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Timeline / Renewing Native Ways / 1970: Termination era ends; self-determination proposed

1970: Termination era ends; self-determination proposed

In a Special Message to Congress on Indian Affairs, President Richard Nixon denounces the Eisenhower-era policy of terminating Indian nations and announces a policy under which “the Indian future is determined by Indian acts and Indian decisions.” Forced assimilation, the aim since colonial days, would be abandoned. Although the speech creates no new conditions on reservations, it points federal policy in a new direction and demonstrates to American Indian leaders that the administration is listening to calls for self-determination. has the text of President Nixon’s special message to Congress on July 8, 1970.

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