DECEMBER 22, 1973


Starting in the mid-1940s, the U.S. pursued a policy of “termination” designed to assimilate Native Americans into mainstream American society. On June 17, 1954, Congress passed the Menominee Termination Act. On April 30, 1961, Menominee were officially terminated and the geographical area of the reservation became a new county, Menominee County–soon the poorest county in the state. Tribal activists Ada Deer & James White formed Determination of Rights & Unity for Menominee Stockholders (DRUMS) in 1970. DRUMS initially fought to prevent a sale of tribal lands to non-Indians. By 1972, it began the fight to reverse termination. As President Richard Nixon had publicly opposed termination, legislation sped through Congress and on to Nixon for signature. The Act, 25 U.S.C. 903, et seq., repealed the Termination Act & returned federally recognition to the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin. It also restored tribal supervision over property & members and services to American Indian tribes.

Sources:  “Menominee Termination and Restoration,” Milwaukee Public Museum.  Retrieved 7/7/2022,  Menominee Termination and Restoration | Milwaukee Public Museum (
Photo:  U.S. Department of the Interior, between 1993-1997.  Public Domain.  

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