and received a land allotment under the 1887 Dawes Act. His parents divorced in 1914 and for a time McNickle went by the name of his stepfather, Dahlberg.McNickle attended mission and government schools for Indian children in Montana and in Oregon, and attended the University of Montana from 1921-1925. In 1925 McNickle sold his land allotment and left for Europe, attending Oxford University (1925-1926) and the University of Grenoble (1931). He eventually went to work in New York and also was briefly at Columbia University in 1933. Although he never finished a degree, McNickle received an honorary Sc.D from the University of Colorado in 1966.
Biography con’t • Eventually McNickle went to Washington, D.C. to work for the Bureau of Indian Affairs under John Collier. He worked under this "Indian New Deal" from 1936 to 1952 as an administrative assistant, a field representative for the commissioner, an assistant to the commissioner, and eventually the director of tribal relations. In 1952 he took up the directorship of the newly established American Indian Development, Incorporated, which was run by the University of Colorado, Boulder. • McNickle is the author of three novels: The Surrounded (1936), Runner in the Sun: A Story of Indian Maize (1954), and Wind From an Enemy Sky (1978). • He died suddenly of a heart attack in October 1977.
How do Indian tribes govern themselves? • Most tribal governments are organized in much the same way as state and local governments. Legislative authority is vested in an elected body often referred to as a tribal council, although it can be known by other names, such as business committee, community council, or executive board. The council members can be elected either by district or at large. In some instances, the members are nominated by district but are elected at large. The council governs the internal affairs of the tribe with one important exception. Some tribal resolutions and ordinances may be subject to review by the Secretary of the Interior. In some instances, the secretary may have veto power over tribal ordinances. However, a tribe may opt out of this review/veto requirement if the tribe’s constitution does not include the requirement. • Executive authority is exercised by a presiding officer often called a tribal chairman or president. The chairman can be elected either at large or by the members of the council. If the duties of the tribal chairman are not spelled out in the tribal constitution or bylaws, the role of the chairman then depends on the governing structure of the tribe.
Do Indian tribes have a court system? • Tribal governments do have court systems. The system can vary from a highly structured system with tribal prosecutors, tribal defenders, and an appellate system to a simpler judicial system that operates on a part-time basis. Tribal judges can be popularly elected or appointed by a tribal council. Tribal judges generally are not attorneys, but some tribes require preparation for office by administering judicial qualification examinations. Tribal court judges all receive judicial training while serving in office. • Tribal governments often do not have the ‘separation of powers” that calls for an independent judiciary. How independent a tribal court is from a tribal council depends on the method of selecting judges, council tradition, and the character of the individual judge. • In the Constitution adopted in 2001, the Crow Tribe provided for a separation of powers among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of its tribal government. The Chippewa Cree Tribe constitution also provides for a separate judiciary. The Northern Cheyenne Tribe has established a separate judiciary by tribal ordinance.
Are modern tribal governments based on traditional governance structures of the Indian tribes? • No. Most modern tribal governmental structures have their origin in the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) of 1934 (25 U.S.C. § 476). Prior to the arrival of the Europeans, tribal governments varied from the highly complex, as represented by the Iroquois League, to the less formal, as represented by the tribes of the Great Basin deserts. • However, within this range of complexitywere certain common characteristics: the integration of the political with the religious, the importance of the tribe over the individual, and consensus decision-making. • * The information in this section comes mainly from The Tribal Nations of Montana: A Handbook for Legislators published by the Montana Legislative Services Division. A copy of the Handbook is available online at the Office of Public Instruction website under “Indian Education”.
Federal Polices • Federal policies, put into place throughout American history, have affected Indian people and still shape who they are today. Much of Indian history can be related through several major federal policy periods: • Colonization Period 1492 - • Treaty Period 1789 - 1871 • Allotment Period 1887 - 1934 • Boarding School Period 1879 - -- • Tribal Reorganization Period 1934 - 1958 • Termination Period 1953 - 1988 • Self-determination 1975 – current • See the OPI Publication A History and Foundation of American Indian Education Policy at http://www.opi.mt.gov/pdf/indianed/Resources/History_FoundationAmIndianPolicy.pdf
Colonization Period 1492 –preconceived notions develop at this time about the Native American. They are lumped together as one type of people and stereotyped as either the “noble Indian” or the “savage Indian.” James Fennimore Copper’s Last of the Mohicans gave the American public this view of the Indian which then led to the belief that mixing with the Natives meant contamination of one’s blood line or miscegenation. • On the realistic side of things, the captive narrative writings revealed some truths about the white man’s experience living with the Native American. These writings detailed tribal life and the differences between tribes. A higher percentage of captive whites return to the tribes rather than to colonial society. • For the west – records of the fur traders told stories of the Native. Some gathered up oral stories to reveal the unique tribal differences at this time. • Approximately 1710 – Horse arrives in Western Montana tribes First missionaries arrive in Montana in the 1830s.
