2017, 19(2) • K.A. Brown-Pérez: By Whatever Means Necessary: The U.S. Government’s Ongoing Attempts to Remove Indigenous Peoples During an Era of Self-(De)termination

By Whatever Means Necessary: The U.S. Government’s
Ongoing Attempts to Remove Indigenous Peoples During an
Era of Self-(De)termination

by Kathleen A. Brown-Pérez (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

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Since first contact with Europeans, Indigenous peoples have been in the way. In the United States, the federal government has enacted policies to further the goal of removing them. Initially, the most expedient way to clear the land was physical annihilation. Massacres, Indian wars, starvation, and disease reduced the Indigenous population significantly but not enough to satisfy the federal government or its citizens. Subsequent policies were considered necessary. They had different names and stated goals, but they served only one purpose: eliminate Indians. They can be assimilated into non-Indian culture until their Indianness is unrecognizable. They can be defined out of existence by a government that has taken control of the definitions of “Indian” and “tribe” in a way that excludes many Indigenous peoples. The actions by the U.S. government may have changed over the years, but the result is the same: fewer and fewer Indigenous peoples in the U.S.

Keywords: American Indians, federal acknowledgment, Bureau of Indian Affairs, identity, indigeneity, genocide, federal Indian policy, assimilation, settler colonialism, violence

Suggested bibliographic reference for this article:
Brown-Pérez, K.A. (2017). By Whatever Means Necessary: The U.S. Government’s Ongoing Attempts to Remove Indigenous Peoples During an Era of Self-(De)termination. New Diversities, 19(2), 7-23. Retrieved November 19, 2018, from http://newdiversities.mmg.mpg.de/?page_id=3178

New Diversities • Volume 19, No. 2, 2017
Indigenous Politics of Resistance: From Erasure to Recognition
Guest Editor: Manuela L. Picq (Amherst College and Universidad San Francisco de Quito-USFQ)
ISSN-Print 2199-8108
ISSN-Internet 2199-8116