Collier, John

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  • John Collier (1884–1968) became well known for his role as commissioner of Indian Affairs between 1933 and 1945. His position allowed him to direct major reforms in American Indian government policy during the Progressive Era. Collier's leadership in the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) transformed U.S. government relations with Native Americans on a national scale. He pushed for restoring tribal community and sovereignty, which had been torn apart by assimilationist policies such as the Dawes Allotment Act of 1887 and the federal American Indian boarding school models of Capt. Richard Henry Pratt. Collier worked toward the passage of the Wheeler-Howard Act of 1934 (the Indian Reorganization Act), which countered allotment and granted tribes greater self-governance. He continued to advocate for American Indian rights as a ...

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