This bill — the RESPECT Act — would repeal a number of outdated laws relating to Native American education, forcible relocation of Native American children to boarding school, and withholding of money and resources from American Indian tribes dating from 1862 to 1913.
The laws this bill would repeal are:
- 25 U.S.C. 302 Indian Reform School: This law gives the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, authorization to take Native American children from their parents to places them in boarding schools, known as “Indian Reform Schools.”
- 25 U.S.C. 72 Abrogation of treaties: This law authorizes the president to declare all treaties with tribes at war with the U.S. government null and void.
- 25 U.S.C. 127 Moneys of annuities of hostile Indians: This law ends payments to tribes at war with the U.S. government.
- 25 U.S.C. 128 Appropriations not paid to Indians at war with the United States: This law ends appropriations to the Indian Service (Bureau of Indian Affairs today) for any tribe at war with the U.S. or the white citizens of any U.S. state or territories.
- 25 U.S.C. 129 Moneys due Indians holding captives other than Indians withheld: This law authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to withhold money due to tribes holding non-Native captives until the captives’ return.
- 25 U.S.C. 130 Withholding of moneys of goods on account of intoxicating liquors: This law prohibits the provision of annuities, money and goods to Native Americans while they’re under the influence of alcohol or able to easily access alcohol.
- 25 U.S.C. 137 Supplies distributed to able-bodied males on condition: This law requires able-bodied Native American males to work on reservations for their own and their tribes’ benefit as a condition of receiving supplies and annuities on the reservation.
- 25 U.S.C. 138 Goods withheld from chiefs violating treaty stipulations: This law ends delivery of goods and merchandise to tribal chiefs if they’ve violated treaties.
- 25 U.S.C. 273 Detail of Army officer: This law authorizes the Secretary of the Army to detail an officer of the Army, not above the rank of captain, for special duty with reference to Indian education.
- 25 U.S.C. 283 Regulations for withholding rations for nonattendance at schools: This law allows the Secretary of the Interior to establish regulations preventing the issuance of rations or subsistence (such as money or in-kind resources) to the head of any Native American family if their children didn’t attend school as required in the previous academic year.
- 25 U.S.C. 285 Withholding annuities from Osage Indians for nonattendance at schools: This law authorizes the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to withhold any annuities or other payments due to Osage Indian minors above six years of age whose parents fail, neglect, or refuse to place them in school.
This bill’s full title is the Repealing Existing Substandard Provisions Encouraging Conciliation with Tribes Act.