Treaty Period • Treaty Period 1778-1871 – westerners, dime novels, Wild Bill Show. • During the treaty period literature represented the Native American as a “vanishing race.” This term refers to the idea that races are only linked together by the understanding that the inferior race has to die.After the Civil War the federal government concluded that it was no longer feasible to allow Western tribes a free existence; they would be confined to reservations. Hellgate Treaty of 1855 made way for the Salish to be relocated out of the Bitterroot Valley and into the Flathead region. • This is a time when the Dawes Severalty Act of 1887is completed. Named after Senator Dawes, this act encourages wandering natives to settle onto one piece of land. The leftover land then becomes available for white settlement. Once settled on the land, Natives were required after twenty-five years to pay taxes on the land. Natives were expected to switch to the currency based on economy as well as an agricultural subsistence. Treaties and federal policies had reduced Indian populations and land holdings to a minuscule fraction of their original size resulting in vast tracts of land being available for non-Indian settlement and development. • During this period of American history, attitudes and policies toward Indians were largely paternalistic and focused on controlling Indians and forcing them to change.
Allotment Period • Allotment Period 1887-1934 – Images of Tonto, the faithful side kick; the Indian helper who tries to fit into the civilize world; the squaw who marries a white man. • The Flathead reservation is open to homesteadeding in 1910 • In the 1870s, policymakers in Washington decided that the best way to “civilize” Indians was through removing children from their homes and placing them in faraway boarding schools. In those schools, “Civilizing” Indian children meant suppressing their native languages, teaching them to read English and a vocation, cutting their long hair, dressing them in uniforms, and converting them to Protestantism. • Linguistic conquest continued in the classrooms. Established in 1879, Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania became the model institution for this policy. Coping with boarding school life, not all Indians felt hostage of this education or reduced their experiences to mere victimage. Despite being forbidden to speak their native language, boarding school education was used as a springboard for some to become writers and movie actors. Others Indian writers campaigned for Indian rights and lobbied Congress for Indian citizenship until the 1924 Citizenship Act was passed.
Boarding School Period • From 1879 - This period of American history also saw the advent of the boarding school era, a time in which American Indian children were forced to attend schools far from home and family, and where their traditional ways of life were totally banned and severe punishments were exacted for even speaking a tribal language. • This is a time designed to teach English and white customs. In 1879 Carlisle Industrial Indian School in PA was opened by Pratt, a military officer. Pratt had been the officer overseeing Indian prisoners in Florida, Fort Marian. He developed the idea of total and complete assimilation wanting children to be completely removed from their parents. Schools were developed in the military style, short hair, uniforms, corporal punishment, and Christian naming. • The literature of this time consisted of personal stories with a variety of experiences. In some cases the boarding school helped a Native American become educated and move off the reservation. In other cases the severed ties between children and parents became a search for identity. Literature reflected the “lost Indian” or the successful Indian who denies his or her heritage.
Tribal Reorganization • Tribal Reorganization Period – 1934-1958 • What happened to the traditional tribal leadership structures? • With displacement and the confinement of tribes on reservations and the establishment of the Indian agent system by the federal government, traditional tribal governing structures were forcibly suppressed. In 1934, the federal government passed the IRA in an attempt to re- establish tribal self-government, but basing it on a western European model. The Bureau of Indian Affairs drew up a standard constitution that established a representative form of government that tribes were free to adopt with limited expressions of historic tribal governing principles. Tribes that adopted IRA constitutions have revised them over the years to reflect individual tribal concerns and to exercise greater tribal autonomy. However, the constitutions still retain many of the original provisions. • Literature depicting this time period characterizes the Indian as having two identities – one from a past Indian heritage and one from the white man’s world. A new generation of Indian grew up without knowledge of a cultural language or traditions. Autobiographies and anthropological texts began to emerge as documentation for a “lost culture.”
