The Action of the Interior Department in Forcing the Standing Rock Indians to Lease Their Lands to Cattle Syndicates
Philadelphia: Indian Rights Association, 1902.
Softcover. Very good. 27 pp, stapled binding. No. 61, Second series. Some small chips at edges, internally clean. The Indian Rights Association was formed in 1882 by white reformers who hoped to influence public sentiment and Congressional action regarding to the civil rights and education of Native Americans. In addition to efforts to influence policy, they tracked the actions of Indian Bureau agents, visited reservations to monitor Native American living conditions and health care needs, and sponsored speaking tours to inform the public about Native American issues. The group exercised considerable influence on American Indian policy through the 1930s. This pamphlet protests a Department of the Interior decision to lease grazing rights to ranchers on large portions of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North and South Dakota. Welsh argues that this policy will be detrimental to the Indians (who need the land for their own survival) and is directly contradictory to U.S. government policies designed to increase self-sufficency among the Indians through farming and stock raising. As a result of pleas to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs from various parties, the plan to lease reservation lands to white ranchers was actually reversed just before this pamphlet went to press. Welsh concludes that vociferous protest become a model for addressing future disputes: "We believe the agitation that has followed the unwise decision to lease the lands at Standing Rock, followed by the protest of the tribe and others, will be of great value to the Indians in the future."