Indian Reservations

Discover how Indian reservations work.

To circumvent arguments about land rights and boundaries, the United States government established Indian reservations. These places were created in order to provide housing and a way to make a living off the land for the Indians after being displaced by the government. Unfortunately, some of these Indian reservations were less than ideal.

Today, these places are considered federal land but Indians have a limited amount of sovereignty on their own reservations.  That is why you might see legalized gambling in the form of casinos.  Activities such as these bring in tourists who will spend money, thus providing a way of life for the Indians. In other Indian reservations, the land given to the Native Americans were not suitable for cultivating crops or sustaining crop or livestock, thus the alternative money-making opportunities.

Currently there are probably over three hundred reservations in the United States and some of the existing five hundred Indian tribes are not represented at all.  They are governed by the United State Department of the Interior through a special Indian Affairs office.  However, on the Indian reservations, they have their own tribal council to handle the daily governmental rules.

Today, you will find the reservations with one foot in the past and one foot firmly planted in the twenty-first century.  While trying to remain loyal to their heritage, the Native Americans on these Indian reservations have to keep up with the changes times around them. That means, fighting for their livelihood like through the legalized gambling in those states which allow it.

So while the white settlers displaced many Native Americans and the United States government relocated thousands of them to Indian reservations, they still persevere and keep their culture alive.  They are always looking to their future while their actions often speak of and honor their past. It is important to keep Native American traditions alive and this is happening every day on the Indian reservations.

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