Tribal Reorganization • In Montana, some reservations are home to more than one Indian tribe. Does each tribe have its own government? • No. One result of the IRA was the creation of a single tribal government for each reservation, regardless of how many tribes may reside on that reservation. In Montana, an example is the placement of the Assiniboine and the White Clay People on the Fort Belknap Reservation. The IRA did not allow for separate governments for each tribe. In order to retain some cultural identity, some tribal governments have made constitutional provisions for elected representatives of each tribe to serve on the tribal council. The Fort Belknap Tribes go one step further by requiring the candidates for chairman and vice chairman to run as a team, with one being an Assiniboine and the other a White Clay.
Tribal Reorganization • Are there any tribes that did not reorganize under the IRA? • Yes. Approximately 40% of the tribes in the United States chose not to come under the IRA. The most notable exceptions are the Navajo Nation and the Pueblos of New Mexico. In Montana, the Crow Tribe and the Fort Peck Tribes rejected the IRA in favor of a general council form of government in which each enrolled adult tribal member has a vote. The general council elects the tribal officers who are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the tribal government. In 1960, the Fort Peck Tribes adopted a new Constitution that calls for an elected tribal council but still makes provision for a general council.
Termination Period • Termination Period – 1953-1988 • What types of activities do tribal governments engage in today? • Tribal governments engage in a number of activities that relate to the governance of reservation affairs. These activities include: defining conditions of membership; regulating domestic relations of members; prescribing rules of inheritance for reservation property not in trust status; levying taxes; regulating property under tribal jurisdiction; controlling the conduct of members by tribal ordinance; administering justice; conducting elections; developing tribal health and education programs; managing tribal economic enterprises; managing natural resources; enacting environmental protection; and maintaining intergovernmental relations at the federal, state, and local level. • Literature for this period was abundant especially with Native writers contributing to the writing scene. Major texts shed light on historical events giving the Native perspective – i.e. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown, Black Elks Speaks by Black Elk. Famous Natives Americans acknowledge their heritage in public. Organizations formed such as the AIM – American Indian Movement to raise awareness of the Native’s situation.
Self-Determination Period • Self – Determination Period – 1975-present • What are self-governance compacts? • Under the Indian Self-Determination Act of 1972, the federal government began a program of self-governance for Indian tribes in the United States. The Self-Governance Act of 1994 expanded the authority of the program. Under this program, a tribe may enter into a compact agreement with the Department of the Interior to operate its own tribal programs and former BIA programs free of the daily oversight of the Bureau. A self-governance compact gives tribes far more authority and power to govern their reservations. A self-governance compact also provides more money for tribes to operate their programs.
Self - Determination • Do any tribes in Montana have self-governance compacts? • Yes. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes on the Flathead Reservation and the Chippewa Cree Tribe on the Rocky Boy’s Reservation are self-governance tribes. • Literature for this period continues to flood the market with personal accounts of the Native’s story. Oral storytelling is recorded to preserve these stories. Educational programs begin to re-educate the Native youth in the traditional ways as well as in modern ways. Histories start to be rewritten to incorporate all sides of the event. Native authors who hit the scene include: James Welch, Sherman Alexie, Andrew Garcia, Leslie Silko, D’Arcy McNickle, Joseph Medicine Crow, and Debra Earling. • The image of the Native at this time period is more realistic; one of a human being struggling to find peace between two cultures, finding self-worth, finding a connection to the past, and trying to make sense of where their culture is going.
Self - Determination • Are there any Indian people in Montana who live off the reservations? • Yes. According to the 2000 Census, there are 56,068 American Indians living in Montana. Of this number, about 35% live off of a reservation. This percentage has held fairly steady for the last 20 years. This percentage includes the members of the Little Shell Tribe because the Tribe does not have a reservation. It also includes American Indians who are enrolled members of tribes outside of Montana. Tribal enrollment offices for Montana tribes estimate that in 2006 anywhere from 30% to 50% of their enrolled tribal members lived off of their home reservation.
