Indian New Deal, Tribal Termination, and Urban Relocation 1934-1967


Indian Relocation Act passes, launching the urban relocation process

The Act, also known as Public Law 959 or the Adult Vocational Training Program, is an extension of termination policy and intends to stimulate urban relocation and assimilation of Natives into the general population. At a time when the U.S. government is decreasing funds to Indians living on reservations, it promises to pay moving expenses and provide vocational training and health insurance to Natives leaving reservations and moving to government-designated cities. Overall, the program has devastating long-term effects. Despite government promises, many find only low-paying jobs with little advancement potential. Racial, housing, and job discrimination and segregation contribute to poverty and homelessness coupled with cultural and social isolation. They cannot return to dissolved reservations (Walls & Whitbeck, 2012). The Act plays a significant role in increasing the population of urban Indians in succeeding decades (Weeks, 2014). From 1950 to 1968, more than 200,000 Indians of all tribes move to cities.

Settler Colonial Policy