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Menominee Commemorate 39th Restoration Day

 

December 22, 2012, marks the 39th annual observance of the Menominee Tribe’s Restoration Day. On this date in 1973, President Richard M. Nixon signed the Menominee Restoration Bill into law. It allowed for the Menominee lands to revert to reservation status and restored the Menominee as a federally recognized tribe.

 

The Menominee Restoration Act overturned the federal American Indian Policy, which was established and in effect during the Termination Era, 1954-1973. The policy had resulted in tribal assets, including land, forest, and saw mills, being taken from the Tribe and sold to non-Indians. Many Menominee were forced to leave their homeland and culture behind because of economic and social distress in order to survive. From 1961 to 1973, grassroots efforts including demonstrations, walks, and the March for Justice march to Madison raised awareness of the issue and ultimately ended with the passage of the Menominee Restoration Act, Public Law 93-197.

 

Each year Tribe members observe this day that restored their identity and culture as Menominee people, allowing them to maintain the beautiful land while re-establishing the sovereign rights and infrastructure of the tribe.

 

Select courses and occasional conferences and events at the College of Menominee Nation focus on the Termination-Restoration Era, and archives of the library preserve an array of historical documents related to the period.

 

Retoration Day signing