The Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act of 1936 (also known as the Thomas-Rogers Act) is a United Statesfederal law that extended the 1934 Wheeler-Howard or Indian Reorganization Act to include those tribes within the boundaries of the state of Oklahoma. The purpose of these acts were to rebuild Indian tribal societies, return land to the tribes, rejuvenate Indian governments, and emphasize Native culture. The Acts were the brain child of John Collier, commissioner of Indian affairs from 1933 to 1945, who wanted to change federal Indian policy from the "twin evils" of allotment and assimilation.
The Thomas-Rogers Act was adopted because congress had previously dissolved sovereign tribal governments in Oklahoma and Indian Territories to pave the way “for Oklahoma’s admission to the union on an ‘Equal footing with the original States." Prior to statehood, the land of the former reservations in Oklahoma was:
allotted to individual Indian Tribal members
held in trust by the United States for the benefit of tribal members, or
otherwise disseminated to non-Indians in a series of land runs
Land held by the United States is free from any and all taxes except Oklahoma Gross Production Tax from oil and gas produced from the land
Where Indian lands are sold, the Secretary of the Interior shall show preference to obtain those lands for the use by Native Americans.
Any recognized tribe residing within Oklahoma may receive a charter of incorporation from the Secretary of Interior, shall have the right to self-determination, including the right to make their own bylaws.
Any group of 10 Trial Members may receive a Charter of Cooperative Association (for specific purposes) from the Secretary of Interior; laws of the State of Oklahoma govern for those issues not covered by federal law or regulations issued by the Secretary
^THE MUSCOGEE (CREEK) NATION, PLAINTIFF, - VS - THE AMERICAN TOBACCO COMPANY, DEFENDANTS. NOTICE OF DEPOSITION DUCES TECUM. CASE NO. CV-97-27 8 Part I addresses the Nation's tribal court structure. The progression starts with the 1856 Treaty (Treaty of 1856) between the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and the United States. It continues by discussing how the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act, 9 passed by Congress in 1936, altered the Treaty of 1856.