An Assessment of The Indian Reorganization Act and the Civilian Conservation Corps - Indian Division


  • Daniel Temples


Native Americans living on reservations were severely affected by the Great Depression in the 1930s. Many of them were already in poverty before the stock markets crashed, and the ensuing recession further limited their economic opportunities. The US Federal Government funded two separate programs intended to aid Native Americans: the Indian Division of the Civilian Conservation Core (CCC-ID) from 1933 to 1942, and the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) of 1934. The IRA’s goal was to help the Native Americans to regulate and govern themselves without outside influence from the Federal Government, but it failed to do so in any lasting way. The CCC-ID’s main purpose was to aid the Native Americans economically, and it succeeded, along with accomplishing many goals of the IRA inadvertently. This paper argues that the CCC-ID was more helpful than the IRA in restoring Native American culture, tribal identity, and self-governance than the IRA.