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National Tribal Chairmen's Association records 1971-1978

Creator:
National Tribal Chairmenʹs Association
Youpee, William
Toda, Chinzu
Subject:
United States Indian Health Service
American Indian Movement
Advisory Commission on Intergovernment Relations
Association on American Indian Tradition and Cultural Activities
Physical description:
40 linear feet
Culture:
American Indians legal cases tribal government agriculture
Type:
Sound recordings
Letters
Printed material
Minutes
Lists
Date:
1971-1978
Topic:
Indian-government relations
Indian interest groups
Local number:
NMAI.AC.014
Notes:
Planning for the establishment of the National Tribal Chairmenʹs Association took place in Pierre, North Dakota, in April 1971, and formal organization took place in Albuquerque in July 1971. The organization serves as a voice for elected Indian leaders of federally recognized tribes and promotes American Indian unity, observation of treaty and other rights, preservation of values, and progress in justice, social standing, education, economic well being, and political influence of all Indians of the United States. The organization no longer exists
Summary:
The files are those of the Washington, D.C., office that were acculated primarily under William Youpee. Youpee served as the first president of the association and became its executive director in 1972. There are also files accumulated by Chinzu Toda, a Bureau of Indian Affairs employee who was on loan to the NTCA. In 1978, Kenneth E. Black became the executive director. Material created from 1978 to the end of the NTCA are in private hands
Cite as:
Records of the National Tribal Chairmenʹs Association, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian Archives
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian Archives
Visitor Tag(s):

Reuben Snake papers 1970-1990

Creator:
Snake, Reuben 1937-1993
Subject:
National Congress of American Indians
Native American Religious Freedom Project
Native American Church of North America
National Tribal Chairmen's Association
Physical description:
1.25 linear feet (3 boxes)
Type:
Writings
Collection descriptions
Reports
Interviews
Correspondence
Clippings
Obituaries
Biography files
Biographies
Date:
1970
1970-1990
Topic:
Winnebago Indians
Peyote
Local number:
NMAI.AC.012
Notes:
Reuben A. Snake, Jr. was born January 12, 1937 at Winnebago, Nebraska, the youngest child of Reuben Harold and Virginia Greyhair Snake. Reuben's mother divorced her husband and later remarried, but Reuben's early life was fraught with hardships, including a period of separation from his parents and siblings. When the family's financial situation improved, parents and children were able to reunite and eventually settled in Hastings, Minnesota. Reuben entered Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kansas, in 1950 but later dropped out due to problems with alcohol. He joined the Army in 1956, from which he was honorably discharged, and two years later he married Kathy McKee, with whom he raised four daughters and two sons. In 1965 he quit drinking
Reuben was active in the American Indian Movement (AIM) in the 1970s and organized many demonstrations during his tenure as national chairman of that organization. After being elected chairman of the Winnebago tribe, he reorganized the tribe, centralizing its administration and improving funding and accountability. Reuben was involved with educational issues as well, serving on education committees for the National Congress of American Indians and the National Tribal Chairmen's Association. He worked both nationally and internationally to publicize the issues of Indian health, education and religious freedom
Reuben began to renew his spiritual and cultural ties with the Native American Church in the 1970s and eventually became a Roadman for the Church. With the help of Senator Daniel Inouye from Hawaii, he fought judicial battles to legalize the importation of peyote from Mexico for use in sacramental ceremonies. In 1990, when the United States Supreme Court ruled that the sacred use of peyote was not protected by the Constitution, Reuben became the official spokesperson for the Native American Church to educate the public about church philosophy and history. He organized the Native American Religious Freedom Project to lobby for national legislation that would amend and strengthen the American Indian Religious Freedom Act
Reuben had suffered a major heart attack in 1986 and by the early 1990s, his health was deteriorating. He died on June 28, 1993. Reuben did not live to see the results of his hard work on behalf of Native American religious freedom--the Amendments to the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, which President Clinton signed into law in October 1994. These amendments protected the religious use of peyote by Indians
Summary:
The Reuben A. Snake papers, located in the Cultural Resource Center of the National Museum of the American Indian, contain writings, correspondence, biographical materials and written materials relating to the Native American Church which document the literary and political activities of this Winnebago tribal leader. Also included in this collection are video and audio tapes that contain interviews, talks, radio broadcasts, and other orally and visually transmitted items. These materials have been transferred to the NMAI Media Archives. All photographs have been transferred to the NMAI Photo Archives
Series I, Writings (undated, 1972-1993), contains original writings by Reuben Snake, Tribal Chairman's reports and observations, position papers and interviews
Series II, Correspondence (undated, 1982-1996), consists of miscellaneous correspondence, correspondence with interviewers and the correspondence of James Botsford, Snake's attorney
Series III, Biographical (undated, 1985-1996), consists of news clippings related to Snake's work as Winnebago tribal chairman, Reuben's vitae and tributes to him and eulogies and obituaries after his death. Also included is the draft of Jay Courtney Fikes' biography of Snake
Series IV, Native American Church (1971-1993), includes resolutions made by various tribal governments and addressed to the U.S. Congress in support of the Native American Church, as well as the agendas of NAC officers' and delegates' meetings. The Native American Religious Freedom Project files contain materials relating to the lobbying efforts of the Native American Church and drafts of the proposed amendments to the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. The rermaining files contain news clips documenting court cases on Native American use of peyote and articles on the effects of peyote and its sacramental value to the Native American Church
Cite as:
Reuben A. Snake, Jr. Papers, 1970-1990, National Museum of the American Indian Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian Archives
Visitor Tag(s):

