In the 1930′s the Federal-Tribal Relationship seems to have shifted from a policy of Indian assimilation to one of Indian self-government. In 1934, the Wheeler-Howard Act, or the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, encouraged tribes to adopt Constitutions and to form federally chartered corporations in order to promote Indian self-govt. Again the issue of tribal sovereignty had reared its head into Native History. The IRA provided a platform for later developments in tribal advancement with the Federal govt. in respect to tribal sovereignty.
Since the 1960′s, Native rights has entered into the era dubbed the period of “self-determination”. This period has been marked by advancements in tribal self-determination, in which tribes were granted the independent power to establish a form of government of their choosing, the authority to determine tribal membership, the power to adminsiter justice and police power, the power to exclude persons from the reservation, the power to charter business organizations, and sovereign immunity in court suits.
These movements of the 20th Century mark the native turn toward working within the system to resist American encroachment into Indian Country.in some sense the movements are a shift toward assimilation in fighting through the American system making the the courts and congress the battlefield. But as we’ve learned throughout the course the pen appears to be mightier than the sword, and the issue of improving Indian rights and sovergienty appears to be most successfully fought by working the system.