Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Winter 2008


Great Plains Quarterly Volume 28, Number 1, Winter 2008, pp. 81.


Copyright 2008 by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


In Taking Charge George Pierre Castile extends his earlier work, To Show Heart: Native American Self-Determination and Federal Indian Policy, 1960-1975 (1998), and carries the story of federal Indian policy through the presidency of George H. W. Bush. Castile begins with how President Jimmy Carter's efforts to streamline federal government bureaucracy led to the creation of a new office, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs. Carter continued self-determination, but his delegating nearly all Indian matters disappointed most Indians. Issues given most attention involved land and fishing claims, the claims of several eastern tribes for federal recognition, and the return of lands taken from tribes in the past under very questionable circumstances.

Congress took more initiative, led by Morris Udall and James Abourezk. Accomplishments included the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (1978), the Federal Acknowledgment Process (1978), the creation of the American Indian Policy Review Commission (1976), the Indian Child Welfare Act (1978), the Archaeological Resources Act (1979), and the extension of funding for Indian community colleges under the Tribally Controlled Community College Assistance Act (1978).