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Bartering with the Bones of Their Dead

The Colville Confederated Tribes and Termination

Laurie Arnold

Publication Year: 2012

Published by: University of Washington Press


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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents [Includes Image Plate]

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pp. ix-xvii

Upon passage of termination legislation in 1953, Congress believed that the United States had entered a new phase in management of Indian affairs. Previous policies, including removal, allotment, and the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA), in many ways reinforced federal responsibility to and management of recognized Indian tribes, but termination was ...

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Acknowledgments [Includes Image Plate]

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pp. xviii-xx

This project has been both professionally and personally rewarding for me. Professionally, I have followed in the footsteps of the discipline’s leading scholars through my research at the National Archives and Records Administration in Seattle and in Washington, DC; at the National Museum of the American Indian Archives in Suitland, Maryland; and at the Edward ...

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1. “We want to be Indians forever.” [Includes Image Plate]

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pp. 3-31

This story begins with the land. The Columbia Plateau served as home to bands of indigenous peoples long before the US government existed and even longer before that government named some of these peoples the Colville Indians. The plateau, roughly bounded ...

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2. “It is like giving your eagle feather away.” [Includes Image Plate]

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pp. 33-49

The Colvilles had initiated termination when they accepted restoration of the North Half in 1956, but many tribal members and the business council hoped that congressional opinion would turn sharply enough against termination that they would not ultimately have to create a termination plan. But as the 1961 deadline mandated ...

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3. “Soon buried in a junk pile of Cadillacs.” [Includes Image Plate]

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pp. 51-71

As the Colville Business Council continued to advance termination, the Subcommittee on Indian Affairs decided to hold hearings among the Colvilles to ascertain their opinions on termination. This journey to the reservation would inaugurate an era of unprecedented open dialogue between the Colvilles and the ...

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4. “What is their future?” [Includes Image Plate]

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pp. 73-91

A power struggle for control of termination dialogue and the termination debate continued to rage on the Colville Reservation. Questions of whether the tribe should terminate as well as how their termination goals should be accomplished seemed to permeate every aspect of tribal life. By 1965 the overwhelming majority ...

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5. “Come back from your pilgrimage to nowhere.” [Includes Image Plate]

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pp. 93-109

The political heyday for Colville termination had passed by 1967. Although the Subcommittee on Indian Affairs would continue to engage with the Colvilles about termination, it was clear that they were responding to the Colvilles, not initiating the conversation. At this point, the subcommittee’s consideration of termination was tied ...

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6. “Not another inch, not another drop.” [Includes Image Plate]

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pp. 111-125

In July 1968, in a last-minute hearing jammed into an empty morning slot of the full congressional session calendar, the Subcommittee on Indian Affairs met one more time to listen to Colville tribal members. It had been a year since the subcommittee had heard arguments for and against Senate Bill 282. That bill had not advanced, so ...

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Conclusion: “We kept getting a little bit smarter.”

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pp. 127-144

The Colville termination battle remained an internal debate, despite outside efforts to influence the outcome. While other tribes, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, national Indian organizations, and members of Congress attempted to move the Colville discussion one way or the other, Colville tribal members controlled the ...

Appendix: Major Legislation Affecting the Colville Confederated Tribes

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pp. 145-146


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pp. 147-164


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pp. 165-170


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pp. 171-180

E-ISBN-13: 9780295804378
E-ISBN-10: 0295804378
Print-ISBN-13: 9780295992280
Print-ISBN-10: 0295991984

Publication Year: 2012

OCLC Number: 815970797
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Bartering with the Bones of Their Dead

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Washington -- History.
  • Colville Indians -- Legal status, laws, etc. -- Washington (State) -- Colville Indian Reservation.
  • Colville Indians -- Government relations.
  • Colville Indians -- Politics and government.
  • Indian termination policy -- Washington (State) -- Colville Indian Reservation.
  • Self-determination, National -- Washington (State) -- Colville Indian Reservation.
  • Colville Indian Reservation (Wash.) -- History.
  • Colville Indian Reservation (Wash.).
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