- Apr 2020
The Wheeler-Howard Act, also known as the Indian Reorganization Act, aimed to protect Native people’s religions and lifestyles in a radical shift away from assimilation policies, and represented an open admission that allotment was a mistake. Tribes were required to accept or reject the IRA by referendum; the establishment of tribal self-government was to be decided the same way. When a majority of adult tribal members approved the IRA, they could then write a constitution, which had to be approved by another majority vote and the Secretary of the Interior. Tribes who approved the IRA could then elect a tribal council.