The House and Senate had Indian-specific committees in some form or another until 1946 when Congress’ “Termination Policy” eliminated them and merged the Indian committees into larger committees. Termination policy attacked tribal sovereignty and ended federal recognition of more than 50 tribal governments. This policy has been responsible for the loss of Native American lands and a history of economic exploitation and repression.
The Senate revived its Committee on Indian Affairs in 1997 and made it a permanent standing committee in 1984. The House of Representatives has not yet revived their Committee on Indian Affairs. This is regretable from the House of Cngress nicknamed, "The People's House." LCCR’s Henderson said that the failure of the House to revive its committee “is the last vestige of a destructive policy of Termination that has been in all other ways soundly repudiated by policy-makers.” Native groups, including the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the National American Indian Housing Council, and the National Indian Gaming Association, have made the formation of the new standing committee their top priority.
I propose that we petition incoming Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, to ensure that this Committee is re-established.
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