1953 - Termination Era

Senator Arthur Watkins, principal sponsor of the Indian Termination Act.

         Indian termination refers to Public Law 280 which was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1953 in a thinly veiled (and unsuccessful) attempt to begin severing the trust doctrine between Indian tribes and the federal government by formally disbanding Indian tribes as legal entities, and giving state governments authority over their lands and resources.  The effort was led in the U.S. Congress by Sen. Arthur Watkins and Representative Reva Beck, both Mormons from Utah - a state which viewed the sovereignty, and land holdings, of the Ute Indians as an impediment to the progress of non-native citizens.

Termination - Mountains

 Public Law 280, the legislative heart and soul of Termination Era initiatives to dismantle the federal trust system with the Indian tribes, sought to wrest valuable Indian lands (and resources) from the sovereign control of Indian nations.


        Ultimately, the objective of these lawmakers was to break the treaty obligations of the federal government. The law was repealed in the late 1950s.  Several tribes that were terminated, such as the Menominee of Wisconsin, and the Klamath of Oregon, have since been reinstated as federally recognized tribes. http://www.airpi.org/projects/history.html