National Congress of American Indians records, 1933-1990 (bulk 1944-1989)

Creator:
National Congress of American Indians
Subject:
Bronson, Ruth Muskrat
Curry, James E. 1907-1972
Deloria, Vine
Harjo, Suzan Shown
McNickle, D'Arcy 1904-1977
Peterson, Helen L
Snake, Reuben 1937-1993
Tonasket, Mel
Trimble, Charles E
Arrow, Inc
National Congress of American Indians
National Tribal Chairmen's Association
United Effort Trust
United States American Indian Policy Review Commission
United States Bureau of Indian Affairs
United States Indian Claims Commission
Physical description:
251 linear feet
Type:
Administrative records
Collection descriptions
Audiotapes
Clippings
Correspondence
Financial records
Photographs
Videotapes
Place:
United States
Date:
1933
1933-1990
bulk 1944-1989
20th century
1934-
Topic:
Alaska Natives--Land tenure
Indians of North America--Civil rights
Indians of North America--Economic conditions
Indians of North America--Government relations
Indians of North America--Legal status, laws, etc
Indians of North America--Politics and government
Indians of North America--Social conditions
Indian termination policy
Radioactive wastes--Management
Trail of Broken Treaties, 1972
Local number:
NMAI.AC.010
Notes:
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is a major American Indian advocacy organization, designed to serve as a link between tribal governments and the United States government. NCAI was founded in 1944, in Denver, CO, as a membership organization for "persons of Indian blood." In 1955, group membership was limited to recognized tribes, committees, or bands. The organization is overseen by an Executive Council, which selects a five-member Executive Committee and an Executive Director. The Executive Director is then responsible for managing the organization's staff and overseeing its initiatives and everyday operations. Since 1944, NCAI has held annual conventions in the fall to elect officers and pass resolutions, which become the basis for the organization's policy positions. Beginning in 1977, a mid-year conference in May or June was added to provide further opportunities for in-depth exploration of issues
Since its inauguration, NCAI has worked on a wide variety of issues facing Indians in the US. Some of those issues include voting rights, land claims, education, economic development, natural resource protection and management, nuclear waste, repatriation, and government-to-government relations with the federal government. In 1954, NCAI organized an emergency conference to protest the US government's newly-announced termination policy. NCAI has also frequently worked closely with other Indian organizations, such as the Native American Rights Fund and National Tribal Chairmen's Association, and with various government bodies, such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service
Summary:
The NCAI records document the organization's work, particularly that of its office in Washington, DC, and the wide variety of issues faced by American Indians in the twentieth century. The bulk of the material relates to legislation, lobbying, and NCAI's interactions with various governmental bodies. A large segment also concerns the annual conventions and executive council and executive committee meetings. Finally, the records also document the operations of the NCAI, including personnel, financial, and fundraising material. The collection also includes the records of two of NCAI's Executive Directors, Charles E. "Chuck" Trimble (1972-1977) and Suzan Shown Harjo (1984-1989). Included are correspondence, publications, reports, administrative records, photographs, and audio and video recordings
Cite as:
National Congress of American Indians Records, National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian Archives
Visitor Tag(s):

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