AUGUST 28, 1934

AMERICAN INDIAN FEDERATION CREATED

The American Indian Federation (AIF) was an Anti-New Deal lobbying group.  AIF grew from the Oklahoma-based Indian National Confederacy, under Joseph Bruner, a wealthy Creek, who was AIF president throughout its existence.  AIF had 3 goals: repeal the Indian Reorganization Act; remove Indian Commissioner John Collier; and abolish the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  The AIF believed that the government should consider American Indians to be U.S. citizens subject to all state and federal laws without BIA supervision.  The AIF supported assimilation and charged Collier and others with being communists.  The group was split in 1939 by the “Settlement Bill,” which would pay $3000 to each Native American in final settlement of all claims against the government.  Essentially dead by 1945, AIF never achieved its goals.  Some credit AIF with suggesting the tribal termination policy of the 1950s.  Protests by AIF may also have led to passage of the 1936 Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act.  

Source:  Marci Barnes Gracey, “American Indian Federation,” Oklahoma Historical Society.  Retrieved 7/11/2019, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=AM006
Photo:  American Indian Federation, 1/1/1932.   Lobbying Letter sent by AIF to Congress.  Fair Use:  This is a copy of a letter distributed to all members of Congress.  It has no monetary value and is being used for non-commercial/educational purposes only.

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