Relocation was a 1950s era policy adopted
by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (and promoted by certain members of
the U.S. Congress) to remove Indians from reservations in
preparation for the formal termination of their status as trustees
of the United States government.
An advertisement from the 1950s promoting the BIA's
Indian Relocation program, a thinly veiled renewed effort at
assimilating tribal people into 'mainstream' society.
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Typically, a reservation Indian was
given a one-way bus or train ticket to a distant urban center,
usually a West Coast city, and told to check in with the local
office of the BIA in order to land a job, find lodging, and to
start a new life. The 'urban Indian' phenomenon, in which
tens of thousands of rural Indians found themselves living in urban
centers, resulted from this policy.
Though 'relocation' did not last long as an official program
of the government, its effects were devastating for many thousands
of reservation Indians and continue to this day.