Self - Determination • Do Indian people who live off of their home reservations in Montana lose their tribal membership and benefits? • No. Tribal members who live off of their home reservations do not lose tribal membership and benefits. However, to access those benefits (e.g. health care) or to exercise their membership rights (e.g. voting in tribal elections), they may have to return to their home reservations. There may be some benefits, such as higher education scholarships, that they are eligible for without returning to the reservation. Tribal services and benefits for off-reservation members will vary from tribe to tribe.
Self - Determination • How are tribal elections conducted? • Generally, tribal elections are conducted in the same manner as state or local elections. There is a primary election followed by a general election. Voting is by secret ballot. The major difference is that tribal elections are nonpartisan. In tribal elections, only tribal members are allowed to vote. Also, tribes may or may not allow absentee voting.
Self - Termination • Does a state government have authority over tribal governments within a state’s boundaries? • No. The United States Constitution gives authority in Indian affairs to the federal government, not to the state governments. Tribal governments are not subservient to state governments. State laws cannot be applied where they interfere with the rights of a tribe to make its own laws or where it would interfere with federal interest. Furthermore, tribes can enact laws that are stricter or more lenient than state laws. States may exercise authority in matters that pertain exclusively to non-Indians and that do not affect tribal interests.
What role does the Bureau of Indian Affairs play in a tribal government? • The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is responsible for acting as the trustee for Indian lands and for lands held in trust. (“Trustee” means that an individual or tribal property or management of such property is the responsibility of the BIA.) In addition, the BIA provides public services on reservations, either directly or through contracts with a tribe, in areas such as welfare, education, and law and order, when these services are not available to tribes from other federal agencies. The BIA also helps Indian tribes develop programs to attract economic development to reservations. • The BIA does not play any part in the workings of a tribal government. While on some reservations the Bureau maintains a significant presence, the BIA is not involved in tribal governmental decision-making. • Office of the Special Trustee: Established by the American Indian Trust Fund Management Reform Act of 1994 (Public Law 103-412), the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians was created to improve the accountability and management of Indian funds held in trust by the federal government. As trustee, the Department of the Interior has the primary fiduciary responsibility to manage both tribal trust funds and Individual Indian Monies accounts, as well as the resources that generate the income for those accounts.
U.S. Timeline of Impacts Upon the Native American • 1802Congress appropriated funds to “civilize and educate” Indian people. • 1803The Louisiana Purchase by the United States from France, adds a large Indian population to the United States. • 1803-1806Lewis and Clark expeditions open up the West. • 1809-1811Tecumseh, a Shawnee chief, tries to unite tribes against the United States. • 1809-1821Sequoyah creates the Cherokee alphabet. • 1812-1815The War of 1812 between United States and England. Tecumseh, a brigadier general for the British, is killed. • 1813-1818The Creek War takes place in the Southeast. Andrew Jackson takes Creek lands, invades Florida to punish Seminoles. • 1819Spain cedes Florida to the United States.
con’t • 1830The Indian Removal Act calls for relocation of eastern Indians to Indian territory west of the Mississippi River. This is contested in court. • 1832The Supreme Court decides in favor of the Cherokees, but Andrew Jackson ignores the decision. • 1831-1839Five Civilized Tribes of the Southeast relocated to Indian Territory. • 1832The Bureau of Indian Affairs was organized in the War Department. • 1834 The Trade and Intercourse Act redefines the Indian territory and the Permanent Indian Frontier and gives the army the right to quarantine Indians. • 1835Texas declares itself a republic independent from Mexico.
1845-1853 The Spanish Southwest and its many tribes become part of the United States. • 1848-1849 Gold is discovered in California; destruction of California and Plains Indians. • 1849 The Bureau of Indian Affairs is transferred to the Department of the Interior. • 1851 The Treaty of Ft. Laramie between the United States and Northern Plains tribes.
U.S. Timeline - continue • 1890-1910The population of Indians fell to a low point of less than 250,000 in the United States • 1902The Reclamation Act encourages settlement of the West. • 1909Teddy Roosevelt issues executive order transferring 2.5 million acres ofIndian timberlands to national forests. • 1910The U.S. government forbids the Sun Dance among Plains Indians. • 1911The Society of American Indians was formed as an activist group. • 1914-1918Many Indian people enlisted in the armed forces during World War I. • 1917-1920Many Indians lost their lands to some corrupt Anglos. • 1921The U.S. Department of the Interior is responsible for Indian education and social services.
