Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act

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Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act
Great Seal of the United States
Long title An Act to promote the general welfare of the Indians of the State of Oklahoma, and for other purposes.
Nicknames Oklahoma Indian Bill
Enacted by the 74th United States Congress
Effective June 26, 1936
Public law 74-816
Statutes at Large 49 Stat. 1967
Titles amended 25 U.S.C.: Indians
U.S.C. sections created 25 U.S.C. ch. 14, subch. VIII § 501 et seq.
Legislative history

The Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act of 1936[1][2][3][4] (also known as the Thomas-Rogers Act) is a United States federal 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.[5]

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."[6] 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

Major points of the act[edit]

  • United States Secretary of the Interior is authorized to obtain good agricultural and grazing lands (including Indian lands) to be held in trust for the Indians.
  • 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[7] 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
  • Act does not relate to Osage County, Oklahoma (does not impact the Osage Nation)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ BOARD OF COM'RS OF PAWNEE COUNTY, OKL., ET AL. v. UNITED STATES; UNITED STATES V. BOARD OF COM'RS OF PAWNEE COUNTY, OKL., ET AL...Before PHILLIPS, HUXMAN, and Alfred P. Murrah, Circuit Judges. .... On the merits, it is urged that Section 1 of the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act is invalid as an unconstitutional delegation of ...The ultimate question presented by this appeal is whether certain lands held by the United States in trust for certain full-blood Pawnee Indians were exempt from Oklahoma ad valorem taxes by force of the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act of June 26, 1936, 49 Stat. 1967, 25 U.S.C.A. ? 501 et seq
  2. ^ No Freedmen = Ethnic cleansing! The Muscogee (Creek) Nation in 1979 reorganized the government and constitution by using the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act of 1936, at the same time the Muscogee (Creek) Nation decitizenized the Creek Freedmen descendants by reorganizing under the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act of 1936
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act (1936), Oklahoma Historical Society’s Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture". Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  6. ^ "Choctaw Nation v State of Oklahoma (Mineral Rights Arkansas River) Supreme Court 90 S.Ct. 1328 (April 27. 1970) Section I" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-01-30. 
  7. ^ Freedmen descendants want their own tribe - Muscogee (Creek) Nation - Members of the Muscogee Creek Indian Freedmen Band have formally filed a petition with the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

External links[edit]