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Indian Reorganization Act - An act passed by Congress in 1934 authorizing Indian tribes to establish and conduct their own governments and form business corporations.  The I. R. A.  abolished the old Allotment Act, authorized the Secretary of the Interior to return to the tribes all "surplus lands," and prohibited the sale of indian lands to non Indians.  More lands were to be purchased for Indian tribes.

The I. R. A. restored to the Indian the right to practice his own religion and tribal ceremonies.  All restrictions on the use of his language were abolished.  An Arts and Crafts Board was established to encourage the production of indian art and handicraft and to promote the sale of such work.  Indian teachers speaking native languages were employed in grade schools.  A scholarship fund was established from which Indians could borrow for college or special training, and a revolving loan fund was set up for the incorporated tribal enterprises.

After passage of the act, tribes were given two years to decide whether to go on as they had before, or to accept the conditions of the I. R. A. In 1936, 195 out of the 258 eligible "tribes" accepted.  Others who felt that their reservations and treaty rights might be affected, did not accept the act in full, but many have taken advantage of certain provisions of the act, such as the revolving loan fund.

Related Information within this Site
[ Allotment Act ][ Association of American Indian Affairs ]
[ Bureau of Indian Affairs ][ Indian Reservation ]
[ Indian Schools ]