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Important research information for students, teachers, researchers & historians

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  • Important research information for students, teachers, researchers & historians


    I have always been told that there was a point in Indian history where our ancestors were not allowed to practice dancing, ceremonies or any religious practices. This resulted in the halt of sundances, the ghost dance and numerous other ceremonial dances from many tribes. As a result, MANY American Indian ceremonies, religious practices and dances became EXTINCT.

    Most Indians, researchers and students of Indian history never knew what this policy was.

    Here is the historical background on this policy and what this policy was called.


    As the Indian removal era ended and the reservation era spread across America, federal Indian policy began to halt further ceremonies, dancing and other religious practices.

    This policy was called the "CIVILIZATION REGULATIONS."

    The Interior Secretary of the United States' - CIVILIZATION REGULATIONS were issued in 1884 and reissued in 1894 and 1904. Indian Affairs Commissioner's circulars and individual Indian agent's directives, implementing the CIVILIZATION REGULATIONS, were issued throughout the life of the rules, which were not withdrawn until the mid-1930's.

    According to former Indian Commissioner John Collier, "Beginning about 1879, a leading aim of the United States was to destroy the plains tribe's societies through their religions; and it may be that the world has never witnessed a religious persecution so implacable and so variously implemented. Tribal groups were placed in concentration camps and shifted about at the whim of the bureaucrats, starved, intimidated and persecuted. Their religious ceremonies were forcibly surppressed, and every effort was made to destroy their secular cultural heritage as well."

    This is a MAJOR REASON why we as Indian people no longer enjoy the same ceremonies, dances and religious practices as those who lived before 1884.


    Do you have any feed back or stories you can relate of your people about how this affected them?

    ****Please pass this information to as many Indian people and researchers as possible****
    Last edited by WhoMe; 10-23-2003, 03:47 PM.
    Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

  • #2
    Who Me, I posted my comment in the other section 'Native Talk'.

    Blessings to You. :)


    • #3
      During assimilation around the Depression era and later, I am told some of own children made fun of the ones who still took part in ceremonies passed down from their relatives. The "new" catholic kids called them heathens and savages. Now, slowly, some are coming back home away from that era and way of thinking. Its kind of like a generation gap where the younger ones are going back to tradish. :)


      • #4
        I don't know bout the plains tribes but for the cali's we faught our assess off trying to live thru the spanish and mexican take overs and all there sickness and deseases. Throw in the gold rush bullshyt and its any wonder how we are still here. The generations before us faught like mad to survive and theres storys of them going deep into the forests to do our ceremonys. Theres alot of us brought up knowing our ways and ceremonys but there are many ceremonys never to be done again. Even now we try and I can bet over the next decade or 2 we will probly lose some ceremonys but I hope the younger peeps want to learn. Cuz man this world as we know it is pretty screwed up and we cali natives and natives all over had it crapy most our lives and I ain't willing to just give up.
        So broke I'm thinking of pawning my gold toof!


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