By John Fahey
Joseph R. Garry (1910–1975), a Coeur d’Alene Indian, served six phrases as president of the nationwide Congress of yankee Indians within the Fifties. He led the battles to compel the government to honor treaties and landownership and ruled an period in government-Indian kin little attended by way of historians. Firmly believing that compelled assimilation of Indians and termination of federal trusteeship over local americans and their reservations could doom Indian cultures, Garry had his maximum good fortune as a pace-setter in uniting American Indian tribes to fend off Congress’s plan to desert Indian citizens.
Born right into a chief’s relatives and raised at the Coeur d’Alene reservation in northern Idaho, Garry rose to chairmanship of his tribal council, president of the Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest Indians, and management of NCAI. He was once the 1st local American elected to the Idaho residence and Senate.
Handsome, personable, and articulate, Garry traveled continuously to induce Indian tribes to carry onto their land, increase fiscal assets, and teach their younger. In a turbulent decade, Garry increased Indians to political and social participation in American lifestyles, and set in movement forces that underlie Indian kinfolk this day.
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Additional info for Saving the Reservation: Joe Garry and the Battle to Be Indian
Except for a short written statement from the NCAI, that remark closed the sessions. In the weeks after the Flathead hearings, Helen Peterson monitored the termination bill, and William Zimmerman, now employed by the Association on American Indian Affairs, lobbied against it with tribal attorney George Tunison. " Call on the National Catholic Welfare Conference for support, and write letters to the Washington Post) she advised. 16 The strategy paid off. By adjournment of the Eighty-third Congress's second session, the Flathead bill lay stalled in committee.
As president of the Affiliated Tribes ofNorthwest Indians, Garry took part in a panel discussion of a bill before Congress to give jurisdiction over Indians to the states. He steered a middle course, generally favoring federal oversight, warning that a sudden change in Indian administration "might be dangerous," and urging tribes to cooperate with each other to improve federal relations. Garry predicted that the states, given control, would immediately impose taxes on Indians. While his prosaic talk was not at all inspiring, as a person Garry impressed the younger Indians, the veterans who wanted action from the NeAl.
Dillon Myer, at age sixtyone, was a twenty-four-year federal employee with a reputation for tackling unpopular assignments. He had directed the War Relocation Authority that herded J apaneseAmericans into internment camps during World War II, and then managed the Federal Housing Administration. Appointed commissioner of a rudderless Bureau ofIndianAffairs on May 5, 1950, Myer cleaned house. He brought in his own management team and accepted the resignations of five of the bureau's top-rank officials, including William Zimmerman.
Saving the Reservation: Joe Garry and the Battle to Be Indian by John Fahey