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Timeline / Citizenship, Services, and Sovereignty / 1946: Judicial commission adjudicates Native land claims

1946: Judicial commission adjudicates Native land claims

The federal government recognizes that American Indians, many of whom served in the armed forces during World War II, deserve a fair hearing for their land claims against the U.S. The Indian Claims Commission Act establishes an independent judicial panel to adjudicate disputes. Lawyers, anthropologists, and historians represent both the tribes and the government in hearings to settle Native land claims.

Federal-Tribal Relations
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Following the signing of the Indian Claims Commission Act, a Native American delegation presents President Truman with a pipe said to have once been smoked by Sitting Bull. Left to right are: Ish-Ti-Opi, Choctaw Indian from Caddo, Oklahoma; Reginald Curpy, of the Uncompahgre Ute Indians, Fort Duchesne, Utah; Julius Murray of the Uintah Ute Tribe, Fort Duchesne, Utah; and President Truman.

Courtesy Library of Congress