Alida Bowler and the Indian Reorganization Act

Tribal Organization Under the Act

truck

“Boys posing on a truck in the 1930s.” Photo source: Bonnie Thompson, “A History of the Stewart Indian School, 1890-1940.” Dissertation at Arizona State University (2013), p. 83

The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 protected the rights of Native Americans to practice and preserve their cultures and customs, and allowed Indan tribes to become their own sovereign colonies, create their own constitutions, and legally advocate for their stolen land rights. The act also provided tribes with land allotments and Federal funds to support them. There were, however, failures of the Reorganization Act. It did not have wide-reaching support among Native Americans who thought that the Act was another attempt at control by the Government. It also did not reinstate all Tribal lands, and Tribal Land disputes still occur.

colonies map

Source: Nevada Indian Territories website at nevadaindianterritory.com

What did it do?

-Repealed the Dawes Act

-Reduced Federal control over Native Americans

-Increased Native American self-government and responsibility

-Re-allocated Native land to Native American Tribes

-Provided Federal funds to Tribes


constitution

Source: US Department of the Interior

Tribal Constitutions and Charters

1936: Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribe Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Shoshone-Pauite Tribes, Duck Valley Reservation Reno-Sparks Indian Colony (charter issued 1938)

1937: Walker River Paiute Tribe Yerington Pauite Tribe

1938: Te-Moak Bands of Western Shoshone Indians Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California

1939: Yomba Shoshone Tribe

1940: Duckwater Shoshone Tribe

1942: Moapa Band of Paiute Indians, Moapa River Reservation


bowler

Photo source: Angela Jordan, “Alida Cynthia Bowler: Responsibility of Privilege.” University of Illinois Archives, 11 April, 2014. Web.

Alida C. Bowler

Superintendent at Stewart Indian School and Nevada Indian Service 1934-1939

pyramid lake tribal council

“Alida Bowler with the Pyramid Lake Tribal Council” Source: Bonnie Thompson, “A History of the Stewart Indian School, 1890-1940.” Dissertation at Arizona State University (2013), p. 44

“The Nevada Indians…have tackled their economic and other problems thoughtfully and zealously [by] seizing the chance offered by the Indian Reorganization Act.” —Alida C. Bowler

fallon

“Alida Bowler with the Fallon Tribal Council” Photo source: Bonnie Thompson, “A History of the Stewart Indian School, 1890-1940.” Dissertation at Arizona State University (2013), p. 187

“We stand proudly on the record of accomplishments hung up by the Nevada Indians during the five years I have been privileged to serve as their adviser and friend.” —Alida C. Bowler

Page written by Naomi Moran

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