1928 - Meriam Report

After the release of the Meriam Report in 1928 prompted a scandal over the treatment of Indians.

       The 'Meriam Report' -  published in 1928 - was the first government study to demonstrate with extensive data that federal Indian policy in the 19th century had resulted in a travesty of social justice to Native Americans.  This report - which showed 'paternalism' of the federal government since the passage of the Dawes Act in 1887, to be a national scandal -  described the poverty and poor living conditions on the reservations, terrible disease and death rates, grossly inadequate care of the Indian children in the boarding schools, and destructive effects of the erosion of Indian land caused by the General Allotment Act (the Dawes Act).

        The Great Depression began shortly after the Meriam report was issued, causing living conditions on reservations to become even more dire.  In response,  President Franklin D. Roosevelt's director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, John Collier, urged Congress to pass the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) of 1934 in an effort to reverse the effects of governmental abuse and neglect and to introduce Native Americans to a new era of cooperation with the federal government.