Advancing Self-Determination 1968

During the 1960s tribal autonomy increased as tribes demanded the right to self-determination—to govern themselves and make their own decisions about tribal matters. Support for self-determination also grew in Congress, and a number of laws were passed during that time to protect tribal sovereignty and the legal rights of Native Americans.

However, the shift to self-determination was not always smooth. Tribes did not want to lose the benefits the Government promised to those with special trust status. Tribes also didn’t always agree with each other or the Government about what was best for the future of the nation’s indigenous peoples. Yet this period remains one of the most productive in the history of Federal-Indian policy for advancing Native American rights.