1924 Congress awarded American citizenship to all Indians. Some had already obtained it. • 1928 Charles Curtis, Kaw Indian and U.S. Senator, was elected Vice- President under Hoover. • The Merriam Report deplored Indian living conditions and declared the allotment system a failure. • 1934 Wheeler-Howard (Indian Reorganization) Act provides for tribal ownership of land and tribal self-government.
1941-1945During World War II, approximately 25,000 Indians served in active duty and thousands more contributed to war efforts in war-related industries. • The famous Navajo Code Talkers used their language as a code the enemy was unable to decipher. Other tribal languages were also utilized as codes. • 1944The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) was organized. The Native American Church was incorporated. John Collier resigned as Commissioner of Indian Affairs. • 1946An Indian Claims Commission was created by Congress to settle tribal land claims against the United States. • 1948Assimilative Crimes Act held that offenses committed on reservations, not covered under a specific federal statute but punishable under state law, were to be tried in federal courts. • 1949The Hoover Commission on the Reorganization of Government recommended termination of the federal-Indian trust relationship.
Montana Timeline • 1803The United States acquires most of Montana in the Louisiana Purchase. • 1805-1806The Lewis and Clark Expedition crosses and recrosses Montana. • 1807Manuel Lisa builds the first fur fort in Montana on the Yellowstone River. • 1828Fort Union, an American Fur Company post, is built at the mouth of the Yellowstone River. • 1841Father Pierre Jean de Smet establishes St. Mary’s Mission in the Bitterroot Valley. • 1846The Oregon Treaty gives the rest of Montana to the United States.
1847 Fort Benton is founded on the Missouri River as a military and trading post; soon becoming world-renowned “Head of Navigation” to the west, and the world’s furthest inland port. Steamboats brought gold seekers, fur traders, settlers and supplies, making Fort Benton the “Birthplace of Montana.” • 1909 Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (Milwaukee Road) is completed through Montana. • 1910 Congress establishes Glacier National Park. • 1910-1918 Homesteading boom peaks on Montana’s plains. • 1919 Oil is discovered in the Cat Creek field. • 1933 Construction of the Ft. Peck Dam begins. • 1951 Petroleum boom begins in eastern Montana; affecting some tribes.
CONFEDERATED SALISH AND KOOTENAI TRIBES • Name of Reservation: The Flathead Reservation was established in 1855 by the Hellgate Treaty. • Location of Reservation:The Flathead Reservation is located in northwestern Montana between Missoula and Flathead Lake. The Reservation includes the southern half of Flathead Lake. • Names of Tribe(s) on Reservation:The Reservation is home to the Bitterroot Salish, the Upper Pend d’Oreille, and the Kootenai. Confederated Salish refers to both Salish and Pend d’Oreille whose heritage languages are closely related dialects. The Kootenai are a language isolate. • Size of Reservation:The Reservation covers 1.3 million acres of which about 58% is Indian owned, including the first tribally designated and managed wilderness area of 93,000 acres. About _ of the tribal land is in various forms of natural management. The Reservation was opened to homesteading in 1910.
Number of Currently Enrolled Members: • There are 7,106 enrolled members (2006). About 65% live on or near the Reservation. • Description of Government: • The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Council is composed of 10 members elected from eight districts for 4-year staggered terms. A Chairman and Vice-Chairman are elected by the Council from within the Council membership, and a Secretary-Treasurer and a Sergeant-at- Arms are elected by the Council from either within or without the Council membership. All officers are elected for 2-year terms. • Organized Under Indian Reorganization Act: • Yes. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ corporate charter was ratified in 1935. This Reservation is subject to concurrent jurisdiction in several areas under P.L. 280. • Self-Governance Compact Tribe: • Yes. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have practiced self-governance since the mid-1970s. In 1994, the CSKT assumed management of remaining BIA functions under P.L. 93-638. • Major Communities on the Reservation: • The major communities are Pablo (tribal headquarters), Arlee, Charlo, Dayton, Elmo, Hot Springs, Polson, Ronan, and St. Ignatius. • Tribal College: • Salish Kootenai College • www.skc.edu
FAST FACTS ABOUT MONTANA TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS • Prepared by the Montana Indian Education Association • With funding provided by the First Nations Development Institute • December 2006