Difference between revisions of "Bureau of Indian Affairs"

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(New page: The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) was created in 1824 and assigned to the War Department of the national government. In 1849 the BIA was transferred to the U.S. Department of the Interior...)
 
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Johnson, Curtis E. and Galli, Marcia J. A History of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Its Activities Among Indians. San Francisco: R and E Research Associates, 1977.<br>
 
Johnson, Curtis E. and Galli, Marcia J. A History of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Its Activities Among Indians. San Francisco: R and E Research Associates, 1977.<br>
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[[Category:Indians of North America]]

Revision as of 15:10, 24 January 2008

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) was created in 1824 and assigned to the War Department of the national government. In 1849 the BIA was transferred to the U.S. Department of the Interior, where it still remains.

There was no federal government during the Colonial Period. Relationships with the Native Americans during this time period were handled by the individual colonies and by European governments such as England, France, and Spain.

When the Continental Congress was formed in 1775, three departments of Indian Affairs were also formed – northern, central, and southern. Benjamin Franklin and Patrick Henry were two of the early departmental commissioners.

In 1789, the U.S. Congress formed the War Department and placed Indian relations under that office, but a separate bureau was not formed until 1824, as noted above.

The BIA has had several responsibilities during its existence – trade with Native Americans, administration of funds, oversight of health and education of the American Indian, administration of land holdings for tribes and individual Indians, and a number of other duties. Agents were appointed to serve on reservations or among the Native American population to administer the affairs of the tribes, under the direction of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

Records of each of the responsibilities of the BIA were created and maintained at the Agency Office level on each reservation. Many of those records, including land allotment records, heirship records, school and health records, are still housed there. Some of the agency records have been transferred to the National Archives in Washington D.C. or to one of its several branches.

Bibliography:
Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches. New York: Clearwater Publishing Co., 1974. A description of Agencies, Area Offices, etc. of the BIA, with tribal index.

Johnson, Curtis E. and Galli, Marcia J. A History of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Its Activities Among Indians. San Francisco: R and E Research Associates